Marian Hossa out when Blackhawks face Blues


Marian Hossa out when Blackhawks face Blues

Marian Hossa will not play after all when the Blackhawks face the St. Louis Blues tonight at Scottrade Center.

Hossa, who has been sidelined with a lower-body injury since Feb. 13, looked like a possibility tonight when he practiced on Tuesday. He skated on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Andrew Ladd in practice, and again at Wednesday morning’s skate. But after going through an extended skate this morning, Hossa said he’s not quite ready.

“Yeah, it was getting better, but obviously I want to have a morning skate after instead of a practice, and still feeling it wasn’t there yet and I don’t want to rush it. I’d rather wait an extra couple of days,” Hossa said. “And bag-skating also helps to get conditioning back where I want it to be and make sure if I am physically and mentally 100 percent. It’s getting there, but I didn’t feel like tonight was the day.”

With Hossa out, the Blackhawks’ lines will probably look like they did in their last game. Andrew Shaw will likely be at right wing on the top line with Ladd and Toews while Dennis Rasmussen will probably center the fourth line with Brandon Mashinter and Dale Weise. The second and third lines should remain the same.

Asked if he would be ready for the Blackhawks’ game against the Dallas Stars on Friday, Hossa said he will wait and see.

“We’ll go day by day and obviously if I feel 100 percent,” he said. “I don’t want to take a chance so close to the playoffs. I want to make sure I’m 100 percent.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans]

Indeed, the postseason is the big concern with Hossa. He’ll still be back in plenty of time for that, but there’s no need to rush him if he’s not completely ready at the moment.

“I think when you’re ready, you’re ready,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “When he’s ready to go – he knows his body – we’ll make the decision. But he wasn’t ready.”

Meanwhile, Marcus Kruger, who agreed to a three-year extension on Tuesday, could return to the lineup sooner than expected. Asked if Kruger (wrist) could join the Blackhawks on their trek through Canada at the end of March, Quenneville said, “I would say, if there’s a chance he could play on that trip, he’ll be on that trip.”

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center


Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals


Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: