The Blackhawks are already down a great defenseman. Now they’re likely down one of their best forwards, albeit for a shorter time.
Regardless, it’s another time when everyone needs to do a little more and someone gets a great opportunity.
Marian Hossa, who suffered a lower-body injury against the Minnesota Wild, is questionable for Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. Coach Joel Quenneville said he’ll know more about Hossa’s status on Monday morning, but based on line combinations at Sunday’s practice, it looks like the Blackhawks are prepared to go at least a game without Hossa.
Artemi Panarin moved up to the top line with Jonathan Toews and Ryan Garbutt on Sunday. For Panarin, who’s found great chemistry and success with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane, said through Viktor Tikhonov that he will have to adjust.
“There are some small changes,” Tikhonov translated for Panarin. “It’s not a completely different game. But with Kane we have a little bit of a different style. Obviously with Toews it’s going to be a little bit different.”
Quenneville said Hossa’s injury, which kept him out of the third period against Minnesota on Friday night, is not serious. Still, missing the forward’s two-way game for even one game is tough.
“Well, there’s quality ice time in a lot of areas and [someone] gets to play with Jonny, so we’ll see,” said Quenneville. “You miss quality minutes and playing the right way is something we’re trying to emphasize. We’re coming off a game where we need to be better in certain areas without the puck, solet’s make sure we’re paying attention to where we are around the rink.”
As for Panarin getting that top-line opportunity, Quenneville said it’s to help balance the lines sans Hossa but Panarin also was probably going to be there eventually.
“Over the course of a season, we envisioned Jonny and him playing together at some point. Hopefully that can work,” he said. “Jonny scoring last game – we haven’t seen any other lines [except the second line] score all year – hopefully we can share the wealth on the production side of things. Hopefully we become more balanced in our scoring.”
- Duncan Keith (right knee) is “getting close to doing the next level of activity,” Quenneville said on Sunday. That doesn’t sound like it includes getting onto the ice just yet. Quenneville said he’d “have to find out for sure” when Keith can skate again.
- Michal Rozsival (left ankle) is doubtful to play this week. “He still has some extra work to do before we’re comfortable with him playing,” Quenneville said of the defenseman.
- Corey Crawford will start vs. the Los Angeles Kings.