Blackhawks readjust with Marian Hossa out roughly two weeks


Blackhawks readjust with Marian Hossa out roughly two weeks

The Blackhawks have found ways to press on when they’ve lost a top player. Now they’ll have to do it again.

Marian Hossa will be out about two weeks as the Blackhawks head into tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hossa sustained a lower-body injury in the Blackhawks’ overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday and was placed on injured reserve on Sunday afternoon.

“Hopefully two weeks,” coach Joel Quenneville said of the time Hossa will miss. “That’s probably what we’re looking at.”

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It’s a big loss, considering everything Hossa does on both sides of the puck.

“You’re used to having a guy in the lineup for a long time, especially a guy like Hossa, after a while you might take for granted what that guy might bring to your room or to your team. You realize how much you miss someone when they’re gone. That’s definitely the case for Hoss,” Jonathan Toews said. “At the same time it’s the same as always: we have to find ways to step up and have other guys assume some responsibility, whether it’s power play or penalty kill or 5-on-5. The two-way game Hossa plays is huge for us. I’m sure some guys who will get added ice time will be ready for it.”

One of those guys is Panik, who will start on the Blackhawks’ top line tonight. Panik’s last goal came during a few minutes with the top line in the Blackhawks’ victory over Colorado on Feb. 2.

“It’s just a great opportunity for me to show what I’m capable of,” Panik said. “I’m just going to try to play my game. It’s been working for me so far, so I’ll stick with it.”

[MORE: Blackhawks place Marian Hossa on IR, recall Vincent Hinostroza]

Certainly, it’ll take more than one player to replace everything Hossa does. Panik gets the start on the top line tonight but Quenneville said Teuvo Teravainen could see time on that line as well. Regardless, the Blackhawks will collectively have to fill the void.

“It’s a good test and certainly you get a good look at some guys. There’s great opportunity, power play, penalty killing, important minutes, defensive situations, last-minute periods in games, all quality ice time you want to have out there,” Quenneville said. “Guys will be pushing for the opportunity to get it and hopefully they can take advantage.

"Certainly you have a guy [Hossa] who plays the right way in all those situations; there’s an appreciation of our team game that gets reinforced with him doing it night in, night out. There are certain areas [in which] we have to get deeper as a team of everyone doing the right things.”

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

After staying out of the public eye since his historic emergency relief appearance, Scott Foster emerged in Vegas at the NHL Awards and it was perfect. 

The 36-year-old accountant fittingly presented the Vezina Trophy award for the league's top goaltender and joked that he needed to speed it up because he had to get back to work.

Check him out on stage:

What a moment. And well done, NHL. 

Foster stopped all seven shots he faced in 14:01 of action in the Blackhawks' 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on March 30.

Nashville Predators netminder Pekke Rinne took home the award, but you can't argue against Foster's 1.000 career save percentage.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.