BOSTON – Marian Hossa is expected to play Wednesday night and Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were together again on the top line as the Chicago Blackhawks prepare for Game 4 against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden Wednesday night.
Hossa did not skate this morning – veteran Jamal Mayers took Hossa’s spot on the second line, with Patrick Sharp and Michal Handzus. When asked if Hossa was getting rest or treatment this morning, coach Joel Quenneville just said, “he’s fine.”
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The right wing was a late, and surprising scratch in Game 3 Monday night. He was listed as having an upper-body injury – TSN’s Aaron Ward reported he heard it was a neck-related injury – and was replaced by Ben Smith after pregame warmups. Hossa was criticized by former Blackhawk Tony Amonte, who told a Boston radio station that Hossa not playing was “just not good enough.”
The Blackhawks defended Hossa’s not playing.
“Believe me, if he could’ve played, he would’ve played. We don’t need to discuss that,” Quenneville said. “We know how competitive he is and what he means to our team.”
Players, who Hossa told before Game 3 that he wasn’t able to go and apologized for not being able to, agreed.
“I’m not sure what that’s all about,” Patrick Kane said. “I think some people look into things too much and don’t know what’s going on, especially with undisclosed injuries. I know in other sports they tell you everything…but in hockey there’s always speculation for what it is. Sometimes you don’t know, and sometimes it’s best to leave it be if you don’t know.”
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Mayers said, “It’s easy for guys on the outside to voice their opinion; they have no idea what’s going on. It’s unfortunate in the sense that the body of work Marian has shown and played through, there’s no question guys support him 100 percent; and if he can play, he’ll play. It shouldn’t even be a story. When he’s ready to play, he’s shown he’ll play.”