BOSTON – Marian Hossa is “likely” to play in Game 4 and Ben Smith did not take warmups before Game 3 because the Chicago Blackhawks didn’t want to “tip their hand” on what was going on, coach Joel Quenneville said on Tuesday.
Quenneville said he was hopeful that Hossa would play in Game 3, something that became a definite “no” after warmups on Monday night. Whatever Hossa’s upper-body injury is and whenever he sustained it, the Blackhawks, like just about every other team in the playoffs regarding injuries, aren’t saying. TSN’s Aaron Ward reported last night that he believes Hossa has a neck-related injury. Quenneville said last night that “nothing happened during warmup” as far as Hossa.
It was odd that Smith did not participate in warmups, considering that several Blackhawks said they knew most of Monday that Hossa may be out for Game 3. Smith, whose only action this season was in the Blackhawks’ regular-season finale in St. Louis, said he scrambled to get ready for the game. But Quenneville said they didn’t want to tip their hand as to what was happening. He also said he was set on putting Smith in if Hossa couldn’t go.
Smith, who skated with Blackhawks scratches on Tuesday morning, played 10:23 with a shot on goal and two blocked shots. Patrick Sharp said it was “crazy” seeing Smith hurriedly get prepared.
“He didn’t really have the typical game-day preparation. I don’t know if he had a nap or a decent meal. He just came in, put his skates on and jumped into the Stanley Cup Final,” Sharp said. “For a guy who works as hard as Benny does, to be rewarded like that, and I thought he played great. He got a good scoring chance in the second period and put pucks in great areas. That’s something he’ll always remember. It gave us a big lift to see him roll in here and put his gear on last night.”