Mike Kostka will probably be in the Chicago Blackhawks’ lineup tomorrow night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, going against some old teammates once again.
“When you’ve played with as many teams as I have, you have a lot of friends in a lot of places,” Kostka said about the Leafs, with whom he played last season. “It’s nice to go out against two or three friends or maybe a whole team of friends.”
Kostka “could” be in the lineup tomorrow, coach Joel Quenneville said. In the coach’s lingo, that usually means a guy’s starting, so Kostka is likely getting into his second game of the season.
So another reunion, it will be. Kostka’s first came against the Tampa Bay Lighting, which included many of his former Norfolk Admirals teammates from that 2011-12 Calder Cup-winning team.
“You always enjoy going against old friends and teammates and try to stick it to them,” he said.
With eight defensemen on the roster, Kostka has had to play the waiting game in his short time with the Blackhawks. He, Sheldon Brookbank and Michal Rozsival, who was back at Friday’s practice after missing the last two days with an illness, have rotated in and out of that sixth defenseman’s spot. But for Kostka, it’s just about being patient and staying sharp.
“Q runs a really quick, sharp practice. When we’re not playing we’re staying on top of our fitness,” he said. “You know what you need to do to be a professional about it and be ready when your name is called.”
- Marian Hossa did not practice on Friday but Quenneville said it was just a day off for the Blackhawks right wing. Hossa is expected to play tomorrow night against the Maple Leafs, and Quenneville said he’ll probably be on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad.
- Corey Crawford will start tomorrow night against Toronto.