Daniel Carcillo was back in the locker room not long after morning skate ended today, a pretty sure sign that he was back in the lineup tonight against the San Jose Sharks.
For Carcillo, it’s been another long haul to that early locker-room arrival. But for the chance to get back into the lineup, and the chance to stay healthy this time, it’s worth it.
Carcillo will play tonight against the San Jose Sharks, his first game since suffering a right-knee injury against the Los Angeles Kings in the Blackhawks’ season opener on Jan. 19. It’s been a game of patience for Carcillo, dating back to January of 2012 when a left-knee injury, sustained on a hit that also led to his suspension, ended his 2011-12 season. He then missed a month with this knee injury, then waited for the right time to be inserted into the lineup.
It’s tonight, and he’ll start on the fourth line with Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik.
“The last two years have been a tough road, for sure,” said Carcillo, who missed the rest of the 2011-12 season to a left-knee injury in early January, 2012. “Dealing with the (previous) injury certainly helped with the early onset of this injury. It’s a shock to your pride because you want to be healthy, want to be out there with the guys. They’ve been playing so well. It’s a privilege to come here and be ready for this game.”
[MORE: Hossa to play Friday vs. Sharks]
Entering this season, Carcillo talked of how his previous injury, coupled with the lockout, made him become more patient. He didn’t have any other choice but to work through it, learn from it. He said he’s still applying that thought process.
“When you miss as much time as I have the last two years, you realize how much you love this game and love being around the guys. It puts everything into perspective,” Carcillo said. “We have a short (hockey) life span. I’m definitely taking it day by day and living in the moment, for sure. It’s exciting this injury wasn’t worse, and I’m just happy to get back.”
Quenneville said Carcillo will start on that fourth line and they’ll see how it goes from there – Brandon Saad took over the top-line spot with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, and has been playing well there. Quenneville said he’s not worried about Carcillo’s mindset, any fear about another injury, entering the game.
“I think that he answered that with how he prepared himself to start the season,” Quenneville said. “He’s certainly chomping at the bit. We know he’s wanted to play the last couple of games. The way he plays, we want to make sure he has that thought on how he approaches games, shifts. He has to play one way, that’s his style and we expect him to do that. We don’t see him having any apprehensions.”
[MORE FROM BAY AREA: Blackhawks-Sharks at a glance]
Carcillo’s back. He hopes he can actually stay back.
“I’m just looking to come back and contribute any way I can,” he said. “I’ll be physical and hopefully provide some energy tonight.”
Defenseman Steve Montador, who has struggled through concussion issues, skated with the Blackhawks this morning. Montador was not made available for comment following the skate.
Montador hasn’t played at all this season; he didn’t pass his physical out of training camp and isn’t currently part of the active roster.
“It was his first time at practice today. He said he felt OK,” Quenneville said. “It’s good to see him back.”