Marian Hossa says he didn’t suffer a concussion, but has passed all the protocol that comes with the injury, nonetheless.
Now it’s just time to play again.
Hossa will be back in tonight, three days after taking another hit to the head, as the Chicago Blackhawks look to make history against the San Jose Sharks at the United Center. It will be a healthy lineup once again for the Blackhawks. Daniel Carcillo (knee) returns for his first game since the Jan. 19 opener and defenseman Brent Seabrook (lower body) returns after missing Tuesday night’s game. Corey Crawford will serve as backup goaltender to starter Ray Emery.
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For Hossa, other than feeling “shaky” for a few minutes after the hit, he insists he feels fine. Still, it’s the second time he’s taken a hit to the head in about 10 months, albeit the one he took from Raffi Torres was much more devastating.
If there was any doubt in his health, Hossa said, we wouldn’t have seen him practicing yesterday and on the ice this morning.
“(The Hawks) asked me if I’m sure. My instincts tell me yes,” said Hossa, who, of course, passed all the necessary tests, too, to get to this point. “I know myself and I’ve been through this before. I feel good. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be playing.”
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Coach Joel Quenneville said that how Hossa felt about returning so quickly was obviously a question.
“He has to make sure he’s comfortable and we’re comfortable with him,” he said. “You look at history, hurdles, the tests you have to pass. He’s ready to go and he’s clear.”
Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen was given a one-game suspension for hitting Hossa; he sat out the team’s 4-3 victory in Dallas on Thursday night. The Canucks were not happy with the ruling. Hansen said he was just going for the puck and coach Alain Vigneault questioned the need for the hearing Hansen had for it.
“He’s protecting his players, that’s how it is,” Hossa said. “Obviously their coach wouldn’t like it if it happened to their player. He would’ve reacted differently. But that’s how it is. The NHLPA and NHL have tried to make big statements for (getting away from head shots). Hopefully he’ll learn from it. That’s all I have to say about it.”