Niklas Hjalmarsson said he knew pretty quickly in his last game that something wasnt right.
The Blackhawks defenseman was playing in his first game back from a suspected concussion last Thursday against the Dallas Stars. And not long into that game, he just didnt feel right.
I felt it pretty fast, said Hjalmarsson, who skated again Wednesday but is not quite ready to return. Its tough to know when youre out for a while, too. I thought to myself, It might have been because I was gone for so long, that I feel a little off balance. Yeah, I just didnt feel 100 percent.
Hjalmarsson will wait until he is 100 percent again coach Joel Quenneville said hell have a better idea Thursday if Hjalmarsson could play this weekend. Its been a tough wait for the defenseman, who wants to be playing with the Blackhawks struggling to stay in the Wests top eight.
Theres not really (a timetable); Im still waiting to feel good and just try to get conditioning up, he said. Obviously I want to get out there. Its been very frustrating for me the last couple of weeks. Its the end of the season and its tight in the standings and I just want to help the team. Right now Im not 100 percent.
Hjalmarsson will probably be watching tonight as fellow Swedish defenseman Johnny Oduya makes his Blackhawks debut.
I obviously havent played on a team with this many Swedes before. Its fun for me, he said. (Oduya) is a good defenseman and right now we need one, so hell be of good use on our team. Ill tell him whos fun to hang around and whos not, like (Viktor Stalberg) and (Marcus) Kruger.