Blackhawks discuss 6-game road trip
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Michal Rozsival returned to morning skate but will not play tonight, and Corey Crawford will start when the Chicago Blackhawks play the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.
The Blackhawks (6-0-0) begin their six-game road trip with the Wild, who are coming off a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. Josh Harding will start for Minnesota. Marian Hossa said Tuesday that this trip will give the Blackhawks a good idea of where they really are. Others concurred.
“We got off to a fast start with the (first) six games, with not a whole lot of time in Chicago, and that speaks to our individual player conditioning and preparation. But now coaches are getting ahold of teams, you’re going to see more systems, more offensive play,” Patrick Sharp said. “These next games will be more like regular-season NHL games.”
Coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks will get a good assessment over these next 12 days or so.
“It’ll be a good challenge, a good test for us,” he said. “We like the consistency of our game right now, but let’s try to keep pushing ourselves to not just be happy with where we’re at. Let’s look for new standards to establish.”
Meanwhile, Rozsival was pushed on the ice long after his teammates were finished on Wednesday morning. It was Rozsival’s first practice/morning skate since he suffering his lower-body injury against the Dallas Stars last week.
“Everything is fine,” Rozsival said. “I’m glad to be back on the ice and looking forward to getting some games going. I’m just trying to get my conditioning back up and hopefully I’ll be back on the ice in a game soon.”
Daniel Carcillo is still out a few weeks with a right knee injury, but Quenneville said Carcillo has amped up his workouts back home.
“He’s progressing and he seems happy with where he’s at,” Quenneville said. “He’s working out, and those have gotten a little more intense now than they were the first couple of days.”
Unfortunately, defenseman Steve Montador is not showing the same progress. Quenneville said there’s “no change” in status for Montador, who has struggled with concussion recovery.