Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010
Updated 1:11 PM
By Tracy MyersCSNChicago.com
The Chicago Blackhawks had to adjust earlier this season when Marian Hossa was sidelined with an upper-body injury. Now theyre going to have to do it again.
Hossa is likely out 2-3 weeks after suffering a lower-body injury at practice on Monday, coach Joel Quenneville said Tuesday as the Blackhawks prepared for the St. Louis Blues.
The Blackhawks right wing collided with defenseman NickBoynton at practice on Monday. Hossa had to be helped off the ice and put little to no weight on his right leg.
Quenneville said this injury was independent of previous lower-body injuries. Hossa suffered a right MCL sprain during the Stanley Cup playoff run last year but he did not miss any games.
Hossa missed five games in late Octoberearly November with an upper-body injury. He had four points in his last four games, including three assists in the Blackhawks 7-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 20.
Even when the offense isnt there with Hossa, the threat of it always is. He obviously draws interest from the opposition, freeing up other Blackhawks. Quenneville said Hossa was getting closer to form in recent games.
I thought since he came back from the (upper body) injury he was progressing; he played a real strong game against LA, played a lot of minutes, he said. Hes useful in so many areas. Obviously theres a void there but at the same time youre always going to be missing players. Its something youve got to adapt to.
Patrick Kane said, I felt worse for him the first time around because he had such a great start. You never want to see that happen to a player, especially in practice. Thats just really bad luck. Hopefully hes back sooner rather than later. I dont know. (The lineup) feels more complete when hes there, but more are going to have to step up.
Hossa has 19 points (12 goals, seven assists) in 24 career games against the Blues. He was pivotal against the Blues at the United Center on Oct. 18, scoring twice en route to the Blackhawks 3-2 overtime victory.
The Blues wont be changing their plans despite Hossas absence.
"Its still a dangerous hockey club, Blues coach Davis Payne said. Hes a very dynamic player, a big body with big skill. Hes a world-class player but theyve still got a lot of firepower.
The Blackhawks called up Jeremy Morin on Tuesday to replace Hossa. Morin, who looked strong coming out of the Blackhawks training camp, was on the right wing with Troy Brouwer and Patrick Sharp at Tuesday mornings skate.
This is Morins second stint with the Blackhawks this season. He played two games in early November, logging more than nine minutes of ice time in each. Morin said that early trip proved beneficial.
To get those first two games and get my feet wet was beneficial for me and think Ill be better the second time, said Morin, whose time in Rockford has helped him adjust to the pro game.
Just playing it night in, night out definitely helps, he said. With the speed of the game, you have to be consistent to be an effective player in the NHL. Ive tried to incorporate that into my game and I think Ive done a pretty good job of that.
Quenneville said Morin, can handle the puck, he makes plays and goes to the net strong. He had a couple opportunities early and Im sure hes going to get stronger as he learns the game a little bit more. Theres upside there.
Fernando Pisani (upper body) is out of tonights game. Quenneville said hes day to day.
Corey Crawford will get his third consecutive start tonight.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.