Hawks' Hossa out 2-3 weeks with leg injury

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Hawks' Hossa out 2-3 weeks with leg injury

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.

Morin recalled

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.

Briefly

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.

Dennis Rasmussen looks to build off experience

Dennis Rasmussen looks to build off experience

The Blackhawks’ offseason moves have once again left holes, especially among the forward lines. Considering the experience Dennis Rasmussen gained last season, he could certainly grab the third- or fourth-line center spot.

But Rasmussen isn’t going to pencil in anything yet.

“I don’t really think that way. I always think I have to play as good as possible to earn a spot, and that’s what I think this year, too,” said Rasmussen on Day 3 of Blackhawks training camp. “But it’s really up to me. I have to play well to earn my spot here. That’s what I’m trying to focus on.”

After trading Andrew Shaw, Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell this offseason, the Blackhawks will be looking for several players to step up and fill voids. Center is one of those spots, and Rasmussen played 44 games there with the Blackhawks last season. Rasmussen spent the long offseason prepping for this campaign, focusing on one thing in particular.

“I always try to work on getting faster, that’s the part of my game I can really improve,” he said. “I can improve everything. But especially getting quicker, that’s what I’m trying to focus.”

Anything else Rasmussen has to do to take that next step?

“I think he’s got to be a little more proactive than reactive out on the ice,” Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Kitchen said. “Kind of be a little bolder in different areas whether it’s in the offensive zone if you’re down between the hash marks, hey, try and take a guy on 1-on-1. But if you’re a neutral zone, you got to be a little more responsible. If you got to pick up the wide winger and come back and play good defensive hockey, that’s what you’ve got to do.”

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Rasmussen showed that when he made his NHL debut last season. The Blackhawks recalled him in early December, when they were looking to bolster their bottom six; any offense added was a bonus. He scored three of his four goals in his first seven games – his first came in his NHL debut vs. Nashville.

“He can make more things happen out there,” Kitchen said. “I think he understands that too because he wants to do whatever it takes to make the team.”

Rasmussen wants to be part of this group. He gained some great experience last year, and he hopes it serves him well in trying to get that roster spot this season.

“It was great for me. I got to play a lot, think I played in some important situations sometimes and I was really happy with last year. It gave me a lot of confidence, a lot of experience too,” Rasmussen said. “So hopefully I can bring that into this year.”

Alexandre Fortin signs three-year deal with Blackhawks

Alexandre Fortin signs three-year deal with Blackhawks

After earning a couple of invites from the Blackhawks this offseason, Alexandre Fortin earned a contract on Sunday.

Fortin agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Blackhawks, who had invited him to prospect and training camp. The 19-year-old, who was passed over in two NHL drafts, was hoping to latch onto the Blackhawks’ organization.

“You know, it’s a nice day for me. I’ve been working on that since I was young, so now it’s just Step 1 and I’m very excited for the future,” Fortin said following Sunday’s training camp sessions. “I have to thank the Chicago Blackhawks. It’s the first team that really believed in me. It’s awesome.”

Indeed, Fortin was just looking for a chance and he could get it here eventually.

“I think it’s a real plus,” Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Kitchen said. “I think he earned a contract. Right from the start, he stepped up and played. He’s been very consistent in every scrimmage. He’s been a threat to score out on the ice. I think he’s done a terrific job. He’s got to be very, very happy about the whole situation. It’s great for the organization: get a free agent who comes in and earns a three-year entry-level contract.”

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The most likely scenario is he’ll head back to his Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, after logging some training camp time with the Blackhawks. He could get into a preseason game, too. But the future definitely looks bright for Fortin.

“It’s, for sure, just Step 1. My real goal is to play pro,” Fortin said. “So I’ll keep learning, keep doing what coaches want, I’ll watch (the players) who I have to be like and keep working on that every day until my real dream comes true.”

Keith doing fine

Duncan Keith participated in one of the Blackhawks’ two practices again on Sunday, and Kitchen said Keith did just fine.

“The first day, Duncs, he got through the practice no problem. He didn’t have any issues. Talked to him the next day, the festival game day, and he said he was fine. Today was a little tougher day for defensemen, so we were asking a lot of them. There was a lot of 1-on-1, 2-on-1s, 2-on-2s. Duncs said after practice the forwards had it off and the D had the work day today. But he responded well afterwards,” Kitchen said. “He even asked if he could come out for the other practice, but we said no.”