Hossa recovered from vertigo, ready for Columbus

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Hossa recovered from vertigo, ready for Columbus

Monday, Jan. 31, 2011
Posted 3:49 p.m. Updated 7:56 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

VacationAll-Star break time is over. The Chicago Blackhawks have to get back to work.

And considering how few games remain and how tight the standings are, they have to hit the ground running.

The Blackhawks will be tested often in this stretch run, and they embark on a six-game road trip beginning with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. With so many teams fighting for a playoff spot, theres little room for error.

And theres no time to waste.

WATCH: Blackhawks know time is now

"The rest of (this schedule) is such a big part of our season. We have to make up some ground here, defenseman Brent Seabrook said. Its going to be a huge battle for us but we have to be ready for every game. Weve got to have that killer instinct, and weve got to play that way every game.

The Blackhawks certainly cant say theyre tired or unhealthy any more. Theyve played just three games in the last 15 days, so theyre rested. Now they have to bring the energy level up, and fast.

Weve got to be ready, and it starts (Tuesday), defenseman Brian Campbell said. Everythings magnified and the games are harder now. There are so many teams battling and were going to be one of them, obviously.

Entering February, the Blackhawks are seventh in the Western Conference. Just four points separate them from the fourth-place Predators. Theyre playing above .500 on the road, and theyll get plenty of chances to improve upon that mark with nine of their next 13 away from home.

The restful January is over. The Blackhawks have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time, and most of their opponents are in the same boat.

Every games going to be almost like a playoff game, right wing Marian Hossa said. We need to get up in the standings beginning (Tuesday). Every games going to be important to us.
Hossa better

Marian Hossa said he suffered from vertigo last Tuesday, when he missed the Blackhawks game against the Minnesota Wild. The right wing practiced on Monday and was feeling better.

Basically it just hit me the night before. Everything starts spinning around you, said Hossa, who added it was the first time he experienced it. Its not comfortable. But Im back to normal.

Turco in

Marty Turco will be in net on Tuesday against Columbus. It will be his first start since Jan. 16, when he stopped 20 shots in the Blackhawks 6-3 victory over Nashville.

Corey Crawford started the Blackhawks previous three games heading into the All-Star break, winning in Detroit but suffering losses to Philadelphia and Minnesota.

We want to play (Marty), coach Joel Quenneville said. We need both guys and its a chance for him to play.

Briefly

Brian Campbell got engaged this weekend, popping the question to his girlfriend during their vacation in Colorado. The defenseman was mum on how he proposed. Ill keep that between myself, her and the families, he said.

WATCH: Campbell explains engagement

Ryan Johnson missed practice on Monday with a lower-body injury. Coach Joel Quenneville said Johnson is day-to-day and the injury isnt serious.

Defenseman Nick Leddy was recalled from Rockford on Monday.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd discuss the latest slump and how much does Artem Anisimov's injury play a role in their struggles?

Konroyd tells us he was surprised by Ryan Hartman's benching in Tampa.

The guys play the game, playoff minutes or press box minutes?  They run through the players who are on the bubble when it comes to postseason play.

They also discuss the Hawks chances of overtaking Washington for the President's trophy.

Plus, Konroyd breaks down possible first round opponents: St Louis, Calgary and Nashville.

Tanner Kero latest to try and fill Artem Anisimov's skates

Tanner Kero latest to try and fill Artem Anisimov's skates

PITTSBURGH – Tanner Kero's been thrown into a lot of different situations in his time with the Blackhawks, be it third- or fourth-line center or penalty kill.

But with Artem Anisimov out, the second-line center spot has become new top-line, left-wing spot: The Blackhawks will keep trying guys out until they find one that works. Kero's the latest to get that opportunity, and since it worked well on Monday, he'll be there again on Wednesday.

Kero will center Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane again when the Blackhawks host the Pittsburgh Penguins. The line had a good start to Monday's game against the Lightning in Tampa, scoring the team's first two goals — Kero assisted on Panarin's opener.

Coach Joel Quenneville liked Kero's first go-around there.

"Defensively he's in a good spot — he's usually in a reliable spot in his own end — he made a couple of nice plays offensively and didn't change his game too much," Quenneville said. "It's not easy playing with guys at that next level. It's certainly a great challenge and a great opportunity, so I thought he did a great job, took advantage of it. We'll see how he does going forward but we'll keep him in there for [Wednesday's] game and that gives us some more options."

[VIVID SEATS: Buy Blackhawks tickets]

Learning on the fly can be part of a rookie season, especially when injuries arise. Jonathan Toews said Kero's handled everything well this season.

"Come to think of it, it's one of those little things that maybe goes over my head but he's definitely one of those versatile players who's as consistent as ever," Toews said. "He has, for his age, an incredible level of maturity and he carries that with him wherever he goes. You're seeing offensive improvement, too. He was making some good plays with Bread Man and Kaner. He's showing he can do it all and I think his work ethic and attitude's a source of that success."

Earlier this season Kero was with guys like Ryan Hartman and Vinnie Hinostroza. They were all familiar with each other from their Rockford days, and that showed. Playing with two guys you don't know so well? It's a bit of a challenge, and one the three talk out. But ultimately, Kero said you have to rely on your instincts. 

"You go over things before the game and on the bench, get a feel for what you might want to do. But then you just have to play hockey," Kero said. "You have to trust your game, make plays. You know they're going to make plays with the puck so you try to use your speed and get open and try to go to the net, create space for them and a little traffic in front and try to capitalize on opportunities."

Anisimov will be out another 1-2 weeks. Asked if Anisimov has started skating back in Chicago yet, Quenneville said, "I don't think so but I'm not positive. But he's progressing." Filling Anisimov's skates isn't easy, as evidenced by the Blackhawks' search for his temporary replacement. Kero is the third guy to get that shot, and he took advantage of his first showing.

"Obviously it's a great opportunity to play with two great players," Kero said. "You just try to do everything you can and do the little things right."

Briefly

- Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith didn't practice on Tuesday but both are expected to play against the Penguins.

- Corey Crawford gets the start against Pittsburgh.

- Hartman, scratched after a rough game against the Florida Panthers, is probably back in against the Penguins.