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.

Jonathan Toews practices but won’t play vs. Flyers

Jonathan Toews practices but won’t play vs. Flyers

Jonathan Toews sounded somewhat frustrated but cognizant of the situation.

If it were the postseason there’s no doubt he would be playing right now. That’s not a surprise to hear, considering what hockey players put themselves through when the playoffs start. But this is early December. There are too many games remaining. And with it coming down to making sure he’s healthy for the long haul, it’s an easy call.

Toews practiced on Friday for the first time since being hurt, but he won’t travel to Philadelphia when the Blackhawks face the Flyers on Saturday afternoon. It will be the fifth consecutive game Toews has missed since he was hurt against the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 23. Still, him skating on his own and then practicing with teammates for a few minutes is a good sign that Toews is closing in on a return.

“Just come back and check in again [Saturday], see how it is and hopefully, I guess as they say, re-evaluate for Sunday,” Toews said on Friday. “It’s never fun to miss any time, especially when the team is playing as many games as they are. So nice to get back out there and move around and get going a little bit.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Toews was placed on injured reserve on Friday, retroactive to Nov. 24, the day after he was injured.  Coach Joel Quenneville said he’ll see how Toews feels on Saturday and, “we’ll get a better idea going forward. But he’s not on the trip.”

“You gotta be fully recovered and want to make sure guys are 100 percent before they can play,” Quenneville said. “Jonny plays at a certain pace and it’s all out, so let’s make sure he’s more than ready when he’s coming back.”

Several have reported that Toews has a back injury, and the captain was doing several back stretches during Friday’s session. Toews left in the second period of the Blackhawks’ 2-1 loss to the Sharks, moments after he went down awkwardly. But Toews said he wasn’t hurt on that play. 

“I think it was just something that started to aggravate in the first period. I tried playing in the second and that instance right there, just went down like a ton of bricks,” Toews said. “I was trying not to aggravate the injury more than I already had. That wasn’t where I got hurt; [it was] probably the instance people were looking for to see what the explanation was.”

If this were April and the playoffs were about to begin, Toews probably wouldn’t be as patient with his injury. But it isn’t, and he will be. It’s not worth making worse. The Blackhawks have managed to get points in his absence, going 3-0-1 so far.

“It’s the type of thing most guys would be able to suck up and play if it were a playoff game and putting everything on the line. But at this point, with the amount of games left in the season, it’s not something you want to continuously deal with,” he said. “If you aggravate it, it’ll keep coming back to haunt you. It’s tough to hold back and do less than you know you can, but in the long run, trying to make sure I get back to 100 percent.”

BRIEFLY

- Trevor van Riemsdyk was activated off the injured-reserve list and is expected to play against the Flyers.

- Marian Hossa took practice off. He is expected to play.

-  Corey Crawford will start vs. Philadelphia.

Blackhawks Road Ahead: Feasting on the East

Blackhawks Road Ahead: Feasting on the East

Pat Boyle, Steve Konroyd and Jamal Mayers have the latest on Joel Quenneville's group in this edition of the Blackhawks Road Ahead, sponsored by Chicagoland NW Indiana Honda dealers.

The Blackhawks are once again taking care of business, going 3-0-1 with their captain Jonathan Toews on the sideline. They're also 6-2-2 against the East this year, and they'll get another chance to add to that record when they take on the Flyers this week.

Here's what our Blackhawks Postgame Live crew had to say about the team's upcoming matchups in this week's Honda Road Aehad.