Friday, Dec. 17, 2010
By Tracey Myers
Ryan Johnson has faced these Chicago Blackhawks when he was with the Vancouver Canucks.
We were given two stabs to try and beat them, he said Friday morning. It hasnt worked out so I figured Id come over to the other side and give it a go.
Johnson signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks and will be in the lineup tonight when they face the Detroit Red Wings here at the United Center. Johnson was signed to a professional tryout contract with the Rockford IceHogs recently and has played in 667 career NHL games. He has 37 goals and 79 assists in his 12-year NHL career.
For Johnson, who broke each foot last season while blocking shots, this is another opportunity.
The last two years with my feet has been an arduous process, he said. If your feet are bothering you, youre in trouble. I had 90 minute practices every day and I continue to train as hard as I ever had. I felt good the other night, so Im ready to go.
Johnson can play center and left wing; coach Joel Quenneville wasnt sure where hed end up in the lineup tonight.
Hes got experience and speed, he can take faceoffs, block shots and kill penalties, Quenneville said. Hes got flexibility, being able to play both positions.
Fernando Pisani will play again tonight. Viktor Stalberg is still out after being hit face-first into the boards against Colorado on Wednesday.
Kane, Hossa updates
Patrick Kane (ankle) and Marian Hossa (lower body) both skated this morning. Kane came off for a few moments at one point, but finished practice
Part of the injury I have is that youre going to feel pain, whether in practice or a game, he said. For me, its something Im going to have to deal with a little bit. Hopefully it stops sooner rather than later.
Kane said he was hopeful to play on Sunday but knows he may have to be patient with his injury.
Its something you dont want to set a time for because you dont know. Hopefully it progresses the next couple of days, he said. Its definitely tough. When youre out for a little bit you realize how much you love the game and how much you want to be out there.
Hossa said he felt much better this morning than he did the past two days, when he did not skate. Still, he was hesitant to say he could return on Sunday.
It all depends how it is after the skate tomorrow morning. If its good Ill skate Sunday morning and well see, he said. I didnt feel good Wednesday and Thursday. I was making it stronger with different exercises. I feel better and its progress.
Jassen Cullimore was placed on waivers on Friday morning. He will play tonight against the Red Wings.
Corey Crawford will be in goal tonight.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.