Jeremy Morin had a pretty breezy ride from Rockford to Chicago on Saturday morning, less than 12 hours after getting called up to the Blackhawks.
“No traffic,” he said, “so it was nice.”
So is getting another chance with the Blackhawks.
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Morin makes his third trip to Chicago, and should be in the lineup when the Blackhawks play the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon. The Blackhawks moved Marian Hossa to injured reserve on Friday night – retroactive to March 19 – to make rook for Morin. Neither Hossa nor Sharp will make the trip to Detroit for Sunday’s game. Viktor Stalberg, who took a puck to the side of his head on Friday night, will travel and is “likely” to play according to coach Joel Quenneville.
For Hossa, the wait is aggravating. But if it saves re-aggravating an injury, so be it.
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“You just have to be (patient). You’d rather play early, but obviously it can catch you early again,” Hossa said. “I’d rather have these extra few games and make sure I feel good out there and it doesn’t get hurt in another 2-3 weeks.”
For Morin, who has 12 previous career games with the Blackhawks, it’s another chance to show what he can do.
“Obviously you get an opportunity to come up here you play your game and prove you can play here,” he said. “I have another opportunity to do that, and I’m excited about it.”
Morin’s scored a career-high 49 points in 59 games for the IceHogs this season. He has 15 multi-point games this season, including a season-high three-point outing against Oklahoma City on March 9. Quenneville said Morin has earned the chance.
“I just think he’s been playing very well own there and he deserves a chance for us to get a look at him,” he said. “He’s been here before, so it’s a good opportunity to see how he fits in and what he can contribute to our team. It’s a good test for him, as well.”
Now, where will Morin fit in? With Stalberg missing practice today, Morin took his spot on the third line with Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw. But if Stalberg plays, there could be some alterations.
Morin hasn’t been here in some time, but with all his fellow Rockford players here, he felt at ease quickly.
“It’s something different. I’ve never been up here with all these guys, so a lot of faces you’re familiar with,” he said. “It definitely makes it more comfortable.”
Shaw played with Morin throughout the lockout, although not on the same line. But wherever Morin fits in, Shaw said he could have an impact.
“He’s a skilled guy who’s working hard. He’s getting back to his game, shooting the puck, getting those goals,” Shaw said of Morin. “It shows hard work pays off and it’s good inspiration for the guys down there to keep working as well.”