The Chicago Blackhawks will be without veteran center Michal Handzus in Saturday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild, and it could be a little longer as well.
Oct 17, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus (26) and goalieCorey Crawford
(50) play the puck against the St. Louis Blues during the third period at the United Center. The St. Louis Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in the shootout. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Handzus played on Thursday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Lighting, and he suffered an apparent upper-body injury sometime in the duration.
Blackhawks’ Head Coach Joel Quenneville said that Handzus “could be out for a little bit.” The 36-year old has played 9 of Chicago’s 10 games so far this season, recording a goal and two assists, with an even +/- rating.
In his place on the second line tonight will be usual fourth-line pivot Marcus Kruger, with 22-year old Brandon Pirri filling in Kruger’s position. Forwards Brad Mills and Jeremy Morin are also in the lineup tonight, the first appearance of the season for both of them. Young gun Ben Smith will also be a scratch this evening to bring the forwards down to 12.
The news comes days after speculation of Handzus’ skill diminishing compared to last season, with Blackhawks’ color commentator Eddie Olzyck calling him “a step slow”.
You can see tonight’s game on WGN. The puck drops at 7PM Central Time.
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