The Chicago Blackhawks have announced that Marian Hossa has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game with the Dallas Stars.
This will be the second straight game Hossa has missed due to an upper-body injury, following his surprise scratch from Sunday’s game against San Jose. According to the Blackhawks, Hossa had missed several morning skates this past week, but still played in the games. Coach Joel Quenneville said that Hossa’s absences were not due to injury.
Hossa was replaced by Andrew Shaw on top line in Sunday’s game against the Sharks. Shaw recorded his sixth goal this season. Hossa had appeared in 31 of 35 games this season, recording five goals and 11 assists. Hossa had played 16:50 in the early afternoon game with the Buffalo Sabres. He also had two shifts in the overtime period.
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The Hossa injury comes at a bad time, as the winger had finally started to heat up this season after a slow start. He has four assists in his last five games. Hossa recorded three assists in the Blackhawks’ 4-0 victory against the Edmonton Oilers.
Based on the information provided by the Blackhawks, we can speculate that Hossa is dealing with a nagging injury and the team is resting him. By ruling Hossa out for tonight’s game and Tuesday’s game, he will get to rest until Sunday, December 27. He will be getting a full seven days’ rest before potentially playing again. For a 36-year-old winger whose birthday is coming up next month, seven days’ rest must feel like heaven during the regular season, especially with all of the playoff wear and tear playing for the Blackhawks adds.
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With the Blackhawks already dealing with injuries to Duncan Keith (who has since recovered) and Marcus Kruger, the Blackhawks could be using the cover of an upper-body injury to rest Hossa. Hossa and the Blackhawks have played an extremely high number of games of late. Since 2009, Hossa has appeared in 428 regular-season games and 96 playoff games. Hossa has also missed time due injuries in 2009, 2010 and 2013, and now this season. Last season was the first year in Hossa’s tenure with the Blackhawks that he appeared in all 82 regular-season games. It was also the first time since 2006-07 with Atlanta that Hossa appeared in all 82 games.
Based on his production tonight, people should be able to infer that Shaw will continue to play in Hossa’s spot on the top line until the latter returns.