Marian Hossa rejoined his Blackhawks teammates for the morning skate Friday. With Hossa not yet ready to play after suffering an upper-body injury March 1 at Soldier Field, and with Brandon Bollig taking the skate off, Hossa worked as the fourth-line left wing — sort of a Bizarro World Hossa, the Hawks’ perpetual top-line right winger.
Even out of position, even after two weeks away, he still looked sharp as ever.
“He’s a guy that takes some time off, and you expect him to be rusty, and for whatever reason, he always comes back and looks like the best player on the ice,” Patrick Kane said. “Once again, he did that this morning. That’s just something we’ve come to get used to with him.”
Hossa didn’t play Friday against the Predators — Kris Versteeg joined Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews on the top line, with Andrew Shaw moving back to third-line center — but he hopes to be back Sunday against the Red Wings or Tuesday at Philadelphia.
He said the injury was unrelated to the back problems he had last spring and over the summer, and that he felt better Friday on the ice than he did skating on his own on Thursday.
Hossa missed his fifth consecutive game Friday.
“You’re never happy when something like that happens, but obviously that’s part of our sport, our business,” Hossa said. “You just have to make sure you rehab as quick as possible, and you want to be back right away.”