Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa will miss “hopefully [just] two weeks,” with a lower body injury that landed him on injured reserve, coach Joel Quenneville said Monday.
Newcomer Richard Panik, acquired from the Maple Leafs in January for Jeremy Morin, will get the first shot at Hossa’s spot on the Hawks’ top line with Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw. But Teuvo Teravainen also could play on that line against the Maple Leafs on Monday night at the United Center. Hossa suffered the injury when he was hip-checked by the Ducks’ 3-2 overtime victory over the Hawks on Saturday night at the United Center.
“We have a couple of guys who have had the chance to play with Jonny or with Kaner [Patrick Kane] with the “Bread Man” [Artemi Panarin] being out,” Quenneville said, “so it’s a great opportunity for ice time with some guys. Just looking for someone to grab it.”
Panik has been playing mostly on the bottom two lines with the Hawks —the third line with Phillip Danault and Teuvo Teravainen and the fourth line with Brandon Mashinter and Dennis Rasmussen. He has scored three goals with one assist in 14 games, averaging 10:11 of ice time. He had three shots on goal in losses to the Sharks and Stars last week.Two of his three goals have come in the first three minutes of the game — against the Canadiens on Jan. 17; and the Avalanche on Feb. 2.
“He can score,” Quenneville said. “He’s had some stretches in games where it looks like he can play up there. He hasn’t had much of a chance up there— played a shift or two the last game [and] did all right. Hopefully he can stay there.”
If he doesn’t, Teravainen figures to get the next shot. The heralded Teravainen, still only 21, has yet to break out since being called up last season and playing a key role in the Hawks’ Stanley Cup championship run. He has nine goals and 13 assists in 55 games this season. Quenneville accentuated Teravainen’s versatility, which is his best current asset. But Teravainen, a natural center, has not found his most productive comfort zone on the Hawks.
“[That] he can be be inserted in any part of the lineup is good for our team,” Quenneville said. “There are some chances when he gets up there [with the top two lines], whether it’s with Tazer or Kaner’s line, the ice time gets increased and the opportunity gets enhanced.
“He’s had a few instances where we’re looking for him to grab [the opportunity] and look like you can play there and stay there. When Jonny was out [with a suspension] in Denver, I thought he played a real good game at center.”
Less than six weeks ago, Panik was playing for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. Tonight he will be on the top line of the defending Cup champions.
“I don’t feel any pressure [replacing Hossa],” Panik said. “It’s hockey, a game I’ve played since I was a kid. It’s bigger opportunity. I will get more ice time and hopefully we’ll make some plays, [create] some scoring chances and score goals.”
Forward Vinnie Hinostroza was recalled from Rockford to replace Hossa on the roster. It’s Hinostroza’s second stint with the Hawks. He had no points and four shots on goal in limited ice time in four games in October. Hinostroza has 10 goals and 27 points and is a plus-5 in 41 games with the Ice Hogs this season — after failing to score a goal in his first 20 games, he had six goals and five assists in his last 20 games. Hinostroza skated with the fourth line at the morning skate on Monday.
“We liked his speed, right off the bat [to] start the season. He gave our team energy,” Quenneville said of the Bartlett native. “That’s what we’re looking for him to bring. He’s playing well. Had a tough stretch there [at Rockford] and now he’s been scoring. He’s dangerous off the rush. You definitely notice the energy he brings.”
Scott Darling will start in goal for the Hawks.