It’s hard enough for a young guy to be patient in the minors while waiting for his first call-up. It’s an entirely different challenge for a 27-year-old with 119 NHL games under his belt.
‘‘I always try to be patient and not think too much about what could happen and all that stuff,’’ forward Andreas Martinsen said Tuesday after being called up to the Blackhawks from Rockford of the American Hockey League. ‘‘Just play my game. I know if I do my thing well and I’m patient, I’m probably going to get a chance at one point. Now I’ve just got to take advantage, go out there and prove myself.’’
It won’t be easy. Martinsen was an emergency recall because of the injury Matthew Highmore suffered when he slid hard into the boards Sunday against the Blues. So Martinsen’s opportunity might be brief. But he was slotted into a top-six role on the left wing with Nick Schmaltz and Vinnie Hinostroza against the Avalanche.
It was a neat bit of serendipity that his return to the NHL came against the Avs, with whom he played 110 games in the last two seasons before being dealt to the Canadiens, then to the Hawks in the Kyle Baun trade in October.
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‘‘It’s going to be fun to play against those guys,’’ Martinsen said. ‘‘They’re having a good year.’’
The 6-3, 229-pound Martinsen was Rockford’s fourth-leading scorer with 12 goals and 14 assists in 61 games. He’s the sixth IceHogs forward to be called up this season, following Hinostroza, David Kampf, Tomas Jurco, Highmore and John Hayden (who started the season with the Hawks).
He also became the first Norwegian-born player in Hawks history.
‘‘He’s been playing well down there, so we get to see how he could play up here,’’ coach Joel Quenneville said.
Alex DeBrincat became only the second rookie in the last 25 years (joining Jets sniper Patrik Laine) to notch three hat tricks in a season with his three goals Sunday against the Blues. He entered the game against the Avalanche with 25 goals, four behind injured Canucks forward Brock Boeser for the league lead among rookies.
The hat trick against the Blues snapped a 13-game goal drought for DeBrincat, who never went more than four games without a goal in three years of junior hockey.
‘‘I got a few lucky breaks [Sunday],’’ he said. ‘‘That’s the way it is. Sometimes they’ll go in, and sometimes they won’t.’’
DeBrincat said he didn’t have a goal number in mind when the season began.
‘‘I was just going into the season trying to make the team, and it’s gone better than expected,’’ he said.
Quenneville said Highmore is day-to-day, but he said Anthony Duclair, who suffered a leg injury March 10 against the Bruins, is ‘‘not close to skating yet.’’
Corey Crawford continued to do off-ice workouts at the United Center. With less than three weeks left in the season, it seems highly unlikely that Crawford — who has been out with a head injury since Christmas — will play again this season, but Quenneville still wouldn’t rule him out.
‘‘He’s been doing some work in the gym and pushing himself,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘He’s seeing how close he can be to getting back there.’’
Follow me on Twitter @MarkLazerus.