CALGARY, Alberta — The Blackhawks will be short another key player as they open the circus trip tonight in Calgary, as Andrew Shaw is out with an upper-body injury. The Hawks already were without regulars Patrick Sharp and Trevor van Riemsdyk.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville wouldn’t specify what Shaw’s injury is. Shaw was in a spirited fight with Dallas’ Antoine Roussel on Sunday, but appeared to be fine at Wednesday’s practice in Chicago. He did travel to Calgary with the team.
“Could be short term,” Quenneville said. “It’s not serious. but it’s tough say exactly when [he’ll be back].”
With Shaw out, Jeremy Morin draws back into the lineup. He skated alongside Bryan Bickell and Ben Smith on the third line during the morning skate.
“[Shaw] plays a hard game, gives you energy,” Quenneville said. “[Morin] gives you some of that, as well. We’ve got different guys coming in and out of the lineup here. [Adam] Clendening playing his first game, so we’ll get some energy from that, as well.”
Shaw had been slumping of late, and had no goals and two assists in his last 12 games, twice losing the second-line center spot to Brad Richards in the process. But Patrick Kane — who called Shaw’s fight against Dallas the turning point of the game — said his absence will be felt.
“It’s kind of like when you lose Sharpie,” Kane said. “It’s not one guy that’s going to come in and step up and fill the void. It’s just not going to happen like that. I think collectively as a group you have to fill in for those guys.”
Kane said there were plenty of guys who are “looking for more ice time” and are eager to step up.
One of those players is Clendening, brought up from Rockford after van Riemsdyk suffered a patella fracture (the Hawks said he underwent successful surgery on Thursday and will be out three to four months). He’ll be making his NHL debut. The offensive-minded defensemen will get a big role right away, on the point for the second power-play unit.
“They’ve been pretty clear: Just play my game and keep it simple for the first little bit,” Clendening said. “Then when we get on the power play, maybe I can get a little more creative.”