It had been a while since Marian Hossa had seen a Blackhawks game from anywhere other than ice level. He played all 82 regular-season games last season, and all 23 playoff games. But when he suffered a lower-body injury on Oct. 30 at Minnesota, he was forced to watch from above during the Hawks’ win over Los Angeles and loss to St. Louis last week.
“That was something kind of unusual for me, to sit out and watch the game,” Hossa said. “On the other hand, I haven’t seen a game from the press box in so long, so you get different angles on the game from upstairs, and it’s something better. Something good.”
That said, Hossa was happy to be back in the lineup Sunday after missing three games. He prefers playing to analyzing, any day. Joel Quenneville said it was a minor injury, and said the Hawks were simply being cautious with Hossa, given how valuable he is and how early in the season it is.
Hossa was fine with that.
“You don’t want to do damage early [in the] season,” Hossa said. “You’d rather take a few days to get better, where you need to be, and let the body settle down [until] you feel like you can go again. I think it was a smart decision.”
In the three games without Hossa, the Hawks yielded 12 goals. Hossa is a terrific offensive talent, but its his defense that sets him apart.
“He certainly brings a lot to the table _ all situations, key ice time and a reliable player,” Quenneville said. “He gives us some experience, and I though the last couple of games, [there were] stretches in the game where our team game was really loose. We have to tighten it up and he does that as good as anybody.”
Teuvo up top
The latest incarnation of the Hawks lineup had Teuvo Teravainen on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Hossa, and reunited the successful second line of Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov (who returned after leaving Friday’s game in New Jersey with a lower-body injury) and Patrick Kane.
After a poor start to the season, Teravainen has two goals and two assists in his last three games. The trick is not deferring to his linemates.
“He wants the puck, he can have the puck,” Quenneville said. “Playing with those two guys, there’s nothing wrong with you keeping it and doing your thing, as well. … Just feel like with the puck, you don’t have to give it away. Keep it as long as you can.”
Ryan Garbutt missed his second straight morning skate, and is questionable for tonight’s game. He did play Friday after sitting out the morning skate. Quenneville said it’s not injury related.