By Connor McKnight–
Hopes that the cavalry would come to the Blackhawks rescue Friday night against the Red Wings were tempered quite a bit after practice Thursday. Only Fernando Pisani will make a return to the lineup when the Red Wings come to town. His return will help out a team that’s undermanned at forward, but he’s not the biggest weapon sitting on the injury list right now.
Instead, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa represent the biggest missing pieces in coach Joel Quenneville’s lineup but, Coach Q told reporters after practice Thursday that Kane (who was on the ice, then off, then on, then off) is doubtful for Friday’s game.
Kane skated gingerly Thursday morning and was unable to finish practice with the team. “Today he might have aggravated it,” Quenneville said. “I don’t think it’s to the extent that where it’s a step in the wrong direction.”
Hossa, though he didn’t skate today, has been skating on his own the past few days, according to Quenneville. The Hawks plan for Hossa to skate Friday morning continuing his trek back to the lineup. Hossa will not play Friday night.
Add Viktor Stalberg to the list of walking wounded as well. Stalberg took a nasty hit to the head in Wednesday night’s game against the Avalanche. He did not return from that hit but Quenneville said Thursday that he, “looked OK today,” despite the fact that he will not participate against the Red Wings.
So, for those scoring at home, That’s three top-six forwards out for the Hawks. While Kane and Hossa’s injuries aren’t exactly news, the Hawks need every piece of firepower they can muster to fight of the Western Conference leaders on Friday night.