Marian Hossa didn’t participate in the morning skate at the TD Garden today but the Chicago Blackhawks are expecting him to suit up for game four of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Hossa was a surprise scratch on Monday night and it still isn’t clear why he didn’t play. The Blackhawks have said that Hossa suffered an “upper-body” injury but they didn’t say what happened or when it occurred. Regardless, the injury isn’t expected to keep Hossa on the bench for a second straight game.
Coach Joel Quenneville said: “I’m not going to get into exactly what the injury is or where it occurred, but I’m going to say he’s likely to play… He’s expected to play tonight. He’s fine.”
The Chicago Tribune reports that Jamal Mayers will play in Hossa’s spot if the Blackhawks star cannot return tonight.
Mayers said that he was ready to go if the Blackhawks needed him but added that the he, as well as the rest of the team, were hoping that Hossa gets out on the ice.
Mayers said: “Clearly I’ll prepare like I’m going to play, but I anticipate that he’ll play. We need him in there.”
Some people criticized Hossa for missing the Stanley Cup playoff game on Monday but captain Jonathan Toews defended his teammate. Toews said that Hossa would be on the ice if he could and that Hossa, like the entire Blackhawk team, are prepared to lay it all on the line tonight.
Toes said: “There’s no question in our locker room that guys are laying it on the line for each other, and they have been throughout the entire season and playoffs especially. Guys are playing through tons of stuff. There’s no question in our locker room that if Hoss could go and he could be effective for us, he would have. If people want to criticize from the outside, that’s up to them.”
[Image Via Blackhawks.com]