Hossa In: Game Preview

 

TCL Blackhawks

CHI v STL - Game Preview

4/4/13

 

 

Marian Hossa is back in the Chicago Blackhawks lineup for Thursday night’s matchup against the St. Louis Blues. 

 

The Blackhawks (27-5-3) are happy to welcome back the Hoss, who will return to the top line alongside Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad.  Hossa felt good at practice on Wednesday and sees no reason to wait any longer after missing the last 6 games. 

 

Michal Handzus will also be on the bench for the Hawks Thursday night, wearing a sweater familiar sweater he donned as a Blackhawk in 2006-2007.  It’s not written in stone what position or line the versatile forward will find himself in for the Hawks on Thursday, but Handzus is open to filling any role for the coaching staff. 

 

While the Hawks roster is growing and getting healthier, St. Louis (18-14-2) might be singing the blues.  T.J. Oshie was recently placed on injured reserve for the Blues with a lower body injury after blocking a shot last week and goaltender Jaroslav Halak is out for a possible 3 weeks with a lower body injury. 

 

Being short Halak, who boasts a 2.14 GAA, means St. Louis will be starting Brian Elliott between the pipes on Thursday night.  Elliot is 0-4-1 for the season with a 4.83 GAA. 

 

Conversely, Corey Crawford will get the nod for the Hawks with his 1.44 GAA. 

 

Team Stats:

 

Team

P

P%

G/G

GA/G

PP%

PK%

S/G

SA/G

Blackhawks

57

0.814

3.26

2.09

17.5

84.9

31.2

26.6

Blues

38

0.559

2.82

2.74

22.2

82.9

28.3

24.1

 

 

Chicago took the last two games against St. Louis this season, this being the third of five total match-ups.  

 

The Blues are hoping their recent addition of big defenseman Jay Bouwmeester from the Calgary Flames will give them enough of a boost to stay in the playoff race.  Bouwmeester could make his Blues debut in Chicago provided his work visa situation is settled.  The defenseman did not make it to Wednesday’s practice in Chicago. 

 

Injury report:  Patrick Sharp will miss his 12th game for the Hawks with a shoulder injury.  Patrick Kane missed the team practice on Wednesday with an illness, but is expected to play Thursday night.  T.J. Oshie placed on IR with lower body injury.  Jaroslav Halak to miss several weeks with a groin injury. 

 

Puck drops at 7:30pm CST in the United Center. 

 

Follow @TCLBlackhawks and @madeleinestroth on Twitter for Blackhawks updates all season long. 

 

 

Blackhawks record: 27-5-3

Blues record: 18-14-2

Location: United Center

Time: 7:30pm CST

Where to watch: CSN-CH, FS-MW

Where to listen: WGN 720, KMOX 1120

Next 2 games: Sat 4/6 @NSH, Sun 4/7 v NSH