Chicago will be without Johnny Oduya for a second straight game tonight against Phoenix but, according to head coach Joel Quenneville, the Swedish blueliner will be ready for the Winter Games in Sochi:
Oduya is out tonight. Q said Oduya will be fine for the Olympics. #Blackhawks
— Tracey Myers (@TramyersCSN) February 8, 2014
Oduya, 32, is dealing with a lower-body issue and didn’t play during Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Anaheim. It’s unclear as to the severity of the injury but, based on Quenneville’s remarks and the fact other veteran NHLers have rested prior to the Olympics — including Oduya’s Chicago teammate, Marian Hossa, who’s been taking practices off — it’s unlikely Oduya is in danger of missing out on Sochi.
That’s a good thing, because Sweden can’t afford to lose any more players — the club has already had to replace forwards Johan Franzen (concussion) and Henrik Sedin. Oduya is one of eight defenseman named to the Swedish team, along with Alexander Edler, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Erik Karlsson, Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Tallinder.