If the Phoenix Coyotes go into a sixth overtime of the series against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight, they’ll have the one guy not named Mikkel Boedker who has won one in OT back. Martin Hanzal collected Phoenix’s first sudden death clincher in Game 1, but he’s been unable to play since Game 2 – until now, according to Dave Vest.
That overtime winner might be many casual fans’ first memory of Hanzal, but in the grand scheme of things, he’ll be used to try to keep pucks out of Phoenix’s net instead. He’s a large center who is one of the better defensive forwards on a Coyotes team that can check you into scoring irrelevance.
Considering how close this series has been, he might just be the difference – even if his impact isn’t as noticeable as last time.
(Also, in other lineup news, Adrian Aucoin reportedly won’t be in the lineup. That would be totally worse news if shootouts existed in the playoffs, though.)
If this were the regular season, Marian Hossa’s absence from the Chicago Blackhawks’ lineup would be flat-out understood. This is the playoffs, though, so it’s not (completely) crazy to wonder if he’d play despite logic arguing otherwise. Who knows if this might change as/if the postseason continues, but Chris Kuc reports that Hossa has been ruled out of Game 6.
In other lineup news, Kuc reports that Andrew Shaw will return to action, although it’s unclear who will be subbed out at this time.
The Blackhawks have fought through tough times without stars like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp, so at least they’re used to rolling with the punches. Chances are, there won’t be a large margin of error whether they win or not.
Reading team injury updates and reports can make you feel a little bit like Jake Gyllenhaal in Zodiac: you’re left trying to decrypt purposefully vague messages. With that in mind, get out your decoders and try to decipher this Marian Hossa update from the Chicago Blackhawks, which seems pretty optimistic:
“Marian Hossa suffered an upper-body blow in the first period of tonight’s game. After initial evaluation on the ice he was taken by ambulance to the hospital for further testing, which yielded encouraging results. He has been released from the hospital, and we are monitoring him closely at home. We anticipate a full recovery in a timetable yet to be determined.”
So, here are the basics:
- It’s an upper-body issue.
- The testing “yielded encouraging results.”
- He’s been released from the hospital.
- The timetable is unclear.
Ultimately, Hossa seems to be OK – in the grand scheme of things. It remains to be seen if he’ll be back for the series, though.
The early reports on Marian Hossa’s condition were far from promising. He left the ice on a stretcher and the United Center in an ambulance, with most saying he was “out cold.” Chris Kuc wasn’t able to get a comment out of Hossa, but there’s some relatively good news: the Chicago Blackhawks star reportedly left the hospital and exited in a “waiting car.”
That doesn’t provide much information on the severity (or specificity) of his injuries or his chances of playing in Game 4 and the series overall, yet it’s something. For those who were worried about Hossa’s bodily health, it sounds like he’s OK – at least relatively speaking.
More on Hossa
Video of the Raffi Torres hit.
Reactions from players and coaches: Joel Queneville was livid, Patrick Kane was diplomatic and Coyotes announcers thought it was a clean hit.
Meanwhile, Bob McKenzie emphatically believes it was dirty.
Hal Gill played 23 regular season games for the Nashville Predators after being traded from Montreal, but GM David Poile picked him up for the postseason. (Gill is one of the more experienced blueliners when it comes to the playoffs.) Unfortunately for Nashville, he won’t be able to serve his intended purpose just yet, as Joshua Cooper reports that he wasn’t around for the pre-game skate.
During his worst moments, Gill has been referred to as a “pylon.” Those lesser times seem more frequent during the regular season, however, as looser officiating in the playoffs often allows the big defenseman to equalize offensive opponents. He was a helpful part of a nice shutdown pair alongside Rob Scuderi in Pittsburgh during its 2009 Stanley Cup run and then helped the Canadiens beat the Penguins in their quest to the Eastern Conference finals in 2010.
Gill is dealing with a lower-body injury.