As the Blackhawks get the second game of their seven-game road trip underway in Winnipeg Thursday night, the team will add one winger to their lineup tonight while attempting to replace another.
Chicago will be without the services of Bryan Bickell for the remainder of the 2013 "Circus Trip," and likely beyond, recovering with the lower-body injury he sustained in Colorado on Tuesday. Head Coach Joel Quenneville estimated the 27-year-old Ontario native will miss the next two to three weeks of action, but does not think the team will need to put the forward on Long-Term Injured Reserve yet. Forward Jeremy Morin was recalled from Rockford on Wednesday to replace Bickell in the lineup.
On the plus side of the ledger, right wing Marian Hossa should be back in the lineup to face the Jets on Thursday, having missed the past three games with a lower-body injury.
“Today was the best I’ve felt in the last few days, so I’m ready to go,” Hossa told reporters on Thursday following the morning skate. “I didn’t feel good enough [to play] in Colorado. I felt like a couple of days would help, and today’s much better.”
The Blackhawks could possibly see two more of their injured teammates back before the road trip ends on Nov. 30 at Phoenix: Michal Handzus will likely join his teammates in Vancouver, and Quenneville says he may return to action during the trip; meanwhile, Michael Kostka, who Coach Q said was “skating and progressing,” may rejoin the team towards the end of the trip.