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Hawks dealing with life minus Hossa again

by Brian Hedger
CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa just can't seem to stay healthy for the Chicago Blackhawks, who again are without an impact player for an extended period.
For the second time this season and third time in the past two years, Hossa is injured seriously enough to keep him out for several weeks. This time, it's a lower-body injury that he hurt on Monday in practice colliding with Nick Boynton.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after Tuesday's morning skate that Hossa is likely out 2-3 weeks after injuring what appeared to be his right leg.
"Things happen like that," said Quenneville, who missed that practice while in Montreal attending the funeral of coaching legend Pat Burns. "It can happen away from the game, too. It's all part of it and you deal with it."
The Hawks initially are dealing with it by calling up 19-year old rookie forward Jeremy Morin for the second time. Morin, playing his first professional season, impressed Hawks brass during a strong training camp and currently leads Rockford of the American Hockey League with 6 goals in 17 games.
He played two games with the Hawks during his first call-up and recorded four shots on goal, two blocked shots and a takeaway. Morin also dealt with an injury in Rockford and missed some time in his first game with the Hawks after blocking a shot against the New York Rangers.
All healed up, Morin said his main goal isn't to be the lone answer to replacing Hossa.

"I can't look at it like that and I don't look at it like that," Morin said. "I've just got to come up and play my game and go from there."
As for Hossa, he played through a knee injury during Chicago's playoff run to the 2010 Stanley Cup championship, but Quenneville said this injury is "independent" of that or other injuries.
Hossa missed the start of last season recuperating from shoulder surgery and was off to a great start this season before suffering an undisclosed upper body injury on Oct. 27 at home against the Los Angeles Kings.
That one kept him out until Nov. 7, which was a span of five games. He returned and had 1 goal and 7 points in 10 games. For the season, Hossa has 8 goals and 18 points.
"It was probably even worse for him the first time around (this season), because he was having such a great start to the season," Hawks forward Patrick Kane said. "You never want to see that happen to a player, especially when it happens in practice. It's just really bad luck."
Hossa was unavailable for comment on Tuesday, as the Hawks get ready to host St. Louis at the United Center -- their first home game after a six-game road trip.
"I don't know if it's bad luck or anything, but it's part of the game and that happens," Hawks forward Tomas Kopecky said of Hossa's most recent ailment. "You just have to deal with it. He's a professional and it doesn't seem to bother him that much. I'm pretty sure deep down it's a little frustrating, though."
The flip side is that it's another opportunity for other Hawks players to show what they can do.
"Every other guy has to chip in a little more," Kopecky said. "There's going to be a lot of minutes up for grabs and once you get those minutes you have to be ready for it. You have to make smart decisions with the puck, because that's what (Hossa) does."
Also out for the Hawks is forward Fernando Pisani, who is day-to-day with an upper body injury after not dressing in Saturday's game at Los Angeles.
Crawford to start again: Hawks rookie goalie Corey Crawford will get his third straight start over veteran Marty Turco when they play the Blues.
Crawford, 25, has won his last four starts, including two in a row at Anaheim and Los Angeles -- giving up just one goal in both of those games. He also has lowered his goals-against average to 2.07 with a .925 save percentage in nine games.
"I feel better every time I get in the net," he said. "I've always been a pretty confident guy, but it's nice to play a lot more and see more of the ice. It just helps with my experience and it helps me get better."
The Hawks, meanwhile, like what they've seen from the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Crawford.
"He's a big guy and he takes up a lot of net," defenseman Brian Campbell said. "He works hard. He's moving quicker. He's got his reflexes going and it just seems like side to side he's just bouncing in the net rather than it being a struggle. He's moving really smooth."

"We've had some good chances to put it in the net and we've got to make sure we're burying those." -- St. Louis forward BJ Crombeen

Blues hunting for offense: St. Louis comes into Chicago after dropping two straight to the Dallas Stars and seven of their last 10 games -- including six in regulation.
After losing playmaking center T.J. Oshie for three to four months with a broken ankle, the Blues are still looking for ways to pick up the slack.
"We've had some good chances to put it in the net and we've got to make sure we're burying those," St. Louis forward BJ Crombeen said after Tuesday's morning skate. "It's always fun playing against the Hawks. It's always a close, tight-checking game. In some ways I think this is kind of exactly what we needed."
Hawks coach honors Burns: Quenneville was among those who made the journey to attend the funeral of Burns, who died at age 58 on Nov. 20 after a battle with cancer.
"Burnsey was a great man," Quenneville said. "I was around him there for a few years, and as a fellow coach you've got a lot of respect for what he brought to his teams and the competitiveness that he had. But he was also a good-natured guy, a lot of fun away from the game, as well."
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