DALLAS -- For the first time all season, the Blackhawks took the ice a player short when Bryan Bickell was ruled out with an illness just before the game against the Stars Thursday.
It could be argued that Bickell's absence and the lack of a recall hurt line rotations and forced too many players to take double shifts. But that would truly fail to explain the horrendous effort that the Hawks put forth against the Stars in a 5-0 loss.
"[Bickell] was fine this morning," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I asked if he was ready to go and [he said] he was. But he presented as real sick before the game."
What about a backup plan?
"It can happen like that," Quenneville said. "Our thought-process was that he was good to go and things can change quickly."
The Hawks are already without defenseman Brian Campbell (left leg) and center Dave Bolland (concussion).
There are no reasons not to recall a defenseman with Campbell out -- not even cap constraints.
The Hawks don't have to put defenseman Jordan Hendry (torn ACL) on injured reserve, because there is no limit on roster size after the trade deadline.
For the time being, Quenneville has turned to John Scott on the back end and appears to be pleased with what the big man has done.
"He's done a nice job in the minutes he does play," Quenneville said. "He's gotten more patience with the puck than we've seen early on. Defensively, he defends well and he's got a big body. He's been controlling the puck area pretty well.
"With that size and that reach he can influence a lot of plays. He can come up with a lot of loose pucks. ... He gives us an added presence in our lineup as well."