He's not Patrick Sharp. Or Dave Bolland. But winger Troy Brouwer is an important part of what the Blackhawks want to do.
Now, the Hawks will have to move on without him at a dire time. (And Sharp and Bolland).
In the third period of the Hawks' 2-1 overtime loss against the Montreal Canadiens, Brouwer had Lars Eller in his sights for a big check. But when he moved in to strike, Eller sidestepped him.
Brouwer, who leads the Hawks in hits, flew into the boards and lay on the ice for several minutes holding his right shoulder. He needed help to his feet before leaving the ice under his own power. He was clearly favoring his right arm.
Here's a video of the play:
Officially, the Hawks are called it an "upper-body injury" for Brouwer, who hasn't missed a game this season. Brouwer isn't expected to play Wednesday against the St. Louis Blues.
So what do the Hawks do now?
Brouwer was stuck in a long 22-game goal drought. But he was still counted on to hit opponents, provide traffic in front of opposing goalies and help kill off penalties.
Enforcer John Scott could be used at wing and could come in handy against the always feisty Blues. Still, the Hawks need a player who can eat up more than five to six minutes a game. So a recall is a real option.
The Hawks are already double-shifting their stars, and with Brouwer, Sharp and Bolland out that will likely continue.
The Hawks have lineup has shown recently that their lineup is not deep enough to pick up the offensive slack as the team's playoff chances now hang by a thread after going 2-3-1 in their past six games. Against the Canadiens, rookie center Marcus Kruger took only nine shifts and played 7:27.
Brouwer has 17 goals, 36 points and a minus-2 rating in 79 games this season. He assisted on Patrick Kane's goal against Montreal.