Chicago Sun-Times

Blackhawks hopeful about Marian Hossa, assign Ben Smith

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By Ben Meyer-Abbott bmeyer-abbott@suntimes.com
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@BMACST

Marian Hossa missed practice again on Monday, but the Blackhawks are hopeful he will be ready Tuesday to play against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Joel Quenneville said Hossa (upper body) will travel with the team for the road games against the Phoenix Coyotes and Colorado Avlanche.

"Hossa's doing better [Monday], we're hoping he can play [Tuesday]," Quenneville said.

Hossa last took the ice for the Hawks in the team's 4-3 victory Thursday over th Winnipeg Jets. He missed practice Friday as well as the morning skate and the Hawks 3-2 shootout loss Saturday against the Boston Bruins.

Hossa,32, has missed 43 games since he signed a 12-year contract with the Hawks in July 2009 after missing just 16 games during his first eight NHL seasons.

Jonathan Toews said it's obviously his preferance to have Hossa, who ranked fourth on the team last season with 25 goals, in the lineup. But if Hossa isn't on the ice, Toews said the rest of the team will have to make do.

"It's never easy to play without one of your top players," Toews said. "If it's one guy or [another] you adjust to what's going on and someone else steps up and assumes more responsibility and I don't think there's too many guys in this locker room that have a problem with that.

"We'd rather have him out there with us every single day, but it's the reality that sometimes you have to play with injured players."

The Hawks assigned Ben Smith to Rockford on Monday. Smith had been on Injured Reserve since he suffered a concussion Sept. 28 in a preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings.

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on October 17, 2011 12:35 PM.

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