By Ben Meyer-Abbott firstname.lastname@example.org
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Marian Hossa participated in the Blackhawks morning skate Tuesday ahead of the team's game against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Hossa said he wanted to see how he felt a couple hours after the skate before deciding if he would play Tuesday. But the Hawks right winger was hopeful he would be in the lineup.
"I feel the best I've felt in the last four days so that's a great sign," Hossa said. "I really hope I play tonight, it feels good."
Hossa missed the Hawks' 3-2 shootout loss Saturday to the Boston Bruins with an upper-body injury. He has missed 43 games since he signed with the Hawks in July 2009 after he was out for only 15 games in his eight previous NHL seasons.
"I don't want to miss too many games," Hossa said. "Hopefully that was [the] only one and I can jump back and play as many as I can."
Hossa had been on the ice since the Hawks 4-3 victory Thursday over Winnipeg at the United Center.
Hossa had a goal and an assist in the game and the team's second line of him, Patrick Kane and Daniel Carcillo combined for six points and a plus-6 rating.
Hossa talked Tuesday about how frustrating it was to miss time after the line had displayed an instant chemistry in its first game together.
"That's what me and Patrick were talking about," Hossa said. "[We were] feeling good, everything's going right and all of a sudden you have to miss another game, a couple practices. It's not fun but hopefully it's over with and I'll be ready to play for a long time."
Joel Quenneville was also eager to for Hossa's return.
"You look at your lines, you look at the power play units, the [penalty killing] unit, his puck possession game - we're a better team with him in the lineup," Quenneville said. "You have so many options as a coach to insert him in all different situations and he makes players around him better as well so it's nice having him back."