Just some notes from the official Hawks site on a snowy day in Chicago:
There was good news and bad news on the injury front at Blackhawks practice Friday. Let's start with the good: Defenseman James Wisniewski only suffered a sprained knee Wednesday against Nashville and will be re-evaluated in 2-4 weeks.
Sounds like the Blackhawks dodged another bullet here, I have a feeling Wisniewski will only miss a couple of weeks if that knee is only sprained. We will need his toughness back on defense, so get well soon James.
Defenseman Brent Sopel hoped to be able to play Sunday despite the broken finger he suffered against the Predators but now figures to be out of the lineup for 1-2 weeks.
That kind of kills the positive energy, doesn't it? 1-2 weeks isn't terrible, but Sopel has been such a steady force on defense for the Hawks, and I think has become a leader for the young kids on the blue-line, it could be a tough go without him for this team. Let's hope they can weather the storm without him.
Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith will log a lot of minutes on the blue line with Wisniewski and Sopel out. Dustin Byfuglien with Cam Barker and Andrei Zyuzin with recently-recalled Magnus Johansson will round out the defensive corps, though a call-up from Rockford prior to the matchup with the Kings hasn't been ruled out.
Wow. Hockey/NHL historians from all over the world should find a way to make the trip to Chicago for Sunday's game, because then they will be able to witness what is quite possibly the worst defensive pairing the world has ever seen: Andrei Zyuzin and Magnus Johansson. I can only hope that the Hawks do indeed call someone up from Rockford instead of playing those stiffs.
The article also mentions the lineup the Hawks will be putting on the ice on Sunday, and it's pretty much the same as it has been lately, except that Jacob Dowell will be returning, and will be centering the 3rd line between Rene Bourque and Adam Burish. Good to see Dowell back, I thought he showed a good physical presence and could develop into a good penalty killer as well.
Apparently, Martin Havlat and Jason Williams could also return within the next couple weeks, but I won't be holding my breath, groin injuries can linger for a long time, right now I would hope that neither of them get rushed back in the lineup, might as well wait until they are 100% instead of getting them back in too soon and watching them get hurt again.