Nick Schmaltz has had an up-and-down start to the season.
On the scoresheet, it’s been great. He had a pair of goals and an assist during the season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but left the game late because of an apparent lower-body injury, causing a brief panic among Blackhawks fandom. But that injury proved to be minor, and he was in the lineup against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
He was on the ice for another Blackhawks goal against Columbus, serving as the decoy that caught the attention of two Blue Jackets defenders while Patrick Kane corralled a Ryan Hartman pass and put the Hawks ahead 1-0 early.
But Schmaltz paid for that goal, taking a nasty hit from Jack Johnson in the process.
hit on Schmaltz pic.twitter.com/EaXr85JhT1— steph (@myregularface) October 8, 2017
Getting pinned between Johnson and David Savard probably didn’t help matters, either. Schmaltz was slow to get up and labored to the bench following Kane’s goal.
Schmaltz would end up in the locker room, come back out for a shift, and then head right back to the locker room, which won’t make anyone feel good about Schmaltz’s current condition.
Just before the start of the second period, Schmaltz was ruled out for the game.
Nick Schmaltz will not return to tonight’s game. #Blackhawks— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 8, 2017
We’ll be on the lookout for updates after tonight’s game.