The Chicago Blackhawks will be without defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, but luckily that’s the bad news. The good news is that Hjalmarsson is being listed as “day to day” with an upper-body injury, which means that he should be back in the lineup fairly soon.
Hjalmarsson has been dealing with an unspecified, lingering injury recently. He missed practice on Thursday prior to the team’s game against the Coyotes, and lasted just three minutes of ice time before pulling himself from the game. On his last shift against Arizona, he could be seen pulling up and skating off the ice, so he might’ve tweaked something.
Luckily for the Blackhawks, it doesn’t sound like a major injury. That’s obviously huge for a team that depends so heavily on Hjalmarsson in even strength and penalty kill situations.
For now, Trevor van Riemsdyk is moving up to the top pairing with Duncan Keith and Michal Rozsival is sliding into the third pairing with Brian Campbell. Just typing that out, man, the Blackhawks really need to get Hjalmarsson back soon.
Hjalmarsson has recorded a career-high five goals and nine assists in 60 games with the Hawks this season. He’s first on the team in blocked shots with 156, although that’s partially due to an underwhelming 49.6 percent Corsi during even strength play. That’s 1.9 percent worse than when he’s not on the ice, although he typically posts a negative Corsi relative partially due to playing a more defensive role.