It started on Wednesday with an update on Brandon Hagel, who landed awkwardly on his left shoulder during that Tuesday game and is expected to miss a few weeks:
MEDICAL UPDATE: Forward Brandon Hagel will miss approximately two weeks (left shoulder).— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 10, 2021
Forward Tyler Johnson and defenseman Isaak Phillips have been removed from COVID-19 Protocol.#Blackhawks
The good news for Hagel is that the Blackhawks’ schedule is somewhat light for the next stretch. Their next games is against the Arizona Coyotes at home on Friday night, then the team has four days off before their first-ever trip to Seattle to face the Kraken next Wednesday. A weekend back-to-back in Edmonton and Vancouver follows, with the road trip concluding against the Flames on Tuesday, Nov. 23. Based on that two-week timeline, Hagel could be out anywhere between two and five games.
Tyler Johnson, mentioned in the tweet above, was not on the ice for Thursday’s practice. Henrik Borgstrom was, however, after missing Tuesday’s game with a non-COVID illness. Coach Derek King said they’re going to be easing Johnson back into hockey things:
Derek King on Tyler Johnson: “You might see him tomorrow skating with us. This is not Patrick Kane: You come off 2 weeks without skating, you go in, you get your hat trick and everyone's happy. We've got to watch out for this.” #Blackhawks— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) November 11, 2021
Here’s a quick rundown of what the lines looked like with Hagel sidelined and Borgstrom apparently still on the outside looking in:
Blackhawks lines in practice:— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) November 11, 2021
A small tweak was also made to the Blackhawks’ power-play lineups during Thursday’s practice:
King: "The chemistry between (Dach, Kane & DeBrincat) has been good lately, so why not have him in that bumper spot? It's a lot easier for changing lines, so you're not messing up too much. And then Carpenter...can concentrate just on [the PK] for now." https://t.co/DotzzOrchv— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) November 11, 2021
Speaking of Ryan Carpenter, he offered some thoughts related to how the team was feeling after the coaching change from last weekend:
Ryan Carpenter: “We were a little bit embarrassed that a coaching change had to happen. We weren’t playing good enough, and so I think we took that message a bit personal.” #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/MNwXtKT8WG— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) November 11, 2021
Thursday’s news also included a schedule update, with the day-after-Thanksgiving game between the Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues now a 2:30 p.m. start.
The Black Friday game between the Blues and Blackhawks just got bumped from ABC to ESPN+, and from noon to 2:30 p.m. CT.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) November 11, 2021
Rangers-Bruins is now the national game.