After leaving the ice in a hurry on Friday night, Marcus Kruger won’t be returning for the Chicago Blackhawks any time soon. According to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun Times, the team will be without their defensive center for at least three weeks. An ’upper-body injury’ is all we know about what ails Kruger, who has been the Hawks shutdown defender for the last few seasons.
While he’s not by any means an offensive dynamo, Kruger is responsible defensively and is a solid faceoff man (although with Jonathan Toews, the Hawks don’t have any problems in that area). As head coach Joel Quenneville admits, “That’s a big loss for us.”
- At least it’s not all terrible news on the injury front, as Marian Hossa skated on Sunday morning and has a chance to play on Thursday against Buffalo. Hossa has been out for the last four games and will miss the Winter Classic tomorrow against the St. Louis Blues. The Blackhawks retain the lead in the Central Division even after the 12-game win streak by Minnesota. They have, however already played 39 games, the most in the league and three more than the Wild.
- Today at the Centennial Classic in Toronto, the teams had to wait as weather (sun, as it happens) delayed the start of the game. It looks like there might be a similar situation in St. Louis, where the forecast calls for rain all afternoon on Monday. With the team not knowing when the start time will be, they began making jokes about what they’ll do during the wait. “I don’t know. Batting cages, maybe?” said Corey Crawford to Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago.