Empty Spaces

I said last week how results in the pre-season are largely meaningless and all that matters is the Blackhawks get out of it in one piece.  Well, here we are three games in and the Hawks have suffered injuries in possibly every game. 

In Wednesday’s 6-2 loss to the Capitals, it appears as though Jack Skille became the second Badger in as many games unable to make it out of the first period.  Skille only played 4:24.  What exactly happened, we’ll only have to wait and see.  To be honest, whether Skille is hurt or not shouldn’t be a huge deal.

But the Hawks aren’t dealing with injuries in a vacuum.  Kris Versteeg is listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury and is doubtful for Friday’s game.  Dustin Byfuglien is out for the next few days with a sore groin.  Marian Hossa is out until November, and Adam Burish is out until March.

If you’re keeping score, that’s two regulars out for an extended period and two others out indefinitely.

You don’t have to be a rosterologist to realize the Hawks are really up against it.  Skille was never a realistic option to fill Burish’s spot.   However, he is the prime candidate to skate in Versteeg’s spot should he miss any extended period of time.  He is, by far, the most skilled of the forwards projected to start the year in Rockford.  In a serious pinch, he can skate on the Hawks’ second line but probably projects more as a 3rd line player right now.  If he gets to fill in for Versteeg, it will probably be his best chance to prove why he was a top-10 draft pick.

Without Skille, the Hawks would really be trying to make lemonade out of cat piss.  Unless watching Colin Fraser play on one of the top 3 lines is your idea of a good time.

It just shows how much damage the cumulative effect these injuries are having on the Hawks – Jack Skille’s health is suddenly important.

Update — Jack Skille did, indeed, leave last night’s game due to a lower body injury.  In other news, the Hawks waived Danny Bois and Richard Petiot today and recalled Bryan Bickell and Rob Klinkhammer from Rockford.

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11 Responses to Empty Spaces

  1. Dave Morris says:

    The lemonade metaphor has never been more graphically abused. Whatever happened to deftness and subtlety in hockey writing? 😉

    That aside, last night’s game was essentially an audition for young Mr. Crawford, the bottom three of defense corps, and the hopefuls at forward who thought they might have a crack at cracking the lineup.

    Chicago wasn’t going to beat a squad of OV8 and the Caps regulars with Aaron Johnson, Rich Petiot and Jordie Hendry carrying most of the load–or not carrying it, as it turned out–in front of Corey C.

    No wonder the kid looked nervous.

    We now also know that Jake Dowell and Danny Bois are not yet ready for prime time.

    As ugly as it was to watch (and the Caps TV feed was puerile to say the least), there were some good things, like the power play…which looked Sharp, and lo, it was…as Sharpie and Truck Brouwer both scored.

    If Q is using these games to see what ‘worse case scenario’ might be, he now has his evidence.

    Pour me another, bartender, and make it a double.

  2. dominator says:

    You forgot Bolland who is also nursing some mystery injury (and is probably the biggest loss outside of Hossa).

  3. John says:

    You got it dominator. I didn’t bring Bolland up because if he misses a chunk of time, the Hawks are really going to be in some trouble.

    Morris, I take it you watched the game….Did Skille, in fact, leave with an injury because so far I haven’t read anything that suggests it other than his ice time?

  4. Dave Morris says:

    John, no idea re: Skille’s status. Thought it was odd he left the game. Maybe Q didn’t want to risk Skille getting hurt because the Hawks are allegedly shopping him? 😉

  5. Lou says:

    Bolland may play Friday accoding to JJ on the Buzz.

    As much as I dread Colin Fraser playing a regular role. At least he has some NHL experience that I hope we do not have to use.

    How good or bad did Crawford really look last night?????

  6. Fork says:

    Of course, the Aliu option remains open.

    Not sure if they can now decide to give Beach a 9-game look-see, even though he didn’t really do anything to merit it.

  7. Fork says:

    Who knows how badly Skille is hurt?

  8. josh says:

    it would seem neither aliu nor beach factor into stan’s contignency plan right now, as klinkhammer and dowell get the call-ups. personally i think beach is nowhere near ready for the NHL, and that aliu is vastly overrated. he certainly won’t be as effective in the league as he is in the O, both in scoring and physicality.

  9. josh says:

    scratch dowell and replace him with bickell-ickle-ickle. my bad, it’s been awhile.

  10. Dave Morris says:

    Where’s Klinkhammer? He deserves a shot based on his name alone, in the tradition of great Hawks names.

    I can hear Pat Foley now…”And it’s Hjalmarsson to Klinkhammer…Klinkhammer back to Hjalmarsson…Hjalmarsson hammers one on net and Klinkhammer hammers home the rebound.”
    Say that fast, ten times.

    Hey, what happened to Skille? Anybody know?

    @Josh> I like The Bickell Option. I can see the headline in The Herald: “Hawks In Pickle Call Up Bickell.” Great journalism lives. 😉

    Is it Happy Hour yet?

  11. Dave Morris says:

    …geez, I really should read the updates. “Lower body injury”, eh.

    And Klinkhammer up…

    Bring on The Wild!

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