Call it a bad night for the two Chicago Blackhawks who are slated to play for Slovakia in the men’s hockey tournament that starts Tuesday at the Winter Games in Vancouver.
Star forward Marian Hossa left the contest against the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday night early in the third period after suffering what looked to be a blow to the head from the Thrashers’ Colby Armstrong. He did not return and the hit was not deemed illegal.
After the game, a 5-4 win for the Hawks, coach Joel Quenneville said Hossa was doubtful for Sunday’s game against Columbus, but said it was too early to comment on his status for the Olympics. Slovakia opens play on Wednesday against the Czech Republic and then plays again Thursday versus Russia.
The Hawks have recalled forward Jake Dowell from Rockford of the AHL to play Sunday. In order to make room for him on the roster John Madden was placed on injured reserve. Madden and defenseman Brent Sopel were declared out for the weekend games with foot injuries.
Tomas Kopecky also did not play in the third period Saturday night, but that was due to a coach’s decision, not injury. Kopecky took an unsportsmanlike penalty late in the second period against the Thrashers when he “sprayed” Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. The Thrashers scored on the ensuing power play. Kopecky played just 5:06 in the entire game.