Chicago Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa will play Friday night against the San Jose Sharks after recovering from a blow to the back of the head by the Vancouver Canucks’ Jannik Hansen, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo will also play Friday night, according to Quenneville. Carcillo has not played since suffering a lower-body injury in the season opener against the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 19.
Hossa practiced with the team for the second consecutive day Friday since taking the hit from Hansen on Tuesday. Hossa said Friday he passed the team’s protocol for head injuries.
“I should be ready to go,” Hossa said after Friday’s morning skate at the United Center. “I passed the test on the computer, so I should be fine. I feel good otherwise. If I had a little doubt, I wouldn’t go. I wouldn’t play. I wouldn’t practice. Everything is cleared.”
Hansen said he was going for the puck Tuesday at the United Center when his left forearm connected with the back of Hossa’s head early in the third period. Hossa was on the ice face-first for a few minutes before departing to the locker room under his own power. He did not return to the game.
Hossa said he felt shaky after the hit, but he said he did not suffer a concussion. Hansen was suspended one game on Wednesday.
Hossa suffered a severe head injury last season when the Phoenix Coyotes’ Raffi Torres launched himself into Hossa during their first-round playoff series. Hossa was taken off the ice on a stretcher. He did not return for the team’s final three games and was not cleared until early December.
Quenneville said Friday the Blackhawks made sure Hossa was comfortable with playing again right away.
“That’s the first step, I know he’s got to make sure he’s comfortable and we’re comfortable with him playing,” Quenneville said. “We always look at the history, and there’s some hurdles and tests you got to make sure you face and pass. Organizationally, he’s ready to go, and he’s clear.”
Hossa had two goals before being knocked out of Tuesday’s game. He is second on the Blackhawks with eight goals and third with 14 points.
Carcillo had to be helped off the ice after he collided with Kings defenseman Drew Doughty against the boards on Jan. 19. It was Carcillo’s first game since tearing the ACL in his left knee against the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 2, 2012. He required season-ending surgery last season. The latest injury to Carcillo was to his right knee, a source told ESPNChicago.com, and did not require surgery.
Quenneville said he expected Carcillo to continue to play a physical style of hockey and not be concerned about the back-to-back injuries.
“I think the way he plays, the way he has to play, we want to make sure he doesn’t have that thought in the way he approaches the game or goes into shifts,” Quenneville said. “He’s got to play one way, and I think that’s his style. We expect him to do that. I don’t foresee he would have any apprehensions in how he has to play.”
Carcillo played on the team’s first line along with Marian Hossa and Jonathan in the season opener. Quenneville said he expected to use Carcillo on the fourth line with Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik on Friday.
Carcillo was excited to play again after all he’s been through the past few seasons.
“The last two years have been a tough road for sure,” Carcillo said. “But dealing with the injury last year certainly helped the early onset of this injury. It’s a bit of a shot to your pride because you want to be healthy and you want to be out with the guys. They have been playing so well. It’s a privilege to be able to come here and play this game.”
The 28-year-old Carcillo was signed by the Blackhawks as a free agent in July of 2011. He signed a two-year contract extension in March of 2012. He has 38 goals and 47 assists in 311 career NHL games.
Chicago will try to set a record Friday by opening the season with 17 consecutive games with at least one point.