After an almost shocking scratch prior to Game 3, the Chicago Blackhawks will reportedly be graced with the presence of their leading playoff scorer in Game 4 against the Boston Bruins.
Chicago Head Coach Joel Quenneville announced on Tuesday that Hossa was “likely to play” when the teams meet on Wednesday, just one day after he was removed from the lineup prior to the opening faceoff of Game 3. There has been alarming lack of detail surrounding Hossa’s scratch, but an “upper body injury” is the reported culprit, and the Blackhawks have no incentive to elaborate past that point.
Hossa is tied for the team lead in playoff scoring, as he has produced 15 points, and frankly, the Chicago offense is a different animal when he is on the ice. While Ben Smith (the player who was substituted for Hossa just before the game) isn’t a terrible option for Chicago, the drop-off is significant, and it is a real possibility that Hossa’s deployment could be the key to Game 4.
With Chicago trailing 2-1 in the series, it would be terribly surprising to see Hossa sit again, especially after this declaration by Quenneville. Stranger things have happened, but I would thoroughly expect to see the long-time star on the ice for Wednesday night.