It may have been a freak occurrence at practice that saw Marian Hossa injured, but that doesn't change the fact the Blackhawks will be without one of their most important players for up to three weeks at a critical point in the season.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville confirmed Tuesday that Hossa likely would miss the next 2-3 weeks with a lower-body injury suffered in practice Monday when he collided with defenseman Nick Boynton.
"Things happen like that," Quenneville said. "It can happen away from the game, too, so it's all part of it and you deal with it."
The injury appeared to be to Hossa's right knee or leg when he was helped from the ice Monday. Hossa played through the Stanley Cup Finals last June with a sprained right knee.
This is the second time this season the Hawks have been without Hossa, who missed five games starting Oct. 29 with an upper-body injury that Quenneville said was not related to this latest problem.
Patrick Kane admitted he is one of the guys who must step up with Hossa gone.
"He's a great player and more than anything for a player like myself, when he's in the lineup he draws attention so the pressure is kind of off a bit," Kane said.
"Hopefully he'll be back sooner more than later, but it's an opportunity for more guys to step up, more guys like myself to produce in those situations."
Rookie Jeremy Morin was recalled from Rockford to take Hossa's roster spot. The 19-year-old Morin skated with Patrick Sharp and Tomas Kopecky in Tuesday's game against St. Louis.
"It's an opportunity for Mo to come up, and hopefully he can take advantage of the chance and the challenge," Quenneville said.
"He has some skills and is the kind of power forward that can handle the puck, make plays and goes to the net strong and well. I'm sure he's going to get stronger and learn the game a little more."
After scoring 7 goals in the first seven games, Hossa had only 1 in his last 14 before this latest injury, but he was showing signs of regaining his explosiveness.
"I thought since he came back when he was injured, he was progressing there," Quenneville said. "I thought he was coming off a great game in L.A. (on Saturday).
"He's useful in so many different areas. Obviously there's a void there, but you're always going to be missing players over stretches of games and in games. You've got to adapt, plus it's an opportunity for other guys."