Daniel Carcillo returned to practice Thursday for the first time since injuring his right knee in the season opener at Los Angeles.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he wants to have Carcillo participate in a few more practices before he plays in a game.
"I thought he looked pretty good, though," Quenneville said. "I thought he skated well and talking to him he said he felt good as well. He's further along than we anticipated, so we'll keep pushing him and get him in a couple more skates to get a better idea when (he plays)."
Carcillo hopes to be ready sooner than later.
"Rehab went well and I feel strong on the ice, so it's just a matter of time until I get the call to go in," Carcillo said. "It's encouraging."
Carcillo admitted it was frustrating to get hurt again in his first game after missing more than a year with a torn ACL in his left knee.
"Everything happens for a reason, but I haven't found out what that reason was and I don't care to know," Carcillo said. "Stuff happens. Just because I was out for a year doesn't make me exempt from getting hurt again."
Carcillo, who started the season playing on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, will play wherever the coaches decide to put him.
"It's not up to me," Carcillo said. "I just need to get ready and work as hard as I can and whenever I get in the lineup, I'll be happy and grateful and ready to do my job."
Rookie Brandon Saad has taken over the left wing spot on the first line so Carcillo appears headed back to fourth-line duty.
"It's a great situation to be in when we have to make these kinds of decisions," Quenneville said. "The tougher the better, organization and team wise. We'll see when we have to visit that. Whether he plays where he started the season or wherever, we think he can use him in our lineup and he can be effective."
The next time the Hawks go to a shootout, expect Marian Hossa to be used somewhere in the top three with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
The Hawks have gone to three shootouts, and Joel Quenneville has yet to use Hossa in that troublesome third hole.
"That third spot, we haven't got the production from it," said Quenneville, who didn't commit Hossa to shooting third. "It looks like it's an automatic (to use Hossa) and hopefully it becomes automatic."
The Kevlar debate:
The gruesome injury suffered by Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson on Wednesday night, when he had his Achilles tendon 70 percent severed by the skate of Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke, has rekindled the talk of players going to the more protective Kevlar socks.
Joel Quenneville was asked how many of his players wore the Kevlar socks and he said it was a good question and that he planned to go find out.
Duncan Keith thinks Dave Bolland is the only Hawk to wear Kevlar socks and wondered if those socks would have prevented what happened to Karlsson.
Maybe it would have minimized the severity of the injury. But Karlsson, the reigning Norris Trophy winner, will need surgery and likely will be lost for the season.
"A terrible injury," Quenneville said. "That's an unfortunate, freak type of injury, but it happens once every couple of years or something like that."