Hossa returns to practice feeling 'much better'
Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa was back at practice Thursday, just two days after getting clocked in the back of the head by Vancouver's Jannik Hansen.
Hossa said he did not suffer a concussion and would like to play Friday against San Jose at the United Center.
Hansen received a one-game suspension from the NHL for the reckless play.
"I felt pretty good this morning," Hossa said following practice on Thursday. "Obviously he surprised me with the punch from behind. He hit me pretty hard in the back of the head. I was shaky right after, that's why I didn't return. I didn't feel right. But with the day off it kind of settled down and today I feel much better."
Hossa, who passed all the NHL-mandated tests, was hardly satisfied with Hansen's punishment.
"At least it's something," Hossa said. "You don't want to see guys hitting other guys in the head, especially from behind.
"It's up to the league. They make the decisions. Hopefully guys learn from it. He said he was reaching for the puck. I don't buy it because when you reach for the puck you don't hit someone that hard to the head."
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said the decision to play Hossa would be made after Friday's morning skate. Hossa will also need to pass another battery of tests.
"That was very encouraging that he felt good (Wednesday) and responded by feeling good in practice," Quenneville said. "It was a good test for us and for him."
Hossa said he did not fear a similar-type injury like the one he suffered in the playoffs last spring when he was creamed by the Coyotes' Raffi Torres. Hossa missed the rest of the playoffs with a concussion and wasn't cleared to return until November.
"When I fell down I kind of knew what happened," Hossa said. "I realized what happened so that was a good sign. I knew that was a good thing because I didn't remember anything last time.
"It's a little natural to come to your mind (to think about the Torres hit). It kind of happened on the same spot. I knew everything when I went in the room and talked to the doctors so I felt good about it."
Hansen, who was scheduled to serve his one-game suspension on Thursday at Dallas, had an interesting reaction when told Hossa was back at practice.
"Doesn't surprise me," Hansen told the Vancouver Province. "I should probably stay out of that one."
Hansen will now be viewed as a repeat offender, which bothers him.
"You're trying to play an honest game and play the right way and not step too far over the line," Hansen said.
"I've never been suspended. I've never had any incidents. I've played here for five or six years. I didn't have anything in the minors. It bothers me you have that on your record now. I'm not going to change my game in any way. I'm still going to play the same way as always."