Blackhawks' Dach admits he's still feeling pain in right wrist
Kirby Dach admitted he's still feeling pain in his right wrist, but Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said the forward is in no danger of doing long-term damage by playing in games.
Dach, who fractured the wrist at World Juniors in December, has appeared in the last five contests.
"There's no way the medical staff and certainly the organization would have (cleared him if he wasn't ready)," Colliton said. "He's too important for us. And I wouldn't be in favor of playing him if that were a concern.
"Everything I've been told is this doesn't slow down his process of feeling 100 percent at all. In fact, it should speed it up."
Colliton eased Dach into the lineup at first, but now has him centering the top line with Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat. Dach (no goals, 2 assists) has averaged 18 minutes, 10 seconds of ice time, taken 9 shots on goal and won 37.7% of his faceoffs.
"There's pain with it still," Dach said. "I mean it's a four-to-five month injury and I'm playing within 3 months. The training staff and doctors have done a good job of managing it and taking care of it after games.
"I don't really see it as an excuse, like, 'Oh, my wrist is hurting.' If I'm out, I expect to be 100 percent out there and to make the plays and be the player I am."
While Dach's skating, passing and defensive play look fine, he knows it's going to take a while before he's fully confident unleashing shot after shot after shot.
"It's confidence in my wrist and how it's holding up -- the strength and how much power I have behind it," Dach said.
Said Colliton: "It's gonna take time for him to get back going to the level he wants. It's not just gonna happen. We want him to focus on his skating and his 50/50s. He can help us just by doing that -- and being on the right side of the puck and using his pace, mid-lane drive and helping us play faster. He'll make more and more plays here as we go."
Slap shot: Forward Lucas Wallmark was placed on waivers Monday. He will be placed on the taxi squad if he clears, according to coach Jeremy Colliton.