The Chicago Blackhawks already knew that they were going to be without defenseman Johnny Oduya for the near future, but head coach Joel Quenneville elaborated on the time frame Monday, saying the blue liner will miss "a couple of weeks" with the injury.
Oduya’s injury occurred during the first period of Sunday’s loss to the Boston Bruins, and the team was forced to play with only five defensemen for the rest of the way. With him out of the lineup, the team will likely turn to either David Rundblad or Kyle Cumiskey in the interim, but more help could be on the way as Trevor van Riemsdyk skates toward recovery.
The rookie defenseman participated in the team’s practice on Monday morning, and Quenneville said that he’s "close" to returning after missing an extended period of time with a knee injury. The team participated in various demanding drills on Monday, including board battles and netfront scrambles, and van Riemsdyk was in the middle of all of it, suggesting that the team is aggressively testing the knee to make sure everything is healing properly.
The Blackhawks also made a bit of news on Sunday night when they announced a two-year contract extension for Scott Darling, and the goaltender will also get the start in Tuesday’s tilt against the Florida Panthers, per Quenneville.
Quenneville also said that the team is still fully committed to Corey Crawford as their starter, and he said that Antti Raanta still has a role and a place on the team.