The Chicago Blackhawks are already dealing with a couple of injuries in their group of forwards at the moment, so it wasn’t a welcome sight Tuesday night when Johnny Oduya was forced to leave the team’s 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning with an injury.
The play was doubly costly for the Blackhawks, as the Lightning were able to score with Oduya still limping around the ice. After blocking a shot from Jason Garrison, Oduya was unable to get off the ice while the puck was in the other end of the rink, and when it came back, he was forced to play defense. A clearing attempt by Brent Seabrook hit an official behind the net, and Steven Stamkos found Nikita Kucherov, who wristed a shot past Corey Crawford to knot the game at 2-2.
Oduya did stay on the bench for the rest of the third period, but when the game went to overtime, he angrily stormed down the tunnel toward the locker room and did not return for the duration of the contest.
After the game, Joel Quenneville was vague about the status of his defenseman, saying that the team would re-evaluate the injury tomorrow and that he hopes “he’ll be okay.”
Generally if an injury is serious, Quenneville will go with a variation of “he’s going to miss some time.” He did that with Patrick Sharp’s leg injury (which will cost him three to four weeks), so perhaps there is reason for optimism that Oduya’s injury isn’t as serious. If it is going to keep him out of games, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Niklas Hjalmarsson skate with Michal Rozsival, with David Rundblad playing mostly third pairings minutes with Trevor van Riemsdyk.