Patrick Sharp sustained a lower-body injury in a collision with Alexei Emelin on Tuesday night as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Montreal Canadiens, and the ailment will cost him approximately three to four weeks of ice time, according to head coach Joel Quenneville.
The injury ends what had been a solid start to the season for Sharp, who was one of the only Blackhawks really excelling on the offensive side of things. He has three goals and six assists so far this year, and he has been averaging over four shots on goal per game as he has been the driving force behind the team's large uptick in shots per game.
The Blackhawks called up Peter Regin to replace Sharp in the lineup on Thursday, but his stint in the lineup could be short-lived. According to Quenneville, Daniel Carcillo could resume skating in the next few days after suffering a lower body injury in October. It's unlikely he'll be back within the next few games, but it's a situation worth keeping an eye on.
In the end, the big story now is Sharp's absence, and the Blackhawks know that it won't be easy to cope with him not being on the ice.
"It's not just going to be one guy that steps up and makes up for a player like Sharpie," Patrick Kane told Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times after practice. "It's just not going to happen."
The Blackhawks will next take the ice on Friday night to face Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in a Winter Classic preview at the United Center.