Aaron Palushaj #17 of the Colorado Avalanche knocks the puck away from Patrick Sharp #10 of the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on March 6, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Wednesday night’s game was one of mixed emotions for the Chicago Blackhawks. Yes, they beat the Colorado Avalanche on a last-minute goal by Daniel Carcillo to extend their record points streak to 24 games, but in the game they lost both Andrew Shaw and Patrick Sharp to injuries.
Add to that the last minute scratch of Marian Hossa, and you saw the Hawks conclude the game with only nine healthy forwards on the ice for just about the entire third period.
With that kind of manpower shortage, the Hawks surely will have to call up at least one player from their AHL affiliate in Rockford. They must carefully weigh several factors when doing so, with the most important being calling up a player capable of filling the role they need satisfied. Whether it’s a center to replace Shaw on the third line or a winger to replace Sharp on the second, the Hawks do have a deep farm system, and it’s one they’re going to have to utilize.
So just who should get the call? What should the lines look like? Here are a couple of potential scenarios:
If Sharp Goes On IR, but Shaw Remains Day-to-Day:
If Sharp’s injury forces him onto IR, which it seems like it will, then the Hawks should call up Jeremy Morin. The talented offensive winger has had an excellent season thus far for the Icehogs, with 19 goals and 18 assists through 51 games. He also has nine power play tallies.
Another possible call-up would be Jimmy Hayes. He’s four inches taller than Morin, plays a way more physical style, and has a similar amount of scoring production. The Hawks would love to have a guy like that on either the second or third line.
Potential Line Combos (with Shaw day-to-day):
If Sharp and Shaw Go on IR:
If head coach Joel Quenneville’s original statements aren’t correct about Shaw’s injury not being serious, the Hawks will be in a bit more of a dilemma. They could just go with one call-up and the line combination above, or they could call up center Brandon Pirri from Rockord. Pirri, who has had a couple of NHL stints with the team, is leading the IceHogs in points with 45, including 17 goals and 28 assists, and has six power play goals.
Potential Line Combos: