They’re still missing Marcus Kruger, but the Blackhawks will get one player who has faced the NHL’s recent concussion epidemic on Friday when Daniel Carcillo returns to the lineup against the Detroit Red Wings.
Carcillo has missed the last six games with the concussion, which was initially just referred to as an upper-body injury. Go figure.
The former Philadelphia Flyer, Carcillo has been surprisingly solid in his first season with the Blackhawks this year. He’s cooled off after a hot start, but has fulfilled the role he was brought in for, serving as an agitator and physical presence in the lineup.
Carbomb has bounced all over the lineup, spending time on each of the four lines this season after starting on the second unit with Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa. He’s expected to start Friday’s tilt on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Hossa.
It came as a bit of a surprise that Carcillo wasn’t in the lineup on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Kings. He’s been practicing for most of the week and had declared himself ready prior to the game, but didn’t see action.
He’ll return Friday, in the first of six games against the Hawks’ biggest rival, the Detroit Red Wings. It’s still December, but every game against Detroit is a big one, in a race that should come down to the wire to determine who takes the top spot in the Central Division.
Carcillo has nine points on the season, and is a plus-8 in 26 games. He leads Blackhawks forwards with 69 hits on the season, and leads the team, by far, with 60 penalty minutes. Nonetheless, his return to the lineup should be welcome, and he’s already said that he won’t back down from the physical game in his first game back.
Music to the ears of Blackhawks fans.