Defenseman Michael Kostka of the Chicago Blackhawks was listed as a healthy scratch on Tuesday before Chicago’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Florida Panthers. However, after Wednesday night’s practice, Coach Joel Quenneville reported that Kostka would be sidelined for 4-6 weeks after sustaining a lower body injury.
Kostka’s injury originated from when the 6-foot-1 defenseman was putting in extra practice after the Blackhawks’ morning skate in Florida on Tuesday. “When the extra guys were skating out there, he got hit,” remarked Quenneville.
Kostka had been rotating into the sixth defenseman spot with Michal Rozsival and Sheldon Brookbank. The newcomer signed with the Blackhawks as a free agent on August 19 and has put up two goals for Chicago this season.
“You get tested, you get challenged,” Quenneville commented. “We had eight defensemen and we were working three guys in the one spot. He was coming off a real good game.”
Quenneville even went on to comment how he was thinking about working Kostka in offensively. This is characteristic of the Blackhawks. They were known last season for working to make sure that any combination of players out on the ice would yield great results, something Quenneville and the rest of the coaching staff are no doubt trying to achieve once again this season.
Kostka’s injury will not require surgery and the team has no plans to recall a player from Rockford of the AHL for Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Absence of any Chicago player who has the ability to capitalize his ice time by putting up a goal will surely be missed from the lineup. The Blackhawks remain strong, however, as this was their first major injury of the regular season. Hopefully Kostka’s recovery will go smoothly so he can get back out on the ice with his teammates.
Kelsey Meyer is a contributor for RantSports.com, follow her on twitter @storminmormon20