Hossa will play Saturday vs. Avs

October, 21, 2011
10/21/11
4:26
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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[+] EnlargeMarian Hossa
Rob Grabowski/US PresswireMarian Hossa has three goals and two assists in five games.
CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa did not practice Friday afternoon, but he will play Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche.

"He's fine," Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said after Friday's practice. "Just resting for today. He's ready for [Saturday]."

Quenneville also noted that Corey Crawford will be in net again on Saturday.

Crawford's recent performance -- 3-1-1, 1.79 GAA -- may have surprised some around the league, but it certainly hasn't surprised his teammates. They have known for a while that the 26-year-old goalkeeper was ready to take the next step in his career.

"I don't know if he's been playing so much better, he was this good last year," defenseman Duncan Keith said. "I think his best game of the year was in Game 7 of the first round. I think he just kind of carried that over and he's got a lot of confidence; knowing that he's been here a while, I think he feels comfortable and it's his time to shine."

Penalty Killers: The Blackhawks penalty killing unit has been on point most of the year and Quenneville can already see some changes from last season.

"Every year you have stretches where you're effective," he said. "I know it's early in the season. We haven't taken many penalties which is good as well, but I like the way the guys are moving together as a group of four. Whether it's off the entries, we're not giving anything up off the rush. We're clearing it when we can, discounting a game or so. But at the same time I think we're moving in our own end taking away the dangerous opportunities and we're more predictable in how we're moving together now and that's helped."

The Last Word: Blackhawks left winger Daniel Carcillo acknowledged that his talent as a hockey player may have gotten overlooked over the years because of his brawling ways.

"I think I got drafted to the NHL because I was a hockey player first and foremost, I never fought in Juniors," Carcillo said. "But to make it in this league, you need to do different things, not everyone's going to make it on skill and I realize that. It's just the way I play the game. I play it hard and I play with a lot of emotion and that [upsets] a lot of people. When you're a young kid, you've got to be able to defend yourself and I started doing that. It's just kind of another feather in your cap that you can put and that helped me make it to this league."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Sharp
PTS GOALS AST +/-
78 34 44 13
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Sharp 34
AssistsD. Keith 55
+/-M. Hossa 28
GAAC. Crawford 2.26