Blackhawks lose a defenseman to injury and get one back before game vs Coyotes

DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 21: Olli Maatta #6 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center on November 21, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

GLENDALE, AZ – With a team already struggling with injuries in the middle of a difficult three-game stretch against Western Conference contenders, they got a little more bad news on Thursday morning.

Defenseman Calvin de Haan, who injured his right shoulder in a 5-1 loss to Vegas on Tuesday, is headed to injured reserve and will be unavailable for at least the next week.

It’s a difficult hit for Jeremy Colliton, considering that he’s already dealing with a major injury on the blue line as Duncan Keith remains on the injured reserve as well. de Haan, who was acquired through a trade with the Hurricanes, has played in 29 games this season, sporting a plus-10 rating with a goal and five assists.

But while he losses de Haan, Colliton is going to get another offseason acquisition back on defense after his recent absence.

Out of the lineup with an illness the last four games, Olli Maatta returns to the lineup tonight as the Blackhawks face the Coyotes in Glendale. Since coming to the team from the Penguins in a trade last summer, Maatta has played in 27 games with a goal and seven assists, and now he’s back to add depth before a tough stretch for the Blackhawks.

After losing to the Golden Knights 5-1 on Tuesday in Las Vegas, they’ll face the Coyotes on Thursday night just five days after losing in a shootout at the United Center. The much-improved Arizona team, who is tied for third in the Western Conference with 40 points, will be followed on Saturday with a match-up with the Blues, who have 42 points on the season.

Having a full strength defense would be nice for that match-up, but for now, the Blackhawks will take having at least one player back on Thursday evening.

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