Blackhawks dodge bullet with Tyler Johnson injury: 'It could've been worse'

Hawks dodge bullet with Johnson injury: 'Could've been worse' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks placed forward Tyler Johnson on injured reserve with a left ankle injury retroactive to Oct. 25, the team announced before Thursday's game. That means he will be out for at least seven days.

Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said Johnson's timeline for a potential return is unclear, but it could be similar to Boris Katchouk's, who was put on a 4-6-week timetable after he suffered a high ankle sprain in the preseason.

Johnson got tangled up along the boards with Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov early in the third period of Tuesday's game and needed assistance going to the locker room. He did not return and was seen leaving the United Center with a walking boot on his left foot.

This is probably the best-case scenario for Johnson because the injury looked much worse in real time.

"I saw the replay and that's a big man that rolled over on him," Richardson said. "We're lucky it's hopefully short-term. He was playing so well, too. We're going to miss him, but it's definitely good news because it could've been worse."

Johnson was off to a hot start this season with six points (two goals, four assists) through six games after having only seven points (three goals, four assists) in 26 games a year ago. He missed the majority of last season after undergoing artificial disc replacement surgery.

"It's tough," Sam Lafferty said. "He was playing so well. He brings so much to the table for us, so much energy and so much skill. He scores, he makes plays, he hits, he does it all. You can't replace a guy like that."

Because of Johnson's absence, the Blackhawks bumped up Jujhar Khaira to the second line with Taylor Raddysh and Jonathan Toews and promoted Toews to the first power-play unit.

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