News that Patrick Sharp is expected to miss three to four weeks could not have come at a worse time for the Blackhawks.
They are in the mist of a four-game losing streak, with three of those losses coming on home ice. They have only collected three of a possible 12 points in the last six games while being shut out in two of them.
The defense is struggling, and the power play has only converted two of the last 28 chances.
Everyone talks about how important Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa are, but people forget that Patrick Sharp is right up there with those guys. He is a solid defense player which is why he plays on the penalty kill, and his 40 points this season (20 goals and 20 assists) speak for themselves on the offensive side of the ice.
While a trade could be in the works to help fill the hole left for Sharp it won't be enough. Some of the guys will need to step up.
Here are the guys I think need to the most.
Ben Smith was recalled from AHL Rockford on Monday to fill Sharp's roster spot.
Most likely he may also fill his spot on the first or second line where he excelled last season.
Smith, who was a playoff hero last year scoring three goals against Vancouver, struggled when called upon earlier this season.
In six games he tallied one goal and no assists while mostly skating on the third or fourth line. If not for a concussion he suffered last in training camp Smith looked like a lock to make the team.
It'll be interesting to see if Smith can take this opportunity and run with it, otherwise rookies Andrew Shaw and Jimmy Hayes might pass him by.
Michael Frolik has been with the Blackhawks for nearly a year now, and he has yet to find that offensive touch.
While with the Florida Panther, Frolik posted back-to-back 20 goal seasons while in the last two years combined he only has 16.
Could the injury to Sharp be just the thing to jump-start him?
Frolik was centering the second line between Hossa and Sharp on Sunday and even assisted on Sharp's goal. It was the first point Frolik had tallied in 11 games. He was also on the top line with Toews and Patrick Kane the game before.
It looks like coach Quenneville is going to give Frolik a chance here to see what he can do, and I don't expect that to change immediately.
Even if Frolik doesn't find himself putting the puck in the net he will be asked to help replace Sharp by continuing his solid play on defense and the penalty kill.
Viktor Stalberg has stepped up this season and has proven some good secondary scoring, but now with Sharp out, he will have to step up his game even more.
Stalberg is sixth on the team with 22 points behind the big four of Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp and defenseman Duncan Keith. His nine goals tie him with Andrew Brunette and Dave Bolland for fifth and his 13 assists are good enough for seventh on the team.
With two more points he will tie his career high in points (24), which he set last season. How much more can the Hawks expect from him?
Stalberg actually has been one of the most consistent players this season usually not going more then a few games without tallying a point. However he currently is in a six-game pointless streak, which is his longest of the season.
He is also a minus-nine over the last six games that means he has to score in order to offset the goals allowed while he is on the ice.
While Frolik will help offset the loss of Sharp on defense, Stalberg has to help carry the load on the other side of the ice.
If you asked me before the season which member of this Hawks' core would miss a month of the season, my guess would have been Dave Bolland.
Now with Sharp possibly out for the next month Bolland has never been more important to this team.
Bolland along with Sharp scored the only two goals against the Red Wings on Sunday 44 seconds apart.
If the Blackhawks are going to survive without Sharp they will need Bolland to be much more active on the offensive side of the ice while keeping up with his stellar defensive play.
They are going to need the Dave Bolland to put up number like he did when they won the Stanley Cup two seasons ago. In 22 playoff games that season he tallied 16 points with eight goals and assists each.
If not for the next guy on this list Bolland would have been the top guy on this list.
It might seem strange saying that a guy who has 37 points in 42 games needs to do more but Patrick Kane does.
Kane needs to start lighting the lamp and putting the puck in the net.
His ten goals is good enough for fourth on the team but he is on pace for his lowest goal output since his rookie season.
While they might not want to admit it but moving Kane to center may have been a huge mistake. While it worked well at the beginning of the season it may have set him back.
He has been great setting up others and his 27 assists show that but it may have taken away that scoring punch.
Through the first month or so of the season Kane scored seven of his 10 goals. Since scoring his seventh goal against Vancouver on November 16 he has only scored three goals with one goal in the last nine games.
The Blackhawks are going to need Kane to contribute 40 points over the last 40 games of the season and hopefully he is up for the task and gets to lighting the lamp early and often.