Jonathan Toews is getting better, according to his coach. But the Blackhawks captain will still be out of the lineup on Thursday night.
Toews is progressing from an upper-body injury, coach Joel Quenneville said on Wednesday, but he is out nevertheless against the Dallas Stars tomorrow. It will be the second consecutive game without Toews, whose injury, according to Quenneville, is not the wrist that sidelined him briefly right before the All-Star break. Toews did play the entire game against St. Louis on Sunday.
As for what Toews injury is, the Blackhawks arent giving many details. Asked if Toews had a concussion, Quenneville said its upper body, and thats what were looking at. Quenneville said Toews is still day to day and is hopeful that the captain can be back or at least skating by this weekend.
The Blackhawks banded together for their 2-1 victory Tuesday over the Detroit Red Wings, who were missing their top center Pavel Datsyuk (out 2-3 weeks after knee surgery). But given his work in so many on-ice categories, if Toews is out for any amount of time its going to be a concern.
When you dont have Johnny in the lineup its a concern; the minutes, the importance and the leadership, Quenneville said. Its always important when your top players arent there. Were hopeful hes going to be back quick.
Meanwhile, defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson continues to feel better and could play tomorrow against the Stars. Steve Montador, however, has made no progress.
Corey Crawford will get his fifth consecutive start tomorrow.