Jonathan Toews felt good after his third consecutive day of skating, but the captain, who is coming back from a concussion, has not been cleared for contact.
Toews practiced with the Blackhawks at Johnny's Ice House on Saturday afternoon and took another step toward getting back into the lineup. But while Toews would love to be back Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues, he said it's tough to pinpoint a date -- especially since he has yet to be cleared for contact.
"I always think the next game will be the time," said Toews, who is out for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Kings. "Id love to be in on Tuesday but I need to focus on this afternoon, worry about those little things right now. It's just one step at a time and hopefully itll be sooner than later at this point."
Toews said he has had no setbacks these past three days, which is encouraging. He said he'll truly know where he is when he's allowed to take contact.
"Thats the real way of knowing, I think, is when you turn around the corner and youve got a guy on you, youre spinning around and a guy hits you. Those things move you really fast," he said. "When youre doing full drills, skating around the ice, you get your heart rate up eventually and you can kind of match that where the symptoms go away. But (contact) will be the real test, so well see when the time is for that."
Meanwhile, defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said he felt "great" after coming back last night against the New York Rangers.
Jamal Mayers and Dave Bolland did not practice today but coach Joel Quenneville said both were just off. Michael Frolik returned to practice after missing the past two days with an illness.
Ray Emery will start tomorrow against the Kings.