Duncan Keith could return this weekend, as could Michal Rozsival, as the Blackhawks prepped for their next round of games on Tuesday morning.
Keith skated again on Tuesday — it was otherwise an off-ice workout day for most of the team. It’s been about three weeks since Keith had surgery to replace the torn meniscus in his right knee; if Keith is ready for the weekend, it sounds like he’d be more likely playing vs. Calgary in Chicago on Sunday.
[MORE HAWKS: Artemi Panarin regaining confidence with Kane, Anisimov]
“He’s skating well, moving well, he feels good. We’ll see how he is tomorrow with some guys on the ice,” said coach Joel Quenneville of Keith, who has been cleared for contact. “So we’ll see what happens at the end of the week.”
Keith doesn’t foresee any limitations when he returns but he does want to make sure he’s completely ready to go.
“I’m trying to push it every day and do what I have to do to make sure, when I am ready to go, I’m feeling good and can just focus on what I need to focus on to do my job out there,” Keith said. “It’s just a matter of getting my skating legs back and getting going again. That’s it.”
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
Rozsival (left ankle), who like Keith is still on long-term injured reserve, is also possible for the weekend. The Blackhawks will have some salary-cap decisions to make once the two defensemen return. What cap allowances they got with both being on LTIR will disappear, so it’s doubtful the Blackhawks will have eight defensemen, as they have sometimes had in the past.
Meanwhile, forward Ryan Garbutt (illness) is feeling better. Garbutt did not play on Sunday vs. Edmonton.