EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Jonathan Toews is questionable with an upper body injury and Corey Crawford will start when the Blackhawks face the Anaheim Ducks on Friday afternoon.
Toews did not practice on Thursday but coach Joel Quenneville said there’s a chance Toews could play against the Ducks; the Blackhawks will see how Toews feels tomorrow morning.
The captain left midway through the second period of the Blackhawks’ 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night. Quennville said, as of Thursday afternoon, Toews is day-to-day.
Crawford starting vs. Anaheim makes Scott Darling the likely starter vs. the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night, the Blackhawks’ final game of this Circus Trip.
The Blackhawks’ lines had a decidedly different look in Toews’ absence. The second line remained intact (Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane), Ryan Hartman, Vinnie Hinostroza and Marian Hossa were together, as were Tyler Motte, Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik. Dennis Rasmussen and Andrew Desjardins switched at left wing on the fourth line, also comprised of Marcus Kruger and Jordin Tootoo.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
So if Toews doesn’t go, is the Hartman-Hinostroza-Hossa line designated the top line? If so, it’s a big opportunity for Hinostroza, who’s had some opportunities and scored his first career NHL goal since returning from a concussion.
“Vinnie had some chances last night. I liked his speed in the middle of the ice, thought he had some good chances shooting through the screen off the rush,” Quenneville said. “He gives us a different look with his speed and hustle. With the puck, he’s dangerous for us. That’s why he got an opportunity to move up. Now we’ll see what our lines are going to be tomorrow if Jonny can’t go.”
Hinostroza, who’s felt good since returning to the lineup, is ready for the opportunity if that’s how it plays out.
“Whoever you’re playing with on this team, everyone’s a great player. Me and Hartsy have a lot of chemistry. We played a lot last year and I got to play with Hossa a lot last game. Future Hall of Famer, it’s awesome to learn from him and what he’s saying on the bench after shifts. It’s cool and I think we had a lot of buzz out there today. I don’t know if Toews will be able to go tomorrow. Hopefully he does. If not, I think we’ll be ready to go.”