LOS ANGELES Jonathan Toews and Niklas Hjalmarsson arent currently skating back home, but coach Joel Quenneville is hoping theyll be skating and playing soon.
Toews, Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador did not make the trip for this two-game stint in Los Angeles and Anaheim, but Quenneville is hoping that at least Toews and Hjalmarsson could play Wednesday when the Blackhawks host the Toronto Maple Leafs.
(Toews) is progressing; hes on the same pace he was at before, Quenneville said of Toews, whos possibly suffering some concussion-like symptoms. Well know where hes at when we come back but theres a chance (he plays Wednesday).
Hjalmarsson returned for Thursdays game against the Dallas Stars but apparently suffered a setback heading into the weekend. Quenneville said its not bad. Hopefully when we get back he gets back on the ice with us. Were maybe even looking at (him playing) Wednesday.
The Blackhawks could use both of them back as soon as possible. With 20 games remaining entering Saturdays contest in Los Angeles, every point is critical.
We know the importance of every game, Quenneville said. Were playing a real tough schedule here, all meaningful games, and we want to make sure our team game, start to finish, is in order. We have to be tight defensively and lets make sure we have the urgency because these are all playoff games.
Former Blackhawk Patrick Sharp joins Pat Boyle on the latest episode of the Blackhawks Talk Podcast to discuss the Blackhawks' recent struggles (1:45) and to look back on winning the 2013 Stanley Cup Championship with the Hawks (7:45).
Plus, Sharpy looks back on the games following the birth of his two daughters (11:45), memories from the mother's and father's trip (13:45) and finally starting a new chapter with his broadcasting career (15:00).
Listen to the full episode here or in the embedded player below:
Blackhawks Talk Podcast
The Blackhawks placed defenseman Duncan Keith and forward Andrew Shaw on injured reserve Friday, retroactive to Nov. 29 and 30, respectively. The move opens up two spots on the 23-man roster, although the team did not make any corresponding transactions due to cap reasons.
Keith, who has missed the last three games with a groin injury, and Shaw, who is in the league's concussion protocol, will not play in Friday's game against the New Jersey Devils but they will both be eligible to return after that, whenever they're cleared to do so. Injured reserve requires a player to miss a minimum of seven days from their retroactive date.
The Blackhawks do not receive any cap relief by putting Keith and Shaw on regular injured reserve, but if their injuries continue to linger, the team could transfer one or both to long-term injured reserve (LTIR) for financial reasons, which would force them to miss a minimum of 10 games and 24 days from the time of their injury.
The Blackhawks do not have the cap space to make a call-up and with Drake Caggiula, who's on LTIR, inching closer to a return, that complicates things from a financial standpoint. They're currently sitting at 21 players and have $240,030 in projected cap space, according to Cap Friendly.
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