Blackhawks

Toews, Bolland out Thursday; Could play Saturday

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Toews, Bolland out Thursday; Could play Saturday

Jonathan Toews and Dave Bolland will go on this final road trip, but both are out on Thursday night when the Blackhawks play the Minnesota Wild.

Toews, who has missed 20 games with a concussion, is close and could play Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings. When asked why Toews is out for Thursday, coach Joel Quenneville said its all part of the process. Quenneville said Minnesotas feistiness in their game Sunday there were some big hits, as well as three fights in the first half of the game had nothing to do with the decision.

For Toews, just getting back on the road is a start.

Thats step one, he said. Its better than staying home and sitting around by myself. Its not fun to be home watching on TV in my living room; guys go on the road and you miss out on a lot. I feel like Im a little bit closer to being in the picture again and its better than nothing. Hopefully that means Ill be playing soon.

Bolland, meanwhile, has an upper-body injury that Quenneville said is not serious. Bolland, who has not practiced the past two days with the Blackhawks, could play Saturday in Detroit.

Brendan Morrison filled Bollands spot on the checking line at Wednesdays practice.

Andrew Brunette (lower body) practiced on Wednesday and could play tomorrow in Minnesota. Corey Crawford will get the start.

Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule

Uncap those markers and start circling your calendars, Blackhawks fans. The 2018-19 season is officially out.

The Blackhawks will kick off their 91st campaign in franchise history with a road contest against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The home opener is set for Oct. 7, with an Original Six matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 6 p.m.

The Blackhawks have 14 back-to-back games, and the longest road trip of the season is three, which takes place five times over the course of the season; the longest homestand is four games, from Dec. 12-18.

The biggest highlight of the season will be the Original Six Winter Classic Showdown between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1 at Notre Dame Stadium. It will be the sixth outdoor appearance for Chicago, and fourth in the Winter Classic.

The Blackhawks will also square off with the defending champion Washington Capitals on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m., and welcome them to Chicago on Jan. 20, set for NBC's Game of the Week at 11:30 a.m.

Here's a look at the full schedule:

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman: 'We expect Corey to be back'

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman: 'We expect Corey to be back'

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said that the team expects goalie Corey Crawford to be back next season around training camp. Bowman also mentioned that Crawford might speak about his status himself during the Blackhawks Convention.

“What I said at the end of the year was still the case now, which is we expect Corey to be back,” Bowman said in a Thursday afternoon conference call. “We don’t have any reason to think that’s not going to happen.”

According to Bowman, Blackhawks players, including Crawford, already have their eyes set on next season.

“At this point in the summer, all the players are preparing for next season,” Bowman said. “Corey’s in that same preparation mode.”

Crawford is nursing what has been labeled an upper-body injury by the team. The two-time Stanley Cup winner was put on the shelf for the rest of the season back in late December, and he has not seen the ice since he skated in a February practice.

“Nothing has changed,” Bowman said. “We expect him to be back and ready to go in training camp.”

The Blackhawks have chosen to keep any groundbreaking news with Crawford under wraps, which the organization has done with other player injuries in the past. Bowman spoke about his vagueness in this situation.

“We’ve never gone into specifics about injuries,” Bowman said. “I realize this probably gets more attention because he’s our starting goalie and he won the Stanley Cup.”

Fans will have to take a wait-and-see approach, because it is unlikely that there will be a significant update regarding Crawford’s health before the season gets closer to its start.

Last season, Crawford only appeared in 28 games, posting a record of 16-9 with 782 saves before going down for the rest of the year.