For the 21st consecutive game tomorrow night, the Chicago Blackhawks will be without the services of their Captain Jonathan Toews. Although he’s been cleared for contact, and he has completed all NHL concussion testing, he still doesn’t feel 100% better from his concussion. The Hawks have been a remarkable 13-4-3 in the Captain’s abscense. Toews has not missed a practice in a week, and will be making the trip to Minnesota which are all great signs that his return to the lineup is imminent.
Dave Bolland will also be missing the game tomorrow night with the very specific upper body injury (wrist injury). In practice today, Brendan Morrison took Bolland’s spot in between Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw. Shaw has been scoring points on a ni regular basis, but will find it a lot tougher sledding in Minnesota with Morrison at Center. (Sure was hoping to never have to mention Morrison again!!) Bolland has 19 goals and 18 assists this season and his plus/minus is 0, which is pretty good since he usually has to play against the #1 scoring line on a nightly basis. His health will be key come next week in the playoffs.
Andrew Brunette was also back at practice today. There was also news of the possiblity of Patrick Kane playing left wing in the coming games, which is the only offensive position Kane hasn’t played this season.
With the loss of Bolland and Toews not playing it will be a tough game for the Hawks to win Thursday night against the Minnesota Wild, and it sure gives the impression that the Hawks are staring down the #6 seed in the playoffs. Time will tell, but spoken like a Mega Millions winner…. you have to be IN IT TO WIN IT!!!
Lets go Hawks!