Apr 2 2014, 9:32pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
"Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will miss the remainder of the regular season, but is expected to be '100 percent' for the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs, coach Joel Quenneville said Wednesday.
"The Blackhawks have six games remaining and are third in the Central Division with 99 points, three fewer than the second-place Colorado Avalanche, Chicago's likely opponent in the first round.
"Toews sustained an upper-body injury Sunday when Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik checked him hard into the boards. He is third on the team with 28 goals and 68 points in 76 games."
Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago spoke with Quenneville on April 2 to get his thoughts on the matter.
"He's day to day. He's going to be 100 percent for the playoffs. We're not going to play him for the rest of these six games, so he'll be ready to go.
"We're going to be smart and make sure he's going to be 100 percent, and he will be 100 percent for the playoffs. Could he play (if tomorrow was a playoff game)? Knowing Jonny Toews, there's no chance he'd be out of the game."
Powers stresses the last time Toews sat out due to an injury was during the 2011-12 season when he missed Chicago's final 22 regular-season games due to a concussion. Two seasons before that, he missed six games because of a concussion as well.
Toews also did not suit up for 16 games in 2007-08 -- his rookie year -- because of a knee injury, per ESPN.
Powers notes Toews has sat out a total of 51 games for the Blackhawks in seven seasons. The team went 22-21-8.
Quenneville told Powers forward Andrew Shaw will take Toews' place at center. Another possibility is Joakim Nordstrom who was recalled from the AHL's Rockford Ice Hogs on April 2.
In a separate ESPN blog, Powers maintains the Blackhawks do not regret getting back at Orpik for the hit on Toews.
"The Blackhawks have been criticized by fans, former players and hockey analysts for not retaliating immediately against Orpik or another Penguins player after Orpik hit Toews into the boards in the second period Sunday.
"Toews suffered an upper-body injury and will be kept out of the team's remaining six regular-season games."
Chicago forward Brandon Bollig said retaliation was not the best option for the Blackhawks.
"I think it's a matter of opinion. I think Jonny's definitely going to be fine. He's day to day. It was a clean hit. Obviously, it's unfortunate for us. He's one of the best players in the world. It's tough to have him out of the lineup for one game, let alone a couple if that's what it may be.
"Like I said, it's not ideal (not to retaliate), but that was a game we really need to have. Our focus was two points. If you kind of stray away from that, bad things tend to happen. Like I said, down the road is a different story.
"I don't think it was the right time to address it any other way than we did."
The Blackhawks are also without right wing Patrick Kane, who will also miss the rest of the regular season due to a leg injury.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
blog comments powered by Disqus