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Injured Toews to sit Thursday against Stars

Wednesday, 02.22.2012 / 4:05 PM / News

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent

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Injured Toews to sit Thursday against Stars
An upper-body injury that kept Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews out of a game Tuesday will sideline him for at least one more game.
CHICAGO -- Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will miss a second straight game Thursday, when Chicago plays the Dallas Stars.

Toews missed Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings with an upper-body injury, and after skipping practice Wednesday, coach Joel Quenneville revealed Toews would miss the game Thursday.

Toews' injury was revealed following the Hawks' morning skate. Without their captain the Hawks managed to beat the Red Wings 2-1 to extend their winning streak to four.

Quenneville said after practice Wednesday that nothing about Toews' status had changed since Tuesday.

Jonathan Toews
Center - CHI
GOALS: 29 | ASST: 28 | PTS: 57
SOG: 185 | +/-: 17
"Tazer (Toews) is progressing," Quenneville said. "Still day-to-day, out for tomorrow."

Quenneville refused to discuss any specifics regarding the injury, or even when it occurred.

"Not getting into too much specifics, it was something we talked about after (Sunday's) game," said Quenneville, who usually keeps injury information as vague as possible.

One thing he's not tight-lipped about, however, is Toews' importance to the team.

"When you don't have Johnny in the lineup, it's a concern with his minutes and importance and leadership," Quenneville said. "It's always important when your top guy's not there or your top players. It's something that we're hopeful he's going to be back (soon).”

Beating the Red Wings without Toews, however, was a good sign. It was just the second game the Hawks' star center has missed this season, after a separate upper-body injury -- believed to be a hand/wrist issue -- kept him out for one regular-season game and the All Star Game.

Detroit also was without its superstar first-line center, Pavel Datsyuk, who underwent minor arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday morning that will keep him sidelined two-to-three weeks. Still, any time the Hawks beat the Red Wings -- who came into the game with a six-game win streak -- it's a positive feeling.

Doing it without Toews has to feel even more encouraging, especially the way the Hawks controlled most of the game after Detroit's Valtteri Filppula gave the Wings a 1-0 lead just 2:22 into the game.

"Whether (Toews) is in the lineup or not, we have to play that way to be effective," Quenneville said of the Hawks, who outhit an opponent for the second straight game. "Everybody plays a close-checking affair and its one-goal games -- whether it's 1-0, 2-1 or 3-2. Those are the kind of games we've got to find ways to get points in and win. It's not too much different than how we play anyway (with Toews), but it's, let's make sure we're aware positionally without the puck and are more detailed in our game in all zones. It's starting to pay off and register, as well."

In other Blackhawks-related injury news, top-four defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson skated for the fourth day in a row Wednesday after missing the past seven games with an upper-body injury.

"He feels good and we're hopeful that he plays (against Dallas)," Quenneville said.

The news doesn't appear to be as positive for defenseman Steve Montador, who also has missed the past seven games with an upper-body injury. He didn't practice again Wednesday.
Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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