CHICAGO -- Pardon the Chicago Blackhawks if they start to wonder, "Who's next to fall?" when they suit up on Thursday to play the San Jose Sharks.
After just getting back forwards Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa from extended injuries, the Hawks learned on Wednesday they will now be without captain Jonathan Toews for two weeks after he appeared to injure his shoulder on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center.
Toews was checked hard by Matt D'Agostini with about seven minutes left in the first period and fell into the boards awkwardly. The Hawks are calling it an upper-body injury, but Toews was spotted grabbing his right shoulder after he left the ice and didn't return in the 3-1 Chicago loss.
"He's going to be out probably a couple of weeks," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said after Wednesday's practice at the United Center. "We've had some guys in and out, so the consistency in our lineup hasn't been in place. At the same time, no matter who it is you've got to deal with it. We've lost some key guys and got through some pretty big games in a recent stretch here at home. So it's up to us to find ways."
Toews, who was the Conn Smythe winner in the Hawks' run to the 2010 Stanley Cup championship, is Chicago's second-leading scorer with 15 goals and 33 points. He's also their best at winning faceoffs and often their most emotional motivator.
If he is out for the full two weeks, he could miss up to seven games.
Quenneville didn't say if Toews had an MRI to see if there was structural damage, but sounded confident in the two-week estimate. As for the Hawks staying in the thick of a tight Western Conference race without their on-ice leader, Quenneville said his team must share the burden.
"We've got a lot of guys who deserve some quality time, and at the same time some leadership responsibilities," he said. "Certainly Johnny's a big piece and a key guy. Some of that leadership responsibility can be shared throughout the lineup, and off of last night's game I think we're looking for everybody to contribute in a lot of different ways -- not just leadership."
Author: Brian Hedger | NHL.com Correspondent