Jonathan Toews is back. The Chicago Blackhawks star has missed the final 22 games of the regular season but will return to the lineup tonight as the Hawks face off against the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round of the NHL playoffs.
The Blackhawks made the announcement with a simple statement on Twitter: Yes. He’s Back.”
USA Today reports that Toews has been skating with the team since Monday and is expected to rejoin Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane on the top line tonight. The Chicago Suntimes reports that Toews has been cleared to play tonight but it will ultimately be his decision.
“I’ve been sitting here a lot longer than I thought I would be… It’s been tough to battle through. (But) I’m right there…. It’s just been another day where I just feel like I’m getting better and better and getting back to where I want to be as far as when I’m going to play a game.”
Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville added:
“He’s made real consistent progress recently. Each and every day he feels even better.”
Toews has been participating in full contact practices since the beginning of April and has been skating with Kane and Hossa the last few days. Kane said:
“He hadn’t been practicing on the line with us before so it’s a good sign. He’s a force and to have him back would be a huge boost.”
The Blackhaws play the Phoenix Coyotes tonight during the first round of the NHL playoffs. Do you think Toews will help bring the Blackhawks back to the Stanley Cup?