Dave Bolland will be the top-line center in Jonathan Toews absence, and Corey Crawford will get the start when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Nashville Predators tonight at the United Center.
Toews was placed on injured reserve, retroactive to this weekend, this morning. Coach Joel Quenneville said he and Patrick Sharp (wrist) will be on the team plane to Vancouver next week. Their playing status is still undecided for that first game after the break, but Quenneville is hopeful Toews will be ready.
The injurys not serious, and its not, he said. Hopefully he can make some good progress this week.
For Bolland, this is an opportunity to see what he can do with Viktor Stalberg and Patrick Kane.
It should be fun between Kaner and Stals, Bolland said. "With their skill and speed, hopefully we can do some damage out there.
Quenneville said the checking-line center should not change his game.
He has some good skills, play recognition in both areas. That line doesnt have to change its focus, he said. That job description doesnt mean he has to change at all.
This is the Blackhawks final game before the All-Star break, and they obviously want to go out strong. They also want to erase their game against the Predators on Saturday, which they lost 5-2.
We know its an important game in a lot of ways, so lets make sure focus is in the right place, Quenneville said. You dont want to get ahead of yourself. We have time off after, but lets bring a business-like attitude tonight.
Brandon Pirri, who was recalled this morning from Rockford, was centering a line with Andrew Brunette and Jimmy Hayes this morning.