ST. PAUL, Minn. Duncan Keith will be back in the lineup tonight but the Blackhawks will be without Jonathan Toews, Dave Bolland and Andrew Brunette when they play the Minnesota Wild tonight at Xcel Energy Center.
Toews was skating once again today but coach Joel Quenneville said Wednesday that the captain was out for this game. Quenneville reiterated that the Blackhawks captain is not out tonight due to setback or any problems; Toews status for Saturday is still up in the air.
Its all part of the process, he said. I know we keep saying the same things here, but I dont think anythings changed. We want to make sure hes ready. You know when youre where you need to be. We have some time here, so well see.
Toews was not available for comment today. In recent days hes said he wants to be very careful about his return so that he doesnt have to suffer through something like this again.
It feels like Im a little bit closer to being in the picture again, and its better than nothing, Toews said about taking this last road trip with the Blackhawks. Hopefully that means Ill be playing soon.
Meanwhile, Bolland is out with an upper-body injury and Brunette is out with a foot injury. Both are considered short-term injuries.
Keith returns after completing his five-game suspension on Sunday night.
It means a lot to your team as far as what he brings, the quality and quantity of ice he gives us, Quenneville said of Keith. He plays in all situations and (plays) important minutes and brings a lot to our back end, our team and puck-possession game.
Corey Crawford will start for the Blackhawks while Josh Harding starts for the Wild.