MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. -- Jonathan Toews was out with the flu on Friday, but coach Joel Quenneville is hopeful the Blackhawks captain plays tomorrow when the Blackhawks face the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
Hes making some progress today and were hoping he should be ready, Quenneville said. He made good enough progress that we anticipate him playing.
Toews practiced Thursday in Chicago but was absent during the teams practice in El Segundo on Friday. Hes the second player to have a bout with the flu center Marcus Kruger missed two days early in camp with it. Quenneville said earlier this week that its something the team has to be mindful of, considering how the flu outbreak has been terrible this season.
Opening day we mentioned whats going on this year around the country, and lets make sure we take care of that, he said. Ive been around it where its devastated a team. You have to be careful.
Brandon Saad took Toews spot on that top line, centering Daniel Carcillo and Marian Hossa. But if Toews doesnt play tomorrow, it doesnt necessarily mean Saad takes that spot.
Thats something we havent even talked about, Quenneville said. We hope it wont come to a Plan B.
Corey Crawford will get the start in goal.
The Blackhawks' coaching staff will be intact for the 2016-17 season.
Two weeks after Patrick Roy abruptly resigned as head coach, the Colorado Avalanche officially picked Jared Bednar to be his replacement over Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen, who was among the favorites for the coaching vacancy.
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Bednar has no National Hockey League coaching experience, but did guide the Columbus Blue Jackets' American Hockey League affiliate to a 15-2 postseason record last season en route to the franchise's first Calder Cup championship.
Retaining Dineen is good news for the Blackhawks, who start training camp next month, but it goes without saying that Dineen is certainly deserving of a second crack at a head coaching position in the near future.
Dineen, Mike Kitchen and head coach Joel Quenneville will enter their third season together after helping the Blackhawks capture a Stanley Cup in their first year as a group in 2015.
Jonathan Toews was named alternate captain of Team Canada on Thursday for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.
Sidney Crosby was named Team Canada’s captain. Crosby, who claimed his second Stanley Cup in June, was also Team Canada’s captain en route to the gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
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Toews, who has been the Blackhawks’ captain since the 2008-09 season, was also alternate captain of Canada’s 2014 Olympic squad. Shea Weber of the Montreal Canadiens will serve as Team Canada’s other alternate captain.
Duncan Keith will not be part of the Blackhawks’ World Cup of Hockey contingent after all.
Keith will focus on improving his health rather than play for Team Canada in the tournament, which takes place next month in Toronto. The Blackhawks released a statement regarding Keith on Wednesday afternoon.
"As Duncan continues offseason rehabilitation on the right knee injury that he sustained last season, we understand his decision not to participate in next month’s World Cup of Hockey," team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in the statement. "We believe it is in his best interests to focus on getting stronger and not risk further injury."
Keith had surgery on that knee last October and was sidelined about one month.
St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will take Keith’s place.