As the Chicago Blackhawks prepare for the Detroit Red Wings tonight, both teams will be missing their top players.
Jonathan Toews is day to day with an upper-body injury and the Detroit Free Press reports that Pavel Datsyuk is out at least two weeks after having arthroscopic knee surgery today. Its a big loss for each team, as they square off tonight for the fourth time this season.
Coach Joel Quenneville said Toews current injury is not the wrist injury that sidelined him before and during All-Star weekend. Quenneville didnt have many details about the latest injury -- no defining blow led to it -- but Toews may have been playing through it.
Hes a competitive guy and he wants to play, Quenneville said.
The Blackhawks will go without Toews against a Detroit team thats won 23 at home, but is around .500 (15-15-1) on the road. Brendan Morrison skated in Toews place between Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane this morning.
Johnnys important in a lot of ways, whether its his leadership or his quality and quantity of ice time, coach Joel Quenneville said. He leads in a lot of ways. Itll be up to other guys to step up and contribute. Dont be Johnny, just be yourself.
The Blackhawks will be without Niklas Hjalmarsson for at least another game. The defenseman skated with teammates this morning and is feeling better, but hes still not 100 percent. There was no progress regarding defenseman Steve Montador.