Kane doubtful for Friday; Hawks sticking together

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Kane doubtful for Friday; Hawks sticking together

Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010
1:55 PM

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

The Chicago Blackhawks arent going through the best of times right now.

Theyre physically wounded Fernando Pisani will play Friday night but Viktor Stalberg and Marian Hossa are out and Patrick Kane is doubtful. The home record isnt good. The bounces arent going their way. The frustration is there.

Oh, and more good news: the Western Division-best Detroit Red Wings come to town on Friday night.

After a strong showing on their long road trip and a good start to December at home, the Blackhawks have lost three in a row and are watching others pass them by in the standings.

But at a time when the Blackhawks could be sulking, theyre pulling themselves together. As far as the remaining healthy Blackhawks are concerned, they have no choice.

You could say that (were frustrated), but you have to use it in the right way, Jonathan Toews said. You direct that anger and frustration toward each other thats not going to do anything. You have to work as hard as you can. Thats what weve got to do.

So the Blackhawks will cobble together their forward lines again, get back out there again and try to grab points again.

We beat the same drum a lot, that we need to be harder to play against, but thats something we re-emphasized today. Thats something we need to be, coach Joel Quenneville said. We need more urgency in our overall game, no matter whos playing with whom. You want to be part of the solution and look at it in a positive and objective way. We dont want to revisit the past; we need to move forward and find ways to do it the right way.

The Blackhawks were 10th in the West as of Thursday afternoon. They certainly arent conceding a thing yet; theres too much hockey to be played. Still, they cant let the points keep slipping away; theyre banding together through this tough time in the hopes that it stops.

We just do the right things out there and the results will be good, Jack Skille said. Sometimes even though you do the right things it may not turn out well, but we cant get frustrated at that. We have to play smart and the bounces will go our way.

Injury updates

Kane started practice with the Blackhawks on Thursday but didnt finish. Kane went off for a bit, came back briefly, then left for good a few minutes into practice. Quenneville said hes doubtful for tomorrow.

Its part of the process, Quenneville said. He might need a day off. He was out there for two days in a row, today he couldve aggravated it. But its not to the extent that its a step in the wrong direction.

Hossa did not skate again Thursday but Quenneville expected him to be skating on Friday morning. Stalberg also did not practice and wont play Friday, but Quenneville said he looked OK.

Briefly

Corey Crawford will start against the Red Wings.

Marty Turco said he appreciated Quenneville talking with him during his recent rough stretch. Its not surprising within this organization and with Joels repertoire to see where guys are at and lend a hand where needed. Its conducive to a successful environment and its appreciated on my end that were all in it together.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Jonathan Toews practices but won’t play vs. Flyers

Jonathan Toews practices but won’t play vs. Flyers

Jonathan Toews sounded somewhat frustrated but cognizant of the situation.

If it were the postseason there’s no doubt he would be playing right now. That’s not a surprise to hear, considering what hockey players put themselves through when the playoffs start. But this is early December. There are too many games remaining. And with it coming down to making sure he’s healthy for the long haul, it’s an easy call.

Toews practiced on Friday for the first time since being hurt, but he won’t travel to Philadelphia when the Blackhawks face the Flyers on Saturday afternoon. It will be the fifth consecutive game Toews has missed since he was hurt against the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 23. Still, him skating on his own and then practicing with teammates for a few minutes is a good sign that Toews is closing in on a return.

“Just come back and check in again [Saturday], see how it is and hopefully, I guess as they say, re-evaluate for Sunday,” Toews said on Friday. “It’s never fun to miss any time, especially when the team is playing as many games as they are. So nice to get back out there and move around and get going a little bit.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Toews was placed on injured reserve on Friday, retroactive to Nov. 24, the day after he was injured.  Coach Joel Quenneville said he’ll see how Toews feels on Saturday and, “we’ll get a better idea going forward. But he’s not on the trip.”

“You gotta be fully recovered and want to make sure guys are 100 percent before they can play,” Quenneville said. “Jonny plays at a certain pace and it’s all out, so let’s make sure he’s more than ready when he’s coming back.”

Several have reported that Toews has a back injury, and the captain was doing several back stretches during Friday’s session. Toews left in the second period of the Blackhawks’ 2-1 loss to the Sharks, moments after he went down awkwardly. But Toews said he wasn’t hurt on that play. 

“I think it was just something that started to aggravate in the first period. I tried playing in the second and that instance right there, just went down like a ton of bricks,” Toews said. “I was trying not to aggravate the injury more than I already had. That wasn’t where I got hurt; [it was] probably the instance people were looking for to see what the explanation was.”

If this were April and the playoffs were about to begin, Toews probably wouldn’t be as patient with his injury. But it isn’t, and he will be. It’s not worth making worse. The Blackhawks have managed to get points in his absence, going 3-0-1 so far.

“It’s the type of thing most guys would be able to suck up and play if it were a playoff game and putting everything on the line. But at this point, with the amount of games left in the season, it’s not something you want to continuously deal with,” he said. “If you aggravate it, it’ll keep coming back to haunt you. It’s tough to hold back and do less than you know you can, but in the long run, trying to make sure I get back to 100 percent.”

BRIEFLY

- Trevor van Riemsdyk was activated off the injured-reserve list and is expected to play against the Flyers.

- Marian Hossa took practice off. He is expected to play.

-  Corey Crawford will start vs. Philadelphia.

Blackhawks Road Ahead: Feasting on the East

Blackhawks Road Ahead: Feasting on the East

Pat Boyle, Steve Konroyd and Jamal Mayers have the latest on Joel Quenneville's group in this edition of the Blackhawks Road Ahead, sponsored by Chicagoland NW Indiana Honda dealers.

The Blackhawks are once again taking care of business, going 3-0-1 with their captain Jonathan Toews on the sideline. They're also 6-2-2 against the East this year, and they'll get another chance to add to that record when they take on the Flyers this week.

Here's what our Blackhawks Postgame Live crew had to say about the team's upcoming matchups in this week's Honda Road Aehad.