Toews 'day-by-day', Crawford in goal vs. Ducks

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Toews 'day-by-day', Crawford in goal vs. Ducks

Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011
Posted: 12:31 p.m. Updated: 1:40 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

For Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, the past few days have felt like forever.

Toews was dying to get back on the ice after sustaining a right-shoulder injury against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night. So with healthy legs and the shoulder feeling better, Toews gave it a go on Saturday morning.

The go went well.

Toews practiced at Johnnys Ice House West on Saturday, a few hours before he, his Blackhawks teammates and players and coaches moms headed to Los Angeles for their two-game road trip. While he wont play Sunday in Anaheim, Toews return Saturday was nevertheless an encouraging sign that he could be back soon.

Its not 100 percent, but Im pretty happy where it is right now, considering the normal diagnosis for this injury is around two weeks, said an upbeat Toews, who was passing and taking a shot or two in practice but did not skate on a forward line. Its been getting better every day so thats obviously a good sign. If it keeps going at this pace, hopefully itll be quicker than that.

Coach Joel Quenneville said Toews practice was positive and encouraging, and it probably didnt hurt team spirit to see him out there again this quickly.

Certainly, your captain, you get a lot of inspiration knowing hes coming off an injury like that and he looked like he was one of the regulars out there at practice, he said. Its an encouraging sign for everybody, but lets make sure hes ready before we say hes ready.

Toews said he knew exactly what happened as soon as he sustained the injury because hed suffered it in his left shoulder years ago. He was spinning away, trying to brace himself for an incoming check when his shoulder hit the boards. Right now, hes just icing it and trying to get the range of motion back.

I just want to make sure it heals properly right now, he said. Ill take it day by day. Im just trying to stay positive and be upbeat. Thats the best way to heal up as quickly as I can.

Pisani, Crawford better

Forward Fernando Pisani, whos missed two games with the flu, practiced on Saturday and is expected to play Sunday in Anaheim. Pisani, who was on the right wing with Ryan Johnson and Dave Bolland on Saturday, said he lost six pounds from the illness.

He had looked good and had a three-game points streak before he got sick.

Its always frustrating when you have to leave the lineup, he said. Its one of those things you cant control and Im just working my way to get back into it again.

Goaltender Corey Crawford, meanwhile, said he feels normal again and will start against Anaheim on Sunday. Crawford had been practicing since Dec. 26 but had been struggling to regain his energy from the flu he had during the holidays.

I was getting tired really easy but Im 100 percent now, he said. My timing was really good today and thats the most important thing for me to have timing, be patient, be big and after that react. I feel really good today.

Briefly

Jordan Hendry was back on defense Saturday after playing a few games at forward recently, and he could be there Sunday vs. Anaheim.

He hasnt played in a while on the back end, Quenneville said. He has the ability to jump in a game and not missing a beat. His quickness and anticipation is something we can use. Were looking forward to getting him back on the back end.

Welcome aboard

The Blackhawks have signed defenseman Dylan Olsen to a three-year, two-way contract, the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune reported. Olsen is a former first-round pick for the Blackhawks.

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

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks go for season sweep vs. Stars tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks go for season sweep vs. Stars tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Dallas Stars tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Patrick Sharp returns to Chicago.

For the first time this season, Sharp will lace up the skates in the building and city he spent 10 seasons and won three Stanley Cups. He missed the first three meetings of the year due to a concussion, but played in the fourth on Feb. 4 that turned out to be a 5-3 loss for Dallas. The former Blackhawks winger revealed last month that he's been dealing with an undisclosed injury for quite a while that has worsened over time, and will eventually need season-ending surgery, which will likely come when the Stars are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

2. Johnny Oduya faces former team.

Sharp won't be the only one facing his former club tonight. Oduya will face off against the Stars for the first time since being re-acquired by the Blackhawks on Feb. 28 from Dallas, where he spent the last year and a half after signing a two-year contract in the summer of 2015. He was a key part of the team's blue line that won their first division title since 2005-06 last year.

3. Jamie Benn scoring drought.

After scoring 12 goals in his previous 16 games, including three in two games to start March, Benn hasn't scored in six straight, his second-longest drought of the season; his first stretched to nine games from Oct. 20-Nov. 10. It's been a tough season in Dallas, and Benn only recently started looking like the player that finished last season ranked third with 41 goals and second with 89 points. But he's still one of the best players in the league, so don't think a down year makes him any less dangerous on the ice.  

4. Ryan Hartman with a hot stick.

Hartman had been quiet for a little bit, failing to find the back of the net in nine consecutive games. He's been lights out in the last three, where he registered a season-high six shots on goal and scored the game-winning overtime goal in Toronto, and scored two more in Tuesday's 5-4 overtime loss to Vancouver. He's now up to 18 goals on the season, which ranks fifth among all rookies, and all but one have come at even strength. Two more would put him at 20 goals, and would make him the seventh Blackhawks player this season to reach that total.

5. Another successful night coming for the power play?

The Blackhawks took advantage of their six power-play opportunities on Tuesday against Vancouver by cashing in on two of those. They were only 1-for-13 (7.7 percent) in their previous seven games. They're welcoming a Stars team that ranks dead last in the penalty kill department with a 74.0 percentage, and the Blackhawks will look to build off last game's success and keep it rolling.

Buy tickets to tonight's game here!

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- NBC Sports App FAQ: All your questions answered

- Latest on the Blackhawks: All of the most recent news and notes

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Expectations for John Hayden in the playoffs

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Expectations for John Hayden in the playoffs

On this episode of the Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Tracey Myers and Pat Boyle breakdown Tuesday's controversial ending with Vancouver. They discuss whether Darling was interfered with on the game winning goal and did Toews deserve a penalty for running into Ryan Miller?

They also discuss the expectations for John Hayden and the tough lineup decisions at forward, that Joel Quenneville will have in the playoffs.

Tracey weighs in on who has been the more impressive goalie tandem, Crow and Emery in 2013 or this year's pair, Crow and Darling?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: