Toews out vs. Red Wings with upper-body injury

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Toews out vs. Red Wings with upper-body injury

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.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Vinnie Hinostroza talks rookie season and new wrinkle to offseason training

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Vinnie Hinostroza talks rookie season and new wrinkle to offseason training

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, forward Vinnie Hinostroza joins Pat Boyle and evaluates his rookie season, tells us how he has added MMA and Ju-jitsu to his offseason training and is he going to room with Ryan Hartman next season?

Plus, Tracey Myers joins Pat to discuss Patrick Kane’s first interview this offseason, the latest on the Blackhawks coaching moves and tournament fall-out for Artemi Panarin, Marcus Kruger and Alex DeBrincat.

Listen to the latest episode of the Hawks Talk Podcast below.

In wake of first-round playoff sweep, Patrick Kane talks about the Blackhawks' 'reality check'

In wake of first-round playoff sweep, Patrick Kane talks about the Blackhawks' 'reality check'

It’s been just over a month since the Blackhawks were eliminated from the playoffs in swift fashion. And as Patrick Kane told WGN Radio on Tuesday morning, the bitter taste hasn’t gone away.

“I think a lot of us didn’t figure we’d be in the situation we’re in right now,” Kane told Steve Cochran and Dave Eanet on Tuesday. “All of us can work this offseason to get better. It’s a long time to wait to get back to that opportunity to play in the playoffs again, so we’ll have a sour taste in our mouth for a while.”

The Nashville Predators, who made quick work of the Blackhawks in the first round, eliminated the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night to earn the first Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history. Kane told WGN he’s been watching the playoffs and said Nashville “has a pretty good system going.”

“They come at you, they play aggressive. I don’t think any of us would be a big fan of the way they defend in the neutral zone, just sitting back and playing that 1-3-1. But at the same time they come at you,” said Kane, who added that the Blackhawks “weren’t even close in that (first-round) series.”

“Maybe we had a chance in Game 3 when we were up 2-0, but it was a clean sweep and that’s probably how it should’ve been,” he said. “So now it’s time to regroup.”

When the Blackhawks had their wrap-up media session on April 22, general manager Stan Bowman was asked if some players, having won three Stanley Cups since 2010, had lost some of the hunger. Bowman didn’t buy that and neither did Kane.

“Four sounds a lot better than three, right?” he said. “It’s a long time away and a lot of work, but sometimes you go through those situations and you realize you won three Cups and it’s almost like you’re going to be there again. That’s where the reality check is for us now, realizing how hard it is to get back in that situation, how hard it is to win a Cup or go deep in this league. There’s a lot of work to be done.”