GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jonathan Toews felt great after his first game back and the Phoenix Coyotes may be without Radim Vrbata as the Blackawks and Coyotes prepared for Game 2 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Toews took some hard knocks from the Coyotes in Game 1, his first game after missing the final 22 regular-season contests with a concussion. But the Blackhawks captain had a smile on his face and pronounced himself feeling good after that tough first game.
"I feel much better than last night," Toews said Friday, after participating in the Blackhawks' optional practice. "Last night was a tough one to jump into but I think that adrenaline, that excitement of playing in the playoffs, and even (playing) the first game in a long time, helps you power through it. Physically, the worst is over. I'm looking forward to playing my game and not thinking too much and letting things happen."
Meanwhile, the Coyotes are waiting to see how Vrbata, their top goal-scorer, is doing. Vrbata suffered an upper-body injury when Andrew Shaw hit him early in Thursday's game. Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said Vrbata was at the arena today and did work out. He is listed as day to day. Tippett wasn't sure today what the Coyotes' lines would be like if Vrbata can't play tomorrow night.
"Weve done some work here this morning and well keep monitoring what we think works for us and what might fall into place for us," he said. "We'll look at different matchups, scenarios that try to get you some rhythm in the game. Theres enough there we can grab onto, but I'm not sure where our lineups going to be tomorrow yet."
The Blackhawks could also have some lineup changes.
"Well look at some options," coach Joel Quenneville said. "We have five guys here who want to play as well, so well see."