Toews makes it official: He's back

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Toews makes it official: He's back

Toews made it official on Thursday morning, saying he will play in Game 1 of the Chicago Blackhawks first-round series against the Phoenix Coyotes. Toews missed the final two regular-season games as he was still suffering some effects of his concussion during on-ice workouts. He hoped that, with the extra days between regular-seasons end and the postseasons start, he could be ready for Game 1.

Now he is.

Ive kind of stuck with the program all well and I feel comfortable playing, he said. Its time to go and Im excited about it.

Its been a long and arduous two months for Toews, who missed the final 22 regular-season games with his concussion. Toews thought he was ready to go after missing about two weeks, but suffered a setback. Then he wanted to get those two final regular-season games in but wasnt quite 100 percent.

Ive never gone through anything like this in my career, being touch and go for two months, Toews said. But the last couple of weeks have been really good. To feel ready and well enough to play a game, Im really happy about that.

So are the Blackhawks, who will have him centering Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa on the top line. If nothing else its an experiment worth trying, as the Blackhawks dont want to make drastic changes to what have been pretty successful line combinations lately. If Toews gets his legs under him quickly and Kane adjusts to left wing quickly the Blackhawks could be onto something.

Regardless, the Blackhawks are starting the playoffs just about as healthy as they could be.

Emotionally, for our team, its good to have him back, coach Joel Quenneville said. The bigger the game, the bigger the challenge and (Toews) rises to all occasions. The last week hes felt better. The last couple games couldve gotten consideration if they were meaningful. But it was good that he had extra days and we could target today, and hes ready to go.

Honda Road Ahead: Blackhawks look to get back on track to close regular season

Honda Road Ahead: Blackhawks look to get back on track to close regular season

Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd break down the Blackhawks' upcoming schedule in the latest edition of the Blackhawks Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda dealers.

There are less than two weeks left in the NHL regular season and teams are jockeying for playoff seeding.

The Blackhawks have the best record in the Western Conference with 103 points. The Blackhawks' next two opponents, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets, also have 103 points. Washington leads the league with 106 points.

Wednesday the Hawks will travel to Pittsburgh. Two days later they host the Blue Jackets.

After that, the Blackhawks take on the Boston Bruins on Sunday. Boston is in line for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

"There's no easy games from here on out." Konroyd said in the video. "Even teams on the outside, looking in are playing for contracts next year."

Watch the video above to see Boyle and Konroyd discuss the upcoming matchups for the Blackhawks.

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks lose to Lightning in OT

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks lose to Lightning in OT

Here are some of Monday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Blackhawks blow three-goal lead, fall in OT at Lightning

How Cubs came to fully believe in the legend of Kyle Schwarber

White Sox agree to trade outfielder Peter Bourjos

Bulls Talk Podcast: March is Nikola Mirotic's month

Raiders-to-Vegas the latest in long line of NFL relocation drama, some of which included the Bears

Why Cubs fandom was inescapable in covering the greatest story in sports

Derek Holland ends spring on strong note as White Sox down Dodgers

Ex-Bear Brandon Marshall an early favorite at NFL owners meetings

Increased velocity has improved Anthony Swarzak's chances of making White Sox bullpen

Cubs will have Ian Happ one phone call away at Triple-A Iowa