Chicago captain Jonathan Toews is returning to the lineup for Game 1 of the Blackhawks' playoff series against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Toews said after the team's morning skate that he will play Thursday night.
"It looks good," Toews said. "I’ve kind of stuck with the program all week. With the trainers, we’ve made the decision that if I feel comfortable playing, it’s time to go. So I’m excited about it."
"I’m very excited. I don’t think I’ve gone through anything like this in my career, where it’s been touch-and-go for just two months. You don’t really know when you’re going to be 100 percent when you’re doing everything you can and it seems to always be the same thing every time you wake up."
Toews missed the final 22 games of the regular season because of a concussion, but started practicing with the team this week. He said he felt no symptoms at practice Wednesday and came through the morning skate fine.
A superb two-way player, Toews had 29 goals and 28 assists in 59 games this season. He is expected to give the Blackhawks a big lift against the defense-oriented Coyotes.