The Chicago Blackhawks have had to deal with captain Jonathan Toews being out of the lineup for their last three games, but it looks like his absence will last at least a little bit longer.
With the Blackhawks set to take on the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night at the United Center, Toews will once again be out of the lineup as he continues to deal with an upper body injury.
Both Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times and Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune have reported that Toews is dealing with a back injury, but the team still believes that it isn’t a serious issue despite his extended absence.
There is some good news for the Blackhawks on the injury front however. Artem Anisimov, who left Tuesday’s game against the Florida Panthers after being drilled in the heel by a Duncan Keith slap shot, participated in the team’s morning skate Thursday and will be back in the lineup for the game against the Devils.
As for Toews, head coach Joel Quenneville said that the center is doubtful for Saturday’s game, but that the team is hoping to get him back on the ice for workouts on either Friday or Saturday, and that they are merely being “cautious” with his health this early in the season.
During his absence, the Blackhawks have gotten five out of a possible six points, with their lone loss coming in an overtime defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Even with Toews out of the lineup, the Hawks still have the best record in the Western Conference and have a four-point lead over the St. Louis Blues.