When word surfaced that Jonathan Toews was dealing with an upper-body injury last week, I could just imagine coach Joel Quenneville whispering in his captain’s ear:
“Skip the All-Star Game so you can be fresh against the Vancouver Canucks.”
(Note: I also imagine Quenneville combing his mustache while saying this, so my imagination might not be aligned with reality here.)
Naturally, as big as that game might be, it’s still just one of 82. There’s no guarantee that a practice appearance means these players will be ready for game time, but CSNChicago.com’s Tracey Myers reports that Toews and fellow stud Patrick Sharp skated with the team on Monday.
Sharp has missed three weeks with a wrist injury while the rumor is that Toews’ injury might be hand-related, as well. If those two forwards do return, the Blackhawks will be a dramatically deeper team on Tuesday considering the fact that Brendan Morrison is primed to make his debut with Chicago too.
It’s silly to say that it’s all about Vancouver considering that tomorrow’s match against the Canucks is just the first obstacle in a grueling nine-game, nearly three-week-long road trip, but it’s just plain fun to think of it as an epic battle anyway.