As optimistic as things seemed last week after Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews skated for four consecutive days during his recovery from a concussion, the opposite now appears to hold true.
Toews did not skate Thursday and except for a short time on the ice Wednesday, has been off the ice more than on. The center didn't skate Monday or Tuesday and will not make the trip Thursday when his teammates head to Dallas for Friday night's game against the Stars.
"Whether it’s a setback or it’s part of the process, that’s what we’re dealing with," coach Joel Quenneville said. "If we saw him out there he would be fine. That’s all part of it."
Toews will miss his 12th consecutive game when the Hawks face the Stars and his presence off the ice is "a concern," according to Quenneville.
When Toews does return to skating on a regular basis, he first will have to be cleared for contact in practice and pass other concussion-recovery protocols before he can return to game action.
"You miss a guy like that ... you look forward to having him back at some point, but at the same time you’re looking forward," Quenneville said. "We have to take care of what we can control and that’s our next game. We’re very hopeful he’s going to be on the ice here and is going to be playing soon. That’s part of the process we’re talking about."
Asked if Toews will be back before the end of the regular season, Quenneville said: "Let’s hope so. It would be great. We were hoping he’d be back earlier than this, but part of it is you have to deal with it, the individual and us. And be optimistic he’ll be around and go from there."
Quenneville said defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body) will travel and is questionable for the Stars. Goaltender Ray Emery missed practice with the flu.
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