Top Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews felt good Monday while practicing in Chicago. So did his running mate Patrick Kane.
So the Blackhawks should be back to full strength for Game 1 of their playoff series with the St. Louis Blues, who will only get some of their key players back by Thursday.
“I don't think you ever want to miss any games, but if you do on the one side you can try and rest up and be as mentally ready for the playoffs as you can,” Toews told Chicago reporters. “At the same time, I don't feel like I lost anything. It was only a short while to be away from playing the games.
“I think for anyone who's been playing right until the end of the season, it's going to be an adjustment with the speed of the playoffs, so everyone's going to have to step it up a little bit. I think we'll all be excited, especially myself in Game 1. Hopefully that energy and that excitement can carry me through and get me enough to play my best, I guess.”
Toews was out with an upper-body injury suffered on a big hit from Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik. Kane has been sidelined with a lower-body injury suffered against the Blues.
“I've had some time to rest my injury, obviously, the right amount of time, and with anything you want to make sure you're feeling good coming back,” Kane told reporters. “I think that's where I'm at right now. It'll be nice to get a couple skates with the team tomorrow and Wednesday and the pregame skate Thursday and get ready to go.”