Chicago Sun-Times

Toews back in Blackhawks lineup

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LOS ANGELES -- Jonathan Toews couldn't stop smiling Monday at the Staples Center. Is he playing against the Kings?

"Yep," he said.

Toews will be back in the lineup for the first time since injuring his right shoulder last Tuesday when Blues winger Matt D'Agostini checked him hard into the boards.

The Hawks captain was originally ruled out two weeks and was looking at missing seven games. But Toews missed less than a week and only two games -- both losses.

"Every single day, from the first day to today, we saw progress," Toews said Monday after a team meeting at the Staples Center. "I feel good. There's always that side of things of where you want to push it and you want to try to get back as fast as you can, but I can honestly say I don't feel like there is any risk coming back tonight. I feel really good."

The Hawks struggled without Toews, especially in the faceoff circle. The Hawks won only 36 percent of their draws Sunday in their loss against the Ducks. Toews is fifth in the NHL with a 59.6 faceoff winning percentage.

"I hit the ice a couple times and I don't think I lost too much," Toews said. "I can pick up where I left off, I hope.

"It will just be about being competitive [Monday night], and hopefully get off to a good start for faceoffs. I don't think we did that well [Sunday] night. So as a team we want to do that better [against the Kings]."

Corey Crawford will start Monday against the Kings. He faced only 18 shots in Sunday's loss against the Ducks, including just two in the third period.

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times for more than four years, covering the Hawks, Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on January 3, 2011 12:59 PM.

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