Chicago Sun-Times

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews to sit out regular-season finale against the Red Wings

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DETROIT -- Jonathan Toews needs more time, so he will miss at least one more game and his regular season is over.

Toews will sit out his 22nd consecutive game because of a concussion when the Hawks conclude their regular season Saturday against the Red Wings in Detroit. He last played Feb. 19 against the St. Louis Blues.

"My status hasn't changed unfortunately," Toews said Friday after practice at Joe Louis Arena. "It's still progressing, I guess. It's a frustrating thing to let another game go by, but I just don't feel comfortable that tomorrow is the right day to get back into it.

"It's not fun to miss all those games, especially knowing it would be a great way to step back in, feel fresh and be ready for the playoffs. But I guess I don't really have a choice at this point. I've got to make sure I'm ready to go when the time is right."

Is he confident he'll ready for the playoffs, which start next week?

"I'm still keeping that confidence and that positive outlook that things are going to go the right way and that I'll be ready for next week," Toews said. "I feel like I was very close to being able to play [Thursday against the Minnesota Wild] or tomorrow, but now we've got four days or so before the next game or whenever that might be. I'm hoping that's going to be the difference right there."

Toews said it's during on-ice activities where the symptoms show up, whereas off it, including right after practices, he feels fine.

"If I prepare myself and just walk around, going through my daily routine now as opposed to two, three, four weeks ago, I'm not feeling anything there," Toews said. "There's nothing that ever seems to show up. It's all those things that I do on the ice that seem to cause that feeling to come back.

"It calms down pretty good after practice. The good news is that it seems the harder I push myself at practice the more progress I make, so I'll keep doing that."

Toews finishes the regular season with 29 goals, 57 points and a plus-17 rating in 59 games. At one point, he was generating talk for being considered for the Hart Trophy.

"Hopefully, he could be ready [for the playoffs]," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Emotionally you want to be out there. Knowing Jonny [with] how competitive he is, it's tough watching. I think he feels much improved over the last few days.

"We've got close these last two days. It would have been nice to get him in a game, but Game 1 of the playoffs is way more meaningful than tomorrow's game. So with five more days here, let's side with caution."

(Photo source: AP)

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools. Follow him on Twitter:@adamjahns

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on April 6, 2012 1:27 PM.

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