The Blackhawks are getting close to being fully healthy, and coach Joel Quenneville is getting close to a difficult decision.
Winger Daniel Carcillo, who injured his knee in the first game of the season at Los Angeles, started skating last week and was on the ice along with Steve Montador (concussion) and Rotislav Olesz (knee) prior to Tuesday's morning skate. Quenneville said Carcillo could return to actual Hawks practices as soon as this week.
"He's doing good," Quenneville said. "He skated today. We had three guys skate prior to practice and they're all progressing."
Carcillo was projected to miss a month when he was hurt on Jan. 19, and his rehab has been on schedule. That means he could be available to play as soon as next week. Carcillo was playing on the top line alongside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa when he was hurt -- in his first game back since tearing the ACL in his other knee last January -- but rookie Brandon Saad has stepped into that role and performed very well.
Quenneville has been reluctant to change much of anything during the Hawks' 10-0-2 start, but he's not concerned about where Carcillo will fit in the lineup.
"No, we love those kinds of decisions and we welcome tough ones," Quenneville said. "The depth is something we went into the start of the season [knowing] you're going to get tested and challenged. Today we looked relatively healthy, but we'll see. Danny had a great game his first game back. Hopefully he'll be at that same pace when he gets back."