Obviously, the biggest news to come out of Chicago recently has been the improvement in the health of Jonathan Toews, who is creeping closer to his return from a concussion that has caused him to sit out since February 19th.
Toews has been cleared for contact, though his status for the rest of the regular season is up in the air.
We do know that he won’t be back on Thursday, against the Minnesota Wild. The team has already come out and said that both Toews and Dave Bolland will sit out in Minny, despite the fact that Toews made the trip with the team.
That just leaves one game remaining for the regular season that Toews could rejoin the team: Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings. So now the question becomes whether or not the Hawks should just shut Toews down until the Stanley Cup playoffs get underway.
Of course, most of that is going to be up to Toews. After initially continuing to play with the symptoms of a concussion, admitting his “denial” over potentially having one, Toews has been very careful and very open about his health status. But if the executive decision over whether to play Toews was up to Joel Quenneville and the Hawks, what would the right move be?
As nice as it would be for Toews to have a tune up before the regular season ends and the playoffs begin, sitting him until that time looks to be the best course of action. The Red Wings aren’t exactly a dirty team, but sitting him and avoiding any potential shenanigans would be a smart move.
Then again, Toews could declare himself ready and the Hawks could let him go on Saturday just to get him warm heading into the postseason. Neither one is a bad decision, I just happen to fall into the camp that thinks he should sit until the playoffs begin.
Either way, with Duncan Keith returning from his suspension and the Hawks playing as well as they are right now, it’s a very positive time for the Blackhawks. With Toews’ return on the horizon, they are looking like they could be a very dangerous team when the battle for the Stanley Cup begins.