That the St. Louis Blues are banged-up heading into their playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks is a topic that has been talked about to death. The fact that Chicago has its own share of injury questions has been relegated to the periphery, even though these questions concern the team’s two best and most important players in Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
Kane suffered a grade one MCL sprain on Mar. 19 against the very same Blues off of a fluke collision with Brenden Morrow. The typical recovery timetable for such an injury is about three weeks, which suggests Kane should be back to his normal self in time for Game 1 on Apr. 17. Still, not everybody is made the same; Kane could very well feel some effects of the sprain early on, and he’ll have to deal with plenty of rust as well after not playing in an NHL game for nearly a full calendar month.
Toews’ status is quite a bit more mysterious. He has been out of the lineup since taking a hit from Brooks Orpik on Mar. 30. Based on his immediate body language, the injury appears to have been to Toews’ shoulder; some have speculated that it is separated. The Blackhawks themselves have given no information, making the situation into a guessing game for fans and media alike. In any case, it won’t be very long into Game 1 before it becomes clear whether or not Toews is still hurting; if it is indeed a significant shoulder injury, the impact on his play would be fairly obvious.
While it is reasonable to be confident in Chicago’s chances of winning this series, there are certainly some big questions surrounding the team as it heads into the playoffs.
Related reading: Previewing Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues Playoff Series