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Toews to miss the next two games

Saturday, 03.03.2012 / 10:21 PM / News
By Brian Hedger  - NHL.com Correspondent

Toews
DETROIT -- There seemed to be a slim glimmer of hope from Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on Thursday regarding injured star Jonathan Toews, who's out with an upper-body injury.

Quenneville replied, "hopeful," earlier in the week when asked then whether Toews might join the Hawks at some point during their current three-game road trip -- which began Friday night in Ottawa with a big win and continues Sunday in Detroit before concluding Tuesday night in St. Louis.

On Saturday in Detroit, Quenneville said Toews will not make it on the trip at all, which means he'll miss at least two more games -- Sunday against the Red Wings and Tuesday against the Blues -- before his status is re-evaluated for Friday's home game against the New York Rangers.

"No change," Quenneville said of Toews' day-to-day status. "Still progressing, but no change. He's not going to be on the trip."

Quenneville was also asked if he's concerned the Toews' injury might become more long-term. "We're saying day-to-day and we're seeing progress," Quenneville said. "So, we're kind of optimistic on the bright side that he's going to be back."

Also out for Sunday's game is defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, who participated in Saturday's practice. Hjalmarsson appears to be close to returning to action, after missing seven games and possibly returning too quickly. Sunday's game will be the fifth he's missed in a row and 12th in the past 13 games, so getting his conditioning back up might be one of the last hurdles to clear.

"He's had a couple conditioning skates here and he's really progressing," Quenneville said. "He's real close."

Hjalmarsson is a possibility to suit up on Tuesday in St. Louis, but he remains day-to-day in the eyes of the Hawks.