Toews confirms he's in for Game 6
BOSTON -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said he is "100 percent" and will play in Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
Toews was held out of the third period in Game 5 of this series against the Boston Bruins on Saturday night, but took part in the morning skate Monday morning at TD Garden and pronounced himself fit for duty as the Blackhawks try to claim the Stanley Cup for the second time in four seasons.
"I feel great. I'm excited. There's no question about where I am physically," Toews said. "I think that was just the coaches being cautious, not letting me get back on the ice in the third period the other night. We got to the point where I was ready to go again. I'll be ready to go tonight."
If that wasn't enough, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville confirmed his captain will be in the lineup Monday night.
"He's 100 percent ready to go," Quenneville said.
Toews was on the receiving end of a huge hit from Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk in the middle of the second period during Game 5, but he kept playing and took four more shifts in the second.
He was late coming out of the dressing room to the bench for the start of the third period, and Quenneville elected to not let him take a shift despite Toews' lobbying.
"It was a couple hits that I took that I guess the coaches thought I wasn't ready to play in the third period," Toews said, declining to discuss the specifics of the injury. "Obviously you always want to bounce back. It is a physical game. There are no worries there. The coaches were confident we could win the game while making sure I wasn't risking anything. I feel 100 percent and the coaches are aware of that."
Toews had two assists in the first two periods of Game 5, and he had a goal in Game 4 as Chicago's top line has been a big reason why the Blackhawks have won two straight in the series. He was skating between Bryan Bickell and Patrick Kane again during the morning skate.
Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw said "deep down, we always knew" that Toews would play in Game 6, but as of Sunday there was still the possibility that he wouldn't.
"For sure [there is relief]," Blackhawks rookie Brandon Saad said. "We weren't sure what happened with him there not finishing off the last game, but he is a big important piece to our puzzle. Missing him didn't help, so having him back tonight -- everyone is excited and I'm sure he's happy, too."
Quenneville added, "Well, it's good to know that he was able to play and practice this morning, as well. He felt fine yesterday, as well, so we were very encouraged heading into today. It's good to know that he's ready to go."