Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks will be back Saturday against. New Jersey–NBC Chicago
Hawks’ Jonathan Toews back Saturday against New Jersey originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Jonathan Toews will make his official return to the roster on Saturday when the Blackhawks host the New Jersey Devils at United Center, head coach Luke Richardson announced after practice Friday.
Toews has been out since Jan. 28 after dealing with symptoms of long COVID and chronic immune response syndrome. The Blackhawks are 9-16-2 in the 27 games he has missed during that streak.
“He said he was fine today, felt really good and was like, ‘Well, this isn’t going to be perfect, this could be ugly,'” Richardson said. . “I said we’re a bit ugly at the moment so you’ll be fine now. He’ll help us in the face-off circle and just having the captain around will be a good boost for the team and I hope for him, he feels a lot better, not perfect but better. So we’ll go from there.”
Toews has been skating on his own “on and off” since the five-game road trip, but didn’t join the team for his first real practice until Friday, despite participating in two morning skates. It’s a pretty quick turnaround for Toews, who admitted Tuesday that expectations should be tempered.
“I wouldn’t say expect a lot,” Toews said. “But I’m just going to try to go out there and play with energy and have fun.”
The main motivation for returning earlier than expected is likely because this could very well be the last time he dons a Blackhawks jersey. It means as much to Toews as it does to the fans, who would love the chance to see number 19 in red for perhaps the last time.
“Regardless of what happens in the future this summer, I definitely think these could be my last weeks here in Chicago as a Blackhawk,” Toews said Tuesday. “And so it’s really, really important for me to go out there and enjoy the game and soak it up and really appreciate everything that I’ve been able to be a part of here in Chicago and show my appreciation to the fans too.”
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