When arguably the two biggest stars on the Blackhawks became injured, the idea quickly turned to making the most of the situation by resting them until the playoffs. The team is now saying that Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are ready to play, though both looked a little tentative in Thursday night’s 3OT loss to St. Louis. Toews especially seemed slowed after a big hit on the boards late in the game.
But there is a caveat to their play in the rest of the playoff run: The two have been practicing while duck-taped together. Management admitted that only one roster spot will be taken by the two on game day.
“Kaner and Tazer are just fine,” said coach Joel Quenneville. “We are, however, going to work them back into game shape slowly. First by combining the two players’ strengths. Kane will do the bulk of the skating, while Toews will be strapped to his back, barking out orders. This should feel familiar to both.”
The Kane/Toews combo will center a first line that will include Hossa and Bollig, who will be there to prevent goons from taking one hard shot at the Blackhawks’ two combined stars. They will also skate at wing on the third line across from Kris Versteeg, who has reportedly not stopped laughing since getting the assignment.
“It will be fun to skate on the same line with Tazer,” said Kane. “I have no problem carrying teammates on my back. Hey, look at that! At least my sense of humor is back to full strength.”