Blackhawks Vs. Wild: Chicago Continues Playoff Push Without Jonathan Toews

The Chicago Blackhawks (44-26-10, 98 points) are currently the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoff race, and on Thursday night they get a chance to avenge Sunday's 5-4 shootout loss in their rematch with the Minnesota Wild (34-35-11, 79 points). The Hawks are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games and sit only two points behind the Nashville Predators for the No. 5 seed, so they still have plenty of incentive to continue their winning ways.

Defenseman Duncan Keith is expected to return to the lineup after serving his five-game suspension for striking Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks in the head with his elbow back on March 21, but captain Jonathan Toews (concussion) had his return pushed another day and has been ruled out. Even so, Blackhawks fans are getting excited about Toews' eventual return to the lineup, but Sam Fels of Second City Hockey thinks the scoring talent needs to be spread out a bit, rather than consolidated:

There's been some talk of putting Kane, Hossa, and Toews together, forcing one of Hossa or Kane to flip to the left side -- more likely Kane as he can still pass from off his forehand from there while not forcing Hossa to not be squared up to shoot from the right. Again, this doesn't totally matter, as the Hawks like to cycle and move in the offensive zone and everybody ends up everywhere if they're on. But I'm not down with this. I've never liked the idea of loading up one line unless it's the 3rd and you need a goal. It makes the Hawks too easy to counter, even if you think Sharpie and the Swedes can maintain what we've seen the past couple weeks for a good while longer. I'm not so convinced, as much as I've loved it.

GAME TIME: Thursday, April 5, 7:00 p.m. CT

LOCATION: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

TV: CSN-Chicago

Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information, and for in-depth analysis on the Chicago Blackhawks be sure to visit Second City Hockey. Wild news and notes are available at Hockey Wilderness. Visit SB Nation NHL for more news and notes around the league.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Chicago

You must be a member of SB Nation Chicago to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Chicago. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Chicago

You must be a member of SB Nation Chicago to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Chicago. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.