Toews misses practice as Hawks prepare for Dallas

Jonathan Toews was not on the ice for practice Thursday as the Blackhawks prepared for Friday night’s game at Dallas.

Toews, who is suffering the effects of a concussion, will miss his 12th straight game, and there is no indication when he’ll be back.

“No change,” said coach Joel Quenneville. “He went on the ice a little bit yesterday (Wednesday). He’s not skating today. He’s not going on the trip.”

Quenneville was asked whether this latest development is a “setback.”

“Whether it’s a setback or whether it’s part of the process, that’s what we’re dealing with,” the coach said. “I think if you saw him out there, I think it’d be fine. That’s all part of it.”

Toews is the Blackhawks’ captain and their most important player, and the playoffs are looming.

“It’s a concern,” Quenneville said. “You miss a guy like that, you know you look forward to having him back at some point, but at the same time you’re looking forward. We’ve got to take care of everything we can control, and that’s our next game. We’re very hopeful that he’s going to be on the ice here in good time.”

Crawford to start:

Corey Crawford will start in goal at Dallas after relieving Ray Emery in Tuesday’s come-from-behind win over the Blues at the United Center.

“It was definitely nice to get back into a game,” Crawford said after practice. “The guys played well. It was a huge comeback win for us. I don’t think we want to be doing that every game. We’ve got to come out with better starts. If we play the way we did the last game, we’re going to have a good chance.”

Crawford is 23-16-5 with a 2.89 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage.

“Win games and stop pucks,” Crawford said of what he’d have to do to convince Joel Quenneville he belongs in goal all the time. “I just got to stay focused and be ready for every game.”

Quenneville said he remains confident in Crawford.

“Getting a win in that type of environment was big for him,” the coach said. “He did what he had to do. We have confidence at one point that he could get the net back, and here we are. He did it for us last year. I’m sure he’s disappointed he didn’t get a chance to play. Ray did a good job. Now, here we are.”

Injuries and illness:

In addition to Jonathan Toews, also missing practice were Ray Emery, Patrick Sharp and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Sharp, who got a hard ride into the boards Tuesday, was termed “fine” by Joel Quenneville, who said Sharp was getting a “rest.”

Hjalmarsson, who had missed time because of a concussion, exited Tuesday’s game after the second period and did not return. Quenneville termed it an “upper-body injury” and said it was not related to Hjalmarsson’s previous ailment.

“Hammer’s coming on the trip, and he’s questionable for tomorrow,” Quenneville said.

Emery missed practice because of illness. That provided some humor as equipment man Jim Heintzelman strapped on the pads and manned one goal. He took one shot off the collarbone.

“Me and Ray, we get that all the time,” said Corey Crawford. “I don’t feel bad for him at all.”

Defensive doings:

Steve Montador (concussion) took part in practice, but he was not part of the regular defensive rotation. Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith were paired as were Nick Leddy-Johnny Oduya and Sean O’Donnell-Dylan Olsen.

“I wasn’t skating with the guys about a week ago, so I think there’s some progress there,” Montador said. “I don’t want to fool anybody. I don’t want to fool myself. It’s really a day-to-day thing.”

With Niklas Hjalmarsson questionable, the veteran O’Donnell could play against the Stars.

Blackhawks game day

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