Towes, Eager expected to return vs. Kings

Published11/9/2009 12:02 AM

If the NHL season ended today, the Blackhawks wouldn't be in the playoffs.

The good thing is it's still early November.


The Hawks start a key four-game homestand tonight against a very good Los Angeles Kings team, looking to get something positive going before the six-game circus road trip arrives.

"We want to take advantage of our home games here," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Let's make sure that we get some points and get some momentum back in our game.

"L.A. is as good a team as we have in the Western Conference so it'll be a good test right out of the gate."

Center Jonathan Toews and left wing Ben Eager are expected to return to the lineup tonight from their concussions, which should give the Hawks a boost.

Toews has missed the last six games and Eager the last 13.

"I'm definitely feeling better," Toews said Sunday. "I have my jump and my energy back. I definitely feel I have my rhythm back."

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Toews centered a line for Patrick Sharp and Dustin Byfuglien at Sunday's practice while Eager skated with Colin Fraser and Andrew Ebbett.

Toews also was back on the power play, which is just 3-for-35 over the last eight games.

"It's one of those things that snowballs a little bit," Toews said. "It's just little details when you don't see results. For us it's just about putting one in there and I think we'll get back to not forcing things too much.

"The bottom line is you've got to make plays and not be afraid to make mistakes. If I'm back on the power play, hopefully I can help and contribute a little bit and get this thing back on track."

No Bolland again: Center Dave Bolland didn't practice Sunday and won't play tonight because of his back problem.

While Joel Quenneville calls Bolland day-to-day, the Hawks are considering shutting him down and have even discussed the possibility of the need for surgery.


"Hopefully it's getting better," Quenneville said.

Kris Versteeg, who filled in for Bolland at center at Colorado, will be back in the middle between Patrick Kane and Andrew Ladd against the Kings.

"Whether it's speed or handling the puck, I just thought we'd try (Versteeg at center) and see how it worked," Quenneville said. "Versteeg and Kane looked like they were working well together."

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