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Sunday, January 8, 2012
Toews, Keith miss morning skate, will play

By Jesse Rogers



CHICAGO -- Chicgao Blackhawks’ players Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith will play Sunday evening when the Hawks host the Red Wings despite not skating in practice Sunday morning.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville didn’t disclose any injuries for the players but said they were both fine to play. Corey Crawford will take on Ty Conklin just nine days after the Hawks beat the Red Wings, 3-2. Chicago hasn’t won a game since, losing three straight, while Detroit is 2-1 during that span.

Steve Montador returns after missing three games with an upper-body injury. He says he’s 100 percent.

Leddy tries to rebound: After producing a minus-6 over the last two games, defenseman Nick Leddy is hoping for a better result on Sunday.

“It was definitely a couple of rough games but we have another one tonight [Sunday],” Leddy said. “Hopefully I can make up for it.”

Leddy said he talked with his coaches and they told him to “do things harder” and be more “assertive.” Leddy is minus-6 for the season.

That’s worst among defenders.

O’Donnell’s 1,200th game: Defenseman Sean O'Donnell will become the 90th player in history to play in 1200 games when he takes the ice Sunday night.

“Just good fortune, good genes,” O’Donnell said of his good health. “Lots of stretching. I’m pretty good at having an awareness and pretty good at knowing when I’m in a vulnerable spot.

O’Donnell recalls his first game in 1994 when he was with the Los Angeles Kings. It was against the Dallas Stars.

“It was the second or third shift of the game and they told me ‘to go’ and I looked up and Mike Modano had the puck coming down,”

O’Donnell said. “It’s something you can remember like it was
yesterday.”

Kruger skating: Forward Marcus Kruger practiced with the team for the first time since leaving the game on Dec. 26 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He’s been suffering from concussion-like symptoms, but says he’s feeling better.

“The medical team has helped me a lot and I’ve done everything I can to be back as soon as possible,” he said. “Today was great to be back on ice.”

Kruger says he’s taking things day by day and has not been cleared for contact. Kruger skated on his own for several days before practicing with his team. There is no date yet for his return to game action.

Carcillo injury: Quenneville said the team is still “evaluating” the injury Dan Carcillo suffered the same night he was suspended for seven games. Earlier in the week general manager Stan Bowman intimated the team will deal with his injury after his suspension is over.

Scott on re-alignment: Player rep John Scott said he and the Hawks fully support the players union’s decision to vote down re-alignment.

“We wanted to have a few talks with them to go through it. We weren’t really part of that discussion,” Scott said.

The Hawks defenseman said he was part of a conference call with all the other team reps and union leader Donald Fehr. The new format called for two divisions producing four playoff teams out of seven while the other two would have four out of eight. That was one sticking point.

“It was a unanimous decision we can’t accept it at this time,” Scott said.

Slappers

  • Andrew Shaw said he’ll play wing Sunday evening, so either Patrick Kane will be back at center or Patrick Sharp could make his first appearance there this season. Shaw played center in Friday’s 4-0 loss to Colorado.

    “I’ve played wing all this year,” he said. “I’m not scared to play center. It was a little nerve-wracking though.”

  • Sami Lepisto, Kruger and Scott are the Hawks scratches.