- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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"I think he's making some progress today," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said after Friday's practice at the Toyota Sports Center. "We're hoping he should be ready. There was good enough progress today that we anticipate him playing."
"That's something we haven't even talked about yet," Quenneville said. "We hope we don't have to go to Plan B."
Toews finished fourth on the team with 57 points last season. He had 29 goals and 28 assists. He's recorded 50-plus points in all five of his NHL seasons. He was named the franchise's 34th captain prior to the 2008-09 season.
Toews is already the second Blackhawks player to have the flu. Marcus Kruger had it earlier in the week and missed two practices.
"Opening day we mentioned what's going on this year around the country," Quenneville said of the flu. "Let's make sure we take care of that. I've been around it where it's devastated a team. It's something you got to be careful with this year because there's so many games and not so many days. Things could really be disruptive."
The Blackhawks will open their season against the defending NHL champion Los Angeles Kings at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday. They will visit the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday for their first of 12 back-to-back games this season. The Coyotes eliminated the Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs last season.
7dScott Burnside and Craig Custance