Jonathan Toews (flu) misses practice

Updated: January 18, 2013, 7:09 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed Friday's practice with the flu but is expected to play in Saturday's season opener.

"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."

Brandon Saad filled in for Toews on his usual line with Marian Hossa and Daniel Carcillo on Friday. Quenneville said he hadn't thought yet about replacing Toews if he's unable to play on Saturday.

"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.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.