- Scott Powers, Reporter
- 0 Shares
BOSTON -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is participating in the morning skate Monday in TD Garden, and coach Joel Quenneville is optimistic Toews will play in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.
Toews sat out the third period of Game 5 due to an upper-body injury.
Toews hit his head on the ice after taking a hit from Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk late in the second period in Game 5 on Saturday. Toews sat on the bench in the third period, but he did not play.
The Blackhawks own a 3-2 series lead after defeating the Bruins, 3-1, in Game 5.
"Johnny is doing much better [Sunday,]" Quenneville said at TD Garden. "He's progressing. We're optimistic he'll play [Monday] night."
According to a league source, the NHL decided not to suspend Boychuk because he didn't extend his elbow or launch and did not target Toews' head or make it the principal point of contact.
Bruins coach Claude Julien agreed with the league's decision.
"I think they said it was clean, wasn't it? Then I agree with them," Julien said Sunday afternoon. "I'm not going to hide from that. If it wasn't a clean hit, I'd have been a guy that supported those kind of things that we need to get out of the game. But it was a clean hit."
Toews played 18 shifts and saw 12:56 of ice time in Game 5, recording assists on both of Patrick Kane's goals. Toews has two goals and 10 assists in 22 playoff games this season.
Toews did not speak with the media after Game 5 and was also not made available on Sunday. There were questions as to whether Boychuk targeted Toews' head on the play, but Boychuk defended his actions.
"I'm pretty sure it was clean," Boychuk said. "He was cutting to the net, and I came across and read it and hit him. ... I'm going to try and play physical. If he's going to drive the net, like he's supposed to, I'm going to try and hit."
The Blackhawks did not practice on Sunday, and Quenneville said Toews will be evaluated on Monday morning.
Marian Hossa did not participate in the morning skate, although he didn't before the last two games and still played.
ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers and ESPNBoston.com's James Murphy contributed to this report.
11hDanny Knobler, Special to ESPN.com