It appears the Chicago Blackhawks dodged a bullet on Thursday night as top-line center and captain Jonathan Toews is expected to be OK after leaving the team's 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins in the second period.
Toews suffered what Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville labeled an upper-body injury on a hard hit into the boards from Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. It was announced at the start of the third period that he would not return.
"He seemed alright, we'll see how he is tomorrow," Quenneville said. "Looks like he's going to be alright."
Skating in the attacking zone during a chance on the power play midway through the second, Toews was checked head-first into the end boards by Seidenberg and was slow to get up. Blackhawks trainer Mike Gapski was quick onto the ice to check on Toews, who was able to get up under his own power. With Seidenberg going to the box for a two-minute boarding penalty that gave the Blackhawks a 5-on-3 opportunity, Toews stayed on the ice once play resumed.
"Five-on-three, I wouldn't want to come off either," Quenneville said. "I don't think anybody would want to come off in that situation."
Seidenberg has a reputation as a clean hockey player, he's got a lot of respect in the league," Patrick Sharp said. "But, having said that, we don't like that hit."
"[It] didn't look very good on the replay," goalie Scott Darling said. "It's unfortunate when stuff like that happens. I'm sure it wasn't intentional but I'm just happy he's OK."
For his part, Bruins head coach Claude Julien took a strong stance against the penalty called on his defenseman.
"A player's job is to finish his check," Julien said. "So a player should know he's going to be hit. I wasn't happy. I looked at it, and it could be arguable, but from my end of it I think it's what it is. Our guys need to finish their checks and sure, you've got to be careful, but I'm sure he knew that he was coming."