Not surprisingly, Jonathan Toews plays in Game 6
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org June 24, 2013 11:51PM
BOSTON — Dinged or not, Jonathan Toews wasn’t going to miss this.
With an opportunity to win the Stanley Cup for the second time in four seasons, Toews left no doubt he would be on the ice for Game 6 of the Final on Monday night at TD Garden.
‘‘Absolutely. A hundred percent,’’ Toews said after participating in the Blackhawks’ morning skate. ‘‘That’s the best morning skate I’ve had all series. I feel great. There’s no question at all where I am physically.’’
Toews sat out the third period of the Hawks’ 3-1 victory in Game 5 at the United Center after he had taken a hard check to the back of his neck from Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk in the second period.
‘‘There were a couple of hits I took that I guess the coaches didn’t think I was ready to play in the third period,’’ Toews said. ‘‘You always want to bounce back. It’s a physical game. To me there were no worries there. The coaches were confident we could win the game while making sure I wasn’t risking anything. Now I feel 100 percent and they’re aware of that.’’
The return of Toews buoyed the hopes of a team that is one game from winning its second Stanley Cup in four seasons. The Hawks held on for the victory in Game 5, but on the road, with a resilient Bruins team in desperation mode, Toews might be more necessary than ever.
‘‘Deep down I knew he’d play,’’ forward Andrew Shaw said. ‘‘He’s a great player, a great leader. He knows we need him out there.’’
‘‘It’s huge for us,’’ rookie Brandon Saad said. ‘‘He’s a great player, logs a lot of minutes and leads the way out there. We’re all happy.’’
Toews would not confirm that his injury was a head issue, though it appeared obvious from the hit and watching him on the bench that it was.
‘‘I’m not going to get into what the injury was,’’ Toews said.‘‘You take a lot of hits throughout games like this. Sometimes whether it’s the coaches or training staff that don’t think you’re ready to play, then they’re going to draw the line. That’s what happened.’’
If the Bruins are targeting him, Toews is not concerned about it.
‘‘I think just like we would — we would target their top players we want to hit and be tough on their top players and they do the same to us. It’s not a surprise.’’