Jonathan Toews injured, sits on bench all third period
BY Mark Potash email@example.com June 22, 2013 11:44PM
Updated: June 23, 2013 12:51AM
The Blackhawks won the first battle in a war of attrition Saturday night.
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron missed most of the final two periods of the Hawks’ 3-1 victory in Game 5 with an unspecified injury. And the Hawks played the final period without Jonathan Toews, who took a hard hit to the neck and head from Johnny Boychuk in the second period.
Bergeron ended the game in a hospital for observation. There was no update on his condition or status for Game 6. Toews at least was able to stay on the bench to root on his teammates.
‘‘We’re hopeful he’ll be ready next game,’’ Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ‘‘We’ll see how he is [Sunday].’’
Toews’ teammates did not appear too concerned that their captain was on the bench.
‘‘We had an idea he wasn’t going to return even though he came back to the bench,’’ forward Patrick Sharp said. ‘‘It kind of gave us a lift to see him sitting there cheering us on and cracking a joke every once in awhile.’’
‘‘I saw him a couple of times on the bench and he was chattin’ away,’’ defenseman Duncan Keith said. ‘‘It’s always good to have Jonny, if he’s not on the ice, just to have him there with the team.’’
Toews had jsut made a nifty move into the slot for a premium scoring opportunity when Boychuk hit him with both gloves in the neck/head area. He was not penalized for the hit.
“I came across and read it and hit him. I tried to hit him clean and I thought it was,’’ Boychuk said. ‘‘I don’t know how he fell, awkwardly or how he fell. I’m going to try and play physical and he’s going to drive the net like he’s supposed to and I’m going to hit.’’
The Hawks, who were leading 2-0 after two periods, appeared to miss Toews immediately. With Marcus Kruger replacing him on the top line with Bryan Bickell and Patrick Kane, the Bruins’ Zdeno Chara blasted a slap shot past Corey Crawford to cut the Hawks’ lead to 2-1 just 3:40 into the third period.
‘‘They were pressing early,’’ linemate Bickell said. ‘‘But some guys stepped up with Toews not on the ice — Krugs and [Dave] Bolland. Overall, they did great and took the puck to the net.’’
It’s not known whether Toews will play in Game 6, but the Hawks’ captain did his job Saturday night, taking on Chara early in the game and assisting on both goals by Kane.
‘‘He’s a guy that goes into the tough areas a lot to get pucks . . . so he’s going to take some big hits sometimes,’’ Kane said. ‘‘But with him you’re going to expect the same thing every night. He brings it every night, whether he’s scoring or not. He’s still bringing the same competitiveness and leadership that we need. That’s one guy we’re not worried about.’’