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Jonathan Toews aims to return Tuesday against Blues


at Blackhawks

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Updated: April 12, 2012 10:09AM

A week ago, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews eyed the game Sunday against the Los Angeles Kings for his return from a concussion. Since that won’t happen, Toews has moved on to Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues.

It’s another good sign of Toews’ progress and optimism.

“If you can shoot for a date like that, even if it’s early, obviously you feel like you’re improving and you’re making strides and noticing a difference,” said Toews, who skated hard for the third day in a row Saturday. “People talk about setbacks, but I don’t feel like I’ve really had any.”

Toews, though, still hasn’t been cleared for contact, which is the next step in his recovery.

“[Contact is] the real way of knowing,” Toews said. “It’s when you’re turning around in the corner, and you’ve got a guy on you. You’re spinning around, and somebody hits you. Just those things that kind of move you really fast.

“When you’re doing full drills and skating on the ice, you get your heart rate up. Eventually, you can master that where the symptoms go away. But [contact] will be the real test. We’ll see when the time is for that.”

Feeling better

Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said he felt great after playing Friday against the New York Rangers, his second game in the last 14 since suffering a concussion.

“The first period was a little rusty, but then I thought I got into it a little better,” he said.

Forward Michael Frolik returned to practice after missing two with the flu.

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