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Jonathan Toews’ best option might be playoff opener

Jonathan Toews didn’t play against Wild sitting out his 21st consecutive game. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Jonathan Toews didn’t play against the Wild, sitting out his 21st consecutive game. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: May 7, 2012 8:21AM

ST. PAUL, Minn. — While most of his teammates made their way to the team bus for a ride back to the hotel, Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews labored on.

Toews (concussion) was one of the last Hawks to leave the ice after their morning skate Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center, practicing and training for more than 30 minutes after it concluded.

His status, though, is still very much up in the air.

As expected, Toews didn’t play against the Minnesota Wild, sitting out his 21st game in a row. It’s also still undetermined if Toews, who wasn’t available to the media Thursday, will be ready to rejoin the Hawks’ lineup Saturday in Detroit.

“It’s all part of the process,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I know we keep saying the same things here, but I don’t think anything’s changed.

‘‘He’s progressing. We want to make sure he’s ready.”

Toews has passed all the protocols needed to play, but he said Wednesday that his symptoms were still lingering. If that’s the case, Toews is making the right choice by taking a few more days off. The Hawks’ playoff opener next week might be the best option.

“You know where you need to be,” Quenneville said of Toews. “We’ve got some time here. We’ll see how he is [later] after [the morning skate] and get a better idea [Friday if he can play against the Red Wings].”

The whole experience has been frustrating for Toews, and he’s trying his best to remain patient through it all and make the right decision. That’s his top priority.

“This isn’t a tragedy; it’s not life or death,” Toews said Wednesday before the team left for Minnesota. “I can still go to sleep at night, and I’m not completely depressed. The guys are playing well. It’s disappointing [not playing]. It’s not fun, but again, it’s the reality. You have to deal with it.

“You have a choice in how you’re going to deal with certain things and certain adversity. I’m not going to let it frustrate me too much, although it is tough at some moments when you have that optimism and you keep coming up disappointed every week. But it is what it is. I know I’m getting close.”

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