Sports

Blackhawks’ Toews feeling ’100 percent’ for Game 6

By Chris Kuc Tribune reporter

The Chicago Blackhawks will have their captain in the lineup when they take the ice in search of their second Stanley Cup championship in four years.

Jonathan Toews said after the Hawks’ morning skate that he’s “100 percent” in advance of Game 6 on Monday night at TD Garden.

Toews sat out the third period of Game 5 on Saturday night after taking a series of hits, including a big check from the Bruins’ Johnny Boychuk in the second period of the Hawks’ 3-1 victory to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

chi-chicago-blackhawks-sharp-toews-20130503-001“I feel great,” Toews said. “That was just I think the coaches being cautious and not letting me get back on the ice in the third period the other night. We got to the point where I feel ready to go again. The way I felt out there (Monday), I’d say it was the best morning skate I’ve had all series. I feel great. I’m excited. There’s no question about where I am physically.”

Toews, who has a history of concussions, was on the bench the entire third period of Game 5 and was lobbying coaches to put him back in the game.

“It was a couple of hits that 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. For me, there were no worries. The coaches were confident we could win the game while making sure I wasn’t risking anything and now I feel 100 percent and they’re aware of that. I’ll be ready to play.”

Toews said he doesn’t believe the Bruins are targeting him specifically with their hits.

“Just like we would we would target their top players, we want to be tough on their top players,” he said. “They do the same to us so it’s no surprise.”

The veteran center said the Hawks head into Game 6 with a good frame of mind.

“We feel confident,” Toews said. “We worked very hard in the last couple of months to get here. We played good hockey this series and especially the last couple of games. We’ve had to create these opportunities. We just want to go play like it’s another game but we need to bring that emotion and physicality. At the same time, we want to have confidence with the puck and just go out there and play and let things happen.”

Marian Hossa, who missed Game 3 due to injury, wasn’t skating Monday morning but is expected to play. Jamal Mayers filled in on the second line.

For Boston, center Patrice Bergeron was the only player not on the ice for their morning skate after suffering what coach Claude Julien is calling a “body injury” during Game 5.

Julien said Bergeron would dress for pregame practice and was confident he would play.

ckuc@tribune.com

Twitter @ChrisKuc

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

 

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