The Chicago Blackhawks have a handful of injured players at the moment. However, almost all of them could return to the lineup in the near future. Forwards Jonathan Toews and Tyler Johnson plus defensemen Calvin de Haan and Riley Stillman playing Thursday vs. the Oilers is "the game plan," according to interim head coach Derek King.
The Blackhawks' captain entered concussion protocol on Jan. 28. Toews has missed Chicago's last 11 games but returned to practice over the weekend. He cleared concussion protocol and fully participated in today's session, centering the second line.
It's been a down year for Toews offensively (19 points), but the Blackhawks could surely use his defensive prowess and faceoff proficiency back in the lineup.
Johnson played in just eight games before a neck injury sidelined him in late October. The forward underwent artificial disc replacement surgery in December and has been working his way back since. On Saturday, King said the Blackhawks planned to get Johnson back in the lineup for Thursday night's tilt against Edmonton.
It will likely take some time for the 31-year-old to readjust after such a long absence, but his presence instantly makes the Blackhawks more dynamic in the offensive zone. Johnson has 364 points (162 goals, 202 assists) in 597 games across his 10-year NHL career.
Calvin de Haan
de Haan has missed the Blackhawks' last two games due to a right groin strain. The veteran blue-liner returned to practice today, but he left the ice early.
Regardless, King plans to get de Haan back into game action with two more days to prepare for a return when the Oilers come to town.
Stillman last suited up on Jan. 21 but played just 6:50 before a shoulder injury knocked him out of the game. A month-plus on injured reserve has featured highs and lows, but King hopes the 23-year-old will return Thursday after a 14-game absence.
Chicago's blue line has been a bit of a revolving door over the past week due to various injuries. Stillman's potential return should help provide some more stability in the Blackhawks' defensive zone.