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Well, He Still Knows How To Skate, So That's Good

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Maybe not too far away now...
Maybe not too far away now...

Well, it's more than a kiss or shot away, but at least things are progressing.

Jonathan Toews skated before practice, which is a step ahead of working out off-ice, which was a step ahead of doing nothing. So unless there's a reverse after the exertion, we probably aren't looking at a Crosby-like absence, and more like the Claude Giroux one from earlier in the year. I feel like I can breathe again, because the longer he went without being on ice, the more likely it seemed to get that we might not see Captain Marvel again this season, and hence the season really being over.

Still a long way to get out of these woods. I'd imagine there's still one or two more solo sessions before he rejoins practice. Then I imagine there's one or two of those, and maybe still yet having to be cleared for contact before he can actually put on the game jersey. And the Hawks have a lot of games these next five days, so there won't be may practices either. No chance for the weekend, which is a shame because these are three teams the Hawks could use Toews the most for. Maybe Friday at Dallas? Next Sunday for the Caps? Don't want to raise anyone's expectations or hopes, but at least it's on the road to the right direction.

-Other news out of practice is that Niklas Hjalmarsson continues to practice, and I'm guessing with Lepisto's injury that if he can stand up, Super Nintendo will probably enter the lineup for the Rangers. Not like the Rangers don't like to punish d-men or anything. I'll be interested to see what he does with a 3rd pairing role, as Oduya and Leddy have a pretty firm grasp on the 2nd pairing. They've been fine, no reason to break that up right now. Olsen and Hammer playing with the puck ought to be an adventure.

-And Ray Emery will get the start. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, it's my way, but it could be a sign that Q has pretty much given up on Crawford finding his game any time soon, because he's giving Razor a chance to bounce back from a less-than-great effort in St. Louis. Generally, Q has worked that if you lose the other guy goes next time, ad the chance to reclaim a start goes by the wayside.

Not sure how I feel about it, the goalies are the one thing that Q can't really help. Emery might have a higher floor but lower ceiling. You kind of know what you're getting out of Emery, for the most part. Maybe that's what the Hawks need right now, instead of the wildly spiking and dipping EKG that is Crawford right now.