Jonathan Toews out with injury as Blackhawks face Canucks

It’s a game between two teams with no playoff aspirations left.

In their first game since being officially eliminated from the playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks will host a team with similar postseason plans when the Vancouver Canucks travel to the United Center for a Thursday night game.

Injuries are all over the Canucks roster, part of the reason why Vancouver currently occupies the basement in the Western Conference. Rookie sensation Brock Boeser injured his back two weeks ago and likely won’t be back this season. Boeser’s 29 goals and 55 points still lead the team, which says a lot about how difficult it’s been for the Canucks to score this season. Elsewhere, Sven Baertschi (14 goals, 15 assists), Loui Eriksson (10 goals, 13 assists), Brendan Gaunce, Markus Graslund, Erik Gudbranson and Ben Hutton all remain out with various ailments. The Sedin brothers remain on the team, playing out the final seasons of their contracts with a combined minus-41 rating. But Sam Gagner is also here, so there’s potential for someone from Vancouver to put together an eight-point game for reasons that will never meet logic.

Switching sides, the big news from the morning skate was the upper-body injury sustained by Jonathan Toews during Tuesday night’s game against the Colorado Avalanche, putting the captain out of the lineup for “a few games,” according to coach Joel Quenneville. That injury forced a lineup shuffle: Nick Schmaltz is now the No. 1 center with Patricks Sharp and Kane on his wings, giving Schmaltz a good test to see how he can handle the No. 1 center workload. Artem Anisimov’s line is now the second one with Tomas Jurco and Alex DeBrincat as wingers, Vinnie Hinostroza centers a third line with Brandon Saad and Matthew Highmore, while the fourth line features David Kampf between John Hayden and Andreas Martinsen.

The defensive pairings appear to remain the same and Jean-Francois Berube gets the nod in net. The eight-game march to the longest offseason in a decade begins tonight.



F1Patrick Sharp - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane
F2Tomas Jurco - Artem Anisimov - Alex DeBrincat
F3Brandon Saad - Vinnie Hinostroza - Matthew Highmore
F4John Hayden - David Kampf - Andreas Martinsen
D1Duncan Keith - Jan Rutta
D2Erik Gustafsson - Brent Seabrook
D3Jordan Oesterle - Connor Murphy
GoaltenderJean-Francois Berube


F1Brendan Leipsic - Bo Horvat - Nikolay Goldobin
F2Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Reid Boucher
F3Darren Archibald - Brandon Sutter - Sam Gagner
F4Jussi Jokinen - Nic Dowd - Jake Virtanen
D1Alexander Edler - Chris Tanev
D2Michael Del Zotto - Troy Stecher
D3Derrick Pouliot - Alex Biega
GoaltenderJacob Markstrom

*Lines are subject to change.

How to watch Canucks at Blackhawks

Start time: 7:30 p.m. CT

Location: United Center, Chicago

TV: NBC Sports Chicago