Jonathan Toews to miss Blackhawks vs. Panthers on Tuesday

The captain didn’t practice on Tuesday and will miss the game against Florida.

Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews will miss the team’s game against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. He was ruled out after missing practice earlier in the day while he continues recovering from an upper-body injury.

On Monday, Toews was listed as “questionable” for Tuesday after missing Chicago’s past two games due to the injury. According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, the injury is related to his back.

Toews suffered the injury against the San Jose Sharks on the Circus Trip, and didn’t return to that game after departing in the second period. It wasn’t clear at the time what happened, but Toews did fall on his arm earlier in the period and that may have been when he got hurt.

The good news is that it’s supposedly a minor injury, and he should return soon even though he’s sitting out Tuesday. The Blackhawks went 1-0-1 against the Kings and Ducks without Toews, which is pretty impressive, but his absence was apparent as the team’s forward depth was pushed a bit.

One area where Toews’ eventual return will make a big difference is faceoffs. The Hawks got wrecked on the dot over the past two games because Toews is essentially the only good faceoff guy on the team.

And there’s still the quiet notion that the Blackhawks could hit another gear if Toews gets going. The team already has one very good line with Artem Anisimov and Artem Panarin anchoring it, its defense is improved from last year, and Corey Crawford remains quite good. Getting the Toews line going again is clearly the next step toward becoming a great team, so his return (whenever it happens) will be welcomed in that regard as well.