Western Conference Injuries: Kings, Predators, and the Blackhawks

Dennis Bernstein: Los Angeles Kings forward Gabriel Vilardi is day-to-day with an upper-body injury and isn’t traveling with the team to start off their road trip according to coach Todd McLellan.

Emma Lingan: Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi missed last night’s game.

NHL.com: Predators forward Matt Duchene is week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

Mario Tirabassi: Chicago Blackhawks forward Philipp Kurashev will miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. Coach Luke Richardson said that he won’t require surgery.

CHGO Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews on his health situation, almost shutting it down, and trying to come back.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

“I would say, even a couple weeks ago it was kind of thought in my mind that it … I made the decision to pull myself out and put myself first to try and take care of my body and do what’s right for myself.

It wasn’t an easy decision, obviously, especially given the situation where your team is and how things are going. Everyone’s playing through something. Everyone’s battling something. It’s hard to let your teammates down in that sense

For me the decision was, I got to get myself right or the decision to not continue to play is probably going to be made for me. I think it’s an important thing for me to get back to a place where I know physically but mentally and emotionally I’m enjoying the game.

That it’s not every day, obviously it’s a tough game and the travels difficult. You go down the list of challenges you face playing hockey at this level, but it’s been a lot. I think I just had to just put myself first in that situation and try and get things right and go from there.

Having said that, it’s getting down to where it’s the last few games, and like I just mentioned, the thought kind of crosses your mind that this could be it for me in Chicago. So it’s definitely important, try and go out there and really soak that in and enjoy it, and like I said show my appreciation for the fans as well.”

TSN: Chris Johnston notes that after last night, the Chicago Blackhawks only have eight games left and Jonathan Toews is trying to get into a few of them.

“… and that’s because his future beyond this season is very much unknown, his future in Chicago is unknown, because of what’s gone on with the team there and he’s had significant health challenges. He opened up with reporters in Chicago on Tuesday, talking about the effects of the long COVID, about his uncertain future, but there’s a good feeling right now that he’s at least going to be able to play and at least have some sort of swan song with the Blackhawks before the end of this season.”