Toews and de Haan practiced in full capacity on Thursday, while Murphy exited before the team’s scrimmage.
Chicago Blackhawks fans were able to exhale a great sigh of relief on Thursday, as captain Jonathan Toews and defensemen Connor Murphy and Calvin de Haan returned to practice after previously being “unfit to participate”. Toews and de Haan both were full participants at practice, but Murphy left after taking part in drills before the scrimmage.
Toews was back in his normal spot on the top line between Alex DeBrincat and Brandon Saad in Thursday’s practice. The 32-year-old forward left practice early on Monday and was absent on Tuesday for rest purposes, according to head coach Jeremy Colliton.
Murphy and de Haan both rejoined the team after being “unfit to participate” since last week, which gave the Blackhawks 10 defensemen at practice on Thursday. Colliton mixed and matched his defensive pairings in practice, but the expectation for Game 1 vs. Edmonton on Sat., Aug. 1 is for Murphy and de Haan to be paired together to try and shut down Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and the high-powered Oilers’ offense.
Now that Toews, Murphy, and de Haan are back skating with the Blackhawks at Fifth Third Arena, goaltender Corey Crawford remains the only player on the current playoff roster missing from training camp. GM Stan Bowman said in a video conference call on Wednesday that the team remains hopeful that Crawford will travel to Edmonton on Sun., July 26, but there are no further updates about a possible return.
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