Toews Talks 1st Line, Extensions and Injuries

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CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 26: Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center on February 26, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Blues 4-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

by Scott King

Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks’ first line has been a force to be reckoned with. Toews give rookie left winger Nick Schmaltz a lot of credit for their production. Schmaltz is currently riding a four-game point streak with seven points.

“You have a player with that caliber, not only does he have the skill and the ability, but he thinks the game really well,” Toews said. “He’s always kind of one step ahead.

“As I said the other night, he can create that deception and keep defenders guessing. So I guess a lot of people expected him to do that right away, it’s kind of hard to it right out of college. There’s a lot of different things you need to adjust to.

“I think right now, he’s just feeling more and more comfortable on the line and every time he steps on the ice. With guys like that, it’s just a matter of time before they show what they can really do. With him, I think there’s going to be constant improvement as well. Which is going to be the fun thing to see with what he can do already.”

Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival was given a one-year extension Tuesday reportedly worth $600,000.

Rozsival feels the signing was the best move for his kids. “I’ve talked to them a lot the last couple days with my wife,” the defenseman said. “Like I said, to see their excitement gives me more energy. They were happy about it. I do it for my family.”

Forward Jordin Tootoo was also given a one-year extension reportedly worth $700,000.

Goalie Report

Scott Darling will start in net Wednesday at the United Center vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins. Coach Q thought it best to let starting goaltender Corey Crawford have one more day to fully recover from his illness.

Injury Report

Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson is expected to miss the rest of the week with an upper-body injury.

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