DETROIT -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has been ruled out of his team's regular season finale against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday while he continues to recover from a concussion that has caused him to miss the past 21 games.
And while he and the Blackhawks are hopeful he'll be ready for the start of the playoffs next week, that isn't a sure thing either.
"I'm still keeping that confidence and that positive outlook that things are going to go the right way," Toews said after practicing in Detroit on Friday. "That I will be ready for next week."
Toews sounded less optimistic about his condition than his coach, Joel Quenneville.
"He's made good progress here this week," Quenneville said. "Saturday's game is a game that could have gotten some consideration but you look at it, we have four or five full days there. But we like the progress this week. Hopefully he can be ready."
Toews says he still doesn't feel completely right while going through drills on the ice. Once he's back in the locker room he's much better.
"It's not feeling like yourself, not being able to do what you normally do with ease," he explained. "It's all sorts of things. You try to explain it and no one will understand unless you go through it. It's not a fun thing right now.
"It calms down pretty good after practice. The good news is it seems the harder I push myself in practice the more progress I make so I'm going to keep doing that."
"I was very close to playing (Friday) or (Saturday) but now we have another four days or so," he said. "I'm hoping that will be the difference right there."
Quenneville admitted the importance of the time of year might be a factor.
"We got close these last two days," Quenneville said. "It would have been nice to get him in a game but Game 1 of the playoffs is way more meaningful than tomorrow's game."
The Blackhawks have gone 12-5-4 without Toews in the lineup. They're currently the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference but could move up to No. 5 with a win over Detroit.
Corey Crawford starts in goal.