Yesterday, Jonathan Toews skated for the seventh consecutive day as he works his way back from concussion. While Toews has yet to be cleared for contact, one can certainly see the light at the end of the tunnel. Barring any setback, Toews could be back soon.
With that in mind, the Hawks could find themselves tempted to get Toews back into the lineup as soon as they can. While Toews obviously makes the team better, risking re-injury is not worth what could amount to a meaningless win or two.
As it stands right now, the Blackhawks have a pretty firm grip on the sixth seed in the Western Conference. If the Hawks can tread water without the Toews and the suspended Duncan Keith, it's fair to expect them to finish in that sixth slot.
Bottom line...the Blackhawks probably can't win more than a round in the playoffs without Toews. While it's tempting to get him back on the ice as soon as possible, the Hawks medical and training staffs haven't had the best luck with concussion management this season. Both Niklas Hjalmarsson and Marcus Kruger have returned from concussions, only to leave the lineup (sometimes days later) with concussion symptoms.
The argument will be made that Toews will need to get up to game speed before the playoffs begin. That is a fair point. If the Hawks think that's what needs to happen, I could be convinced that playing him in the season finale vs Detroit might be worth it.
Aside from that, I think it's safest to hold Toews out as long as possible. A healthy Toews and a rested Keith make the Hawks that much more dangerous in the playoffs.