News: Sharp just had a rest day on Wednesday as the reason for not skating in Blackhawks' morning practice, but will be in the lineup on Thursday against the Canucks, CSN Chicago reports.
Impact: Sharp's numbers are down this year -- 14 goals and 26 assists -- part of that is due to missing time with a leg injury, but his play has contributed to the Blackhawks sputtering at times on offense this season. In his career against the Canucks, Sharp has 10 goals and six assists in 30 games.
News: Van Riemsdyk suffered an upper-body injury during his conditioning assignment at AHL Rockford, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Impact: It's disappointing news for van Riemsdyk, who was working hard to return to the Blackhawks before the end of the regular season after missing the last four and a half months due to a fractured kneecap. Van Riemsdyk seems to no longer be troubled by the knee, but the upper-body ailment could spell an end to his hopes of playing again this season.
News: Nordstrom (upper body) took part in a non-contact practice Wednesday, ESPN Chicago reports.
Impact: It's Nordstrom's first activity with the Blackhawks since he suffered the injury during a March 25 game against the Flyers. He might not be a candidate to return to the lineup during the Blackhawks' back-to-back set that kicks off Thursday against the Canucks, but it appears he'll have a good chance of playing before the regular season comes to a close.
News: Crawford is slated to start Thursday's game against the Canucks, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Impact: Crawford, who gave way to Scott Darling in Monday's 4-1 win over the Kings, will return to man the Chicago net in Thursday's home game, against a Vancouver team that has won two straight contests by a combined tally of 9-5.
News: Though he was able to get in a non-contact practice Wednesday, Kane said that his 12-week recovery timetable hasn't changed, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Impact: Coach Joel Quenneville also reiterated as much, but Kane still seems optimistic about beating that timetable after he was able to resume practicing far earlier than most anticipated. Since Kane was placed on long-term injured reserve back in February and has a $10.5 million annual salary, it seems unlikely that the cap-strapped Blackhawks would even have the capacity to activate the winger before the end of the regular season, even if he was deemed fully healthy at that point. Instead, the Blackhawks will simply hope to have Kane back at some point in the playoffs, though it remains up in the air how early his return might come, if at all.
News: Kane (upper body) made a surprise return to Wednesday's practice, participating in a no-contact capacity, Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago reports.
Impact: Kane had been skating on his own for the last couple of weeks for what was believed to be conditioning purposes, but his return to practice suggests he's progressing much more rapidly than the Blackhawks even anticipated. The star winger was expected to be out of the lineup until deep in the postseason after he was given a 12-week recovery timetable upon suffering a broken clavicle Feb. 24; however, it now seems somewhat conceivable that he might not even miss any playoff games at all. As of yet, the Blackhawks haven't upgraded Kane's timetable, but given that the 25-year-old was already firing off wrist shots during Wednesday's practice, optimism certainly seems to be building.