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Hawks don't expect NHL to discipline Ladd for hit
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 11/2/2009 12:01 AM

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The Blackhawks hadn't heard anything from the NHL as of Sunday regarding Andrew Ladd's hit on Montreal's Matt D'Agostini.

And they don't expect to hear anything, although the league still could rule something because the hit was to the head.

"I don't expect to hear," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said Sunday. "You look at it and you look at it, and it was a hard hit and it was a clean hit."

Ladd received a major penalty and game misconduct for elbowing in the game Friday but said he thought he hit D'Agostini more with his shoulder.

"I thought it was a clean hit, but obviously things happen quickly in a game and I guess I can understand from seeing the replay how it would come off looking like a bad hit," Ladd said.

"He had his head down and I was coming off the bench and I can't let him get by me. Obviously you don't want to see a guy get hurt."

D'Agostini left the game and didn't play Saturday against Toronto either.

"It kind of looked like I came off my feet, but it was after the fact," Ladd said. "I'm not really known for doing stuff like that, but I was just trying to get in the way and hit him with all shoulder. I felt I kept my elbow down the whole time."

Eager practices: Ben Eager, who has missed the last 11 games with a concussion, returned to practice Sunday but likely won't play Thursday at Phoenix.

"I'm going to say that might be optimistic, Thursday," Joel Quenneville said.

Eager played the first two games of the season against Florida in Finland but said it wasn't something that happened in those games that forced him to the sidelines.

"It wasn't so much a concussion, I just didn't feel right when I came back (to start training camp)," Eager said. "I tried to play through it, but I didn't feel myself."

Quenneville said he wasn't aware Eager wasn't feeling himself as he went through training camp.

"I don't think his play was at the level it was last year and then we found out why," Quenneville said. "It's night and day from where he was at the start of training camp to where he is today.

"Hopefully it doesn't reoccur. He's feeling way better, so that's a good sign."

Still no Toews: Jonathan Toews still hasn't been cleared to resume skating because of his concussion, putting his status for games this week against Phoenix and Colorado in question.

"Every day you come in and you're hoping we get him on the ice and that he's cleared to go," Joel Quenneville said. "We'll just leave it at day to day and hope we get him out there soon."

Tip-ins: Marian Hossa was a bit more involved at practice Sunday but still can't have contact. - This is the first time since the 1991-92 season the Hawks have been in first place or tied for the division lead at the end of October.