There are areas where Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews ' absence sticks out more than others. There are his skills in the faceoff circle, his effectiveness in shootouts and his presence on the power play, to list a few.

But leadership — one of Toews' most valued characteristics — might not be one of them. Just ask him.

"We have a good leadership group, and we don't always just rely on one guy," said Toews, who will miss his 19th consecutive game Saturday in Nashville as he recovers from a concussion.

"In these games that I've missed, the guys have realized they want to keep winning and they want to hang in there and play playoff hockey and be competitive once you get there. So they've kind of committed themselves to doing those little things and playing the right way. It's been fun to see that."

It also makes it easier on Toews, who has called his long recovery frustrating several times. The Hawks have gone 11-5-2 since Toews' absence began Feb. 21.