Jonathan Toews is paid to play strong protection, win faceoffs and battle arduous for pucks everywhere in the ice.
He is paid to assist kill penalties and to ensure the ability play is working easily.
Because the Blackhawks’ captain he is additionally paid to place out any behind-the-scenes fires and to ensure crew morale stays up, even in probably the most dire of circumstances.
And, in fact, Toews is paid to attain objectives.
So whereas Toews is doing — at a minimal — an satisfactory job in loads of areas, he is but to search out the again of the online even as soon as through the Hawks’ first 21 video games.
Toews is one among seven forwards who’ve but to attain with 25 or extra pictures on aim. He and Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler have probably the most at 37.
It goes with out saying that each crew wants their prime centermen to be no less than a reasonable contributor within the goal-scoring division. Once they’re not, it usually creates a nasty ripple impact that makes it troublesome for groups to win constantly.
The Hawks, whereas 6-3-0 beneath King, are nonetheless 1-for-30 on the ability play over the past 11 video games. Additionally they have simply 8 objectives within the final 5 contests.
So do you pull Toews off the highest power-play unit? Transfer him right into a third-line position for some time?
These are powerful conversations to have with a future Corridor of Famer and a three-time Stanley Cup winner, however solely Toews is aware of for certain precisely how he feels.
Backside line: There’s little doubt that coming again after a season away has not been straightforward.
“It isn’t minor hockey, you already know?” stated interim coach Derek King after the Hawks misplaced 2-0 to San Jose on the United Middle on Sunday. “You will get away with it there, however right here these gamers are good (and) these are good groups. … If you miss a yr of hockey and also you’re coming again and you do not rating for some time, it begins to get to you. However he is working arduous, he is doing all of the issues we ask (of) him.
“He is our chief and he is enjoying good hockey.”
Toews had a number of probabilities in opposition to the Sharks, with maybe the perfect one coming when Dominik Kubalik appeared for a redirect off Toews’ stick on a power-play. The puck flew to the tip boards, making solely slight contact with Toews’ stick.
It is troublesome to say if the move might have been a bit extra on the right track, or if Toews merely missed, however most guys will inform you they have to get extra wooden on the puck to no less than give it an opportunity.
“The move might’ve been extra on the heel than on the toe or in the course of the blade,” King stated. “It is a sport of inches, proper? And proper now, we’re lacking guys slightly an excessive amount of in that space with the passes.”
Toews didn’t converse to the media Sunday, and the Hawks didn’t follow Monday.
Toews is pissed off and certain urgent an excessive amount of to finish this drought. When he spoke two weeks in the past after a win over Arizona, Toews stated he’d like to enhance “every thing” in his sport.
As for the aim drought, which was at 15 video games on the time, Toews stated: “I imply it would not trouble me. However, you already know, I would love to do one thing about it one among nowadays right here.”
Since then Toews has simply 8 pictures on aim in six video games. So possibly it is simply time to shoot first and ask questions later.
“It is simply not clicking proper now, and it is not simply him, it is a bunch of them,” King stated. “We simply have to remain the course and struggle via this.”
Whereas Toews has but to attain, it is not like he is the one one struggling on the Hawks (7-12-2). Removed from it.
Do you know simply 5 Hawks have 3 or extra objectives to this point? FIVE! And two of them are Dominik Kubalik and Kirby Dach, each of whom ought to have no less than 6-7 by now.
The Hawks are averaging a paltry 2.14 objectives per sport, second worst within the division behind Arizona’s virtually comical 1.86.
Colorado leads the way in which with 4.06 objectives per sport (virtually double the output of the Hawks) and has eight gamers with no less than 3 objectives. Minnesota is subsequent with 3.71 objectives per sport and has 11 skaters with 3-plus objectives.
So, sure, aside from Alex DeBrincat (12) and Brandon Hagel (7) it might assist if the entire Hawks stepped up their sport. This goes double for the blue liners, who’ve a measly 4 objectives COMBINED. That is the identical complete as Adam Boqvist has for Columbus in simply 12 video games. You all keep in mind him, proper?
“For probably the most half, the floodgates will open for a few of these guys,” King stated. “And if our energy play begins clicking once more, we will be on prime of those groups and we will come out forward.”
We’ll see. As a result of if it would not occur quickly the Hawks’ little resurgence beneath King is in massive hassle.