Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.
True leaders in sports rise to the occasion; and so it was that when the Chicago Blackhawks needed a win to keep their Stanley Cup hopes alive in this postseason, they turned to somehow-still-young captain Jonathan Toews.
I swear that Toews seems like he's been in the league for a decade at this point even if he's just 25, but maybe it's a result of all the talk for how wise-beyond-his-years he is and how much respect he commands and how clutch he is.
You want evidence of these things? Go back to the game tape from Saturday night, when Toews was a plus-8 Corsi and finally even scored that goal he's been looking for since the regular season ended. That's the definition of clutch, right there. Adding the third goal out of four, on the power play, to pull him only three back of Bryan Bickell's postseason total. That's leading by example when his team had its backs against the wall. That's a mere one fewer than Andrew Shaw had in the final two periods.
Finally he broke through, and what a shot to get it done too, right? A resurgence , that's what it was. A way to build momentum . He was the guy that rose to the challenge , too. And all it took was his team getting decked three games straight by a team that any rational observer looked at and said, "Hey, if they don't get swept, that'll be something else."
Well jeez, hey, Detroit didn't get swept. That five-game run they were supposed to get is now at seven at the absolute worst, and that's a modicum of hope no one would have granted them a week and a half ago. Why? Chicago's resurgent leader who needed to rise to the challenge finally stopped complaining about the refs long enough to pop one into the net and pull his team back into a situation in which they merely had to win two straight now, instead of three. That's, well, I mean it's something. It's better than bowing out quietly, for sure. And that's why he has the C on his chest, or whichever argument we're now making to insulate Jonny Toews, a world-class hockey player and stoic champion and heraldic leader of men everyone should aspire to be.
All that, of course, ignores that Toews should never have allowed his team to have been in that position.
Posted under NHL