This weekend Jonathan Toews will have the opportunity to truly show his talents to the rest of us that sit on the outside looking in. After being named Captain for one of the teams this weekend, he will play the role of player, Coach and GM all in the All-Star weekends three day span. This evening he’ll have the chance to pick his roster for the skills competition and also the game itself in a fantasy draft. The draft will pit Toews against the other Captain Nick Foligno from Columbus. Inevitably making Team Toews the visiting team.
Though he will have the help of Anaheim’s veteran and versatile captain Ryan Getzlaf and Rangers rejuvenated forward Rick Nash – the decisions will fall on him to pick the team and also, choose which players will represent the team in which events in tomorrows skills competition. Maybe Rocky Wirtz should be paying more attention to those abilities than his skill-sets this weekend. It wouldn’t bother me if Toews was a candidate to coach the Hawks in fifteen years. Would it bother you?
“As long as nobody gets picked last, it’ll be alright. I don’t think you can let a teammate be in that position.” Toews said to Mark Lazerus of the Sun-Times on his position this weekend. It’s statements like that, that really set this young man apart from the rest. Wednesday night, when the Hawks were in Pittsburgh I saw Crosby leave the ice and take the ice to avoid Captain Toews. To remind those that don’t remember or even know, when Babcock put together the Canadian National team for the Olympics… he called and asked Toews personally if he would take issue with Sydney Crosby wearing the “C”. Of course, the humble Toews had no problem with it. But when the Captains were called to speak with the refs throughout a game, Toews was there. When the team was warming up, Toews was leading the drills. And when you ask anyone to name the first person they’d want on their team if they were to draft one from scratch, the names are consistently Toews and Crosby. The only difference, many will always choose Toews, at or around an 80% rate I’d imagine.
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It’s not that Toews is the best goal scorer or the most prolific player in the league, he just isn’t Patrick Kane or Steven Stamkos or Tyler Seguin – he never will be. And not to knock the superstars, but they aren’t meant to lead, they’re meant to score goals and play their roles. The men that play all the roles lead, and Jonathan Toews is the best of them. With two gold medals and two stanley cups, he’s also the best of them.
Throughout the 2015 season I have seen the Hawks dominate – I’ve also seen them bored. I’ve seen them exert their will and also just get through a game lazily, whether lose or win. I say this a lot, but when a team is superior, talented and dominant – to play like that every game, for 82 games, for seven months is a tall order, nearly impossible.
With Jonathan Toews at the helm, they know when to exert and when to be reserved. They know when a message is being sent and when it needs to be sent – best, they know WHAT message it is that’s needed. This is what sets them apart from the rest of the NHL, except for recently the LA Kings whom have proven to hang around long enough to deliver a knock out punch.
As the calendar continues to change at a rapid pace and the number of games continues to wind down, the Hawks will begin to ramp up. Because as oppossed to the month of December, the Playoffs are all but here and that’s what this group of proven Champions cares about – it’s what they yearn for.
ONE GOAL… bring Stanley home from his SoCal vacation!!!!! Enjoy the weekend Feather Faithful!
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