Analysis

Blackhawks 2016-17 Over/Under: Jonathan Toews

By Mario Tirabassi
Mar 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews (19) during a game between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews (19) during a game between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /
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As the regular season begins in just a couple of weeks, the Chicago Blackhawks are looking to improve on their early exit last season. The team kicks off training camp at Johnny’s Icehouse in Chicago on September 23. Over the next few weeks, Blackhawk Up will give projections for the stats of each player heading into the season, based off the trend of past three seasons, career averages, and potential line-mate projections. 

Toews Looking To Bear The Brunt Of Top-Line Duties

Last season was an odd one for Chicago Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews. Riding high off of lifting his third Stanley Cup of his career, Toews found himself playing top-line minutes with a rotation of less than top-line caliber players. Thus, his production offensively took a hit. Toews finished last season with 58 points (38 Goals, 30 Assists), his lowest total in a full season since 2011-12, a year where he played in only 59 games due to injuries. He also recorded the lowest number of shots (179) in a full season since his rookie year (144) in 2007-08. 

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While his offensive numbers were down, Toews still showed why he is one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL today. Last season, Toews posted his third highest face-off percentage of his career at 58.6 percent. He also dished out the most hits (81) and blocked the most shots (38) of his career.

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Looking to bounce back in 2016-17, Toews faces yet another uphill climb. The Blackhawks top-line looks to be another rotational situation with the left-wing position being up in the air, and right-wing Marian Hossa on the decline of his career. It’ll be a struggle, but the extra time off this summer may prove highly beneficial for Toews and the Blackhawks in general.

Factors

Last Three Seasons: 

  • 2013-14: 76 GP – 28g, 40a, 68pts, +26, 20:28 TOI
  • 2014-15: 81 GP – 28g, 38a, 66pts, +30, 19:34 TOI
  • 2015-16: 80 GP – 28g, 30a, 58pts, +16, 19:15 TOI

Career Average:

  • 82 Game AVG: 32g, 39a, 71pts, +23, 19:43 TOI

Potential Line-mates:

Projection: 27G, 33A, 60Pts

If there is one thing that all Blackhawks fans, and NHL fans in general know, it’s that Toews is one of the most consistently reliable players in the league. Night in and night out he will show up and give his best effort. If he is needed to score the big goal at the right time, he can do it. If he needs to shut down the opponents top-scorer, consider it done. No one denies that Toews is one of the best in the game today.

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However, another season with a carousel of potential line-mates is hard for anyone to overcome. Add the fact that his right-wing for the better part of seven years, Hossa, is now projecting to produce third-line numbers, and Toews has quite the 2016-17 ahead of him.

Writer Prediction: OVER 

Toews still projects to be one of the best defensive forwards in the game, but his offensive number may struggle. The season projection for Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews comes in at 60 points for 2016-17.

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