Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews Needs To Regain Scoring Touch

By Sean Fitzgerald
Oct 12, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) looks to pass the puck against the St. Louis Blues during the third period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 12, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) looks to pass the puck against the St. Louis Blues during the third period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

Jonathan Toews’ scoring ability has seemingly disappeared early this season with the Chicago Blackhawks

After the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, Chicago Blackhawks fans were pleasantly surprised by Jonathan Toews’ offensive play in the tournament. Toews had three goals and two assists in six games of the World Cup of Hockey.

Now Toews was playing not only against, but also alongside the best players in the world in this event, so we should have tempered optimism on his numbers heading into the NHL’s regular season.

In a season filled with a lot of question marks at the forward position, the Blackhawks needed Toews to start fast and keep up his scoring touch all season. Unfortunately, Toews’ scoring touch from the World Cup of Hockey has not continued.

In seven NHL games, Toews has zero goals and two assists while the Blackhawks are 3-3-1. Coming off a season in which Toews did not record more than 60 points, the Blackhawks might start to wonder if his scoring touch will ever return.

More from Editorials

There is history to this kind of start from Toews

For a guy who scored a goal in his first NHL game, Toews is a surprisingly consistent slower starter.

It has been well documented how slow Toews starts his seasons. Last season, he has zero goals through seven games. In 2014-15, he had one goal in seven games. In 2010-11, he had one goal in nine games. In 2008-09, he had zero goals in seven games, and in 2008-09 he had zero goals in 12 games.

Coach Joel Quenneville seems to feel the same way about Toews’ offense needing to get jump-started. Coach Quenneville has gone to his “break glass in case of emergency” strategy, pairing Toews with Patrick Kane.

While the the move is usually reserved for the playoffs, it appears time to get Toews going this season. If anyone can get Toews going, it is Kane, but what happens when Artemi Panarin and others struggle?

I would look for Kane has to be moved off the Toews line. Marian Hossa can take Kane’s spot on the second line with Panarin and Artem Anisimov.

Kane has enjoyed success in his career when playing alongside Toews.

Next: Blackhawks By The Numbers, Week 2

For his career, Toews has never scored fewer than 23 goals in a season, but the fact that he is a two-way player and plays so much on the penalty kill could finally be taking a toll on him.

facebooktwitterreddit