Toews Named NHL’s Second Star Of The Week
The NHL announced their weekly ‘Stars of the Week’ Monday afternoon, highlighting the top performers around the league. This week’s three stars were Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg, Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau, and Chicago Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews.
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Toews was highlighted as the week’s second-star after posting nine points in three games during the week, all in wins for the Blackhawks as they defeated the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, and St. Louis Blues last night on Sunday. Toews recorded multi-point games in all three wins, including his fourth career hat-trick in Tuesday’s win against the Wild.
But the success rate of Toews hasn’t been just this week. After a slow start to the season which saw him tally just 28 points in 42 games and lead to a contentious All-Star Game selection, Toews has led the Blackhawks to a second-half of the season surge. Since All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, Toews has recorded 18 points (7 Goals, 11 Assists) in 11 games and the Blackhawks have gone 9-2-0.
During that stretch, the Blackhawks have two wins over the Central Division leading Minnesota Wild and a win over the St. Louis Blues who now are in a wild card spot in the Western Conference.
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The gap in the standing between Chicago and Minnesota now sits at just one point with Minnesota having played three fewer games, and the space between Chicago and the now third place Nashville Predators is 12 points, with both teams having played 62 games.
Toews’ hot-streak has been significant to the Blackhawks’ recent run of success and has helped elevate the level of play of his line-mates. Richard Panik has notched 12 points (5 Goals, 7 Assists) over the last 11-games and Nick Schmaltz has himself 10 points (3 Goals, 7 Assists) in that same span as well.
If Toews and his line-mates can continue the rate of success they are having at the moment, and other offense-driving players like Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin, and Artem Anisimov continue to produce, the Blackhawks could very well find themselves back at the top of the NHL’s Western Conference and hitting their full-stride right as the Stanley Cup Playoffs roll around.
Next up for the Blackhawks is a Wednesday Night showdown with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. It will mark the only match-up between the last two Stanley Cup winning teams this season, unless both make it to the Stanley Cup Final later this summer.