When the first Toews tracker articles came out, there was an optimistic feeling to Toews and Saad being reunited, and it seemed the decision to trade Panarin to Columbus to reacquire Saad was a good one. Since then, it has been a little murky.
Toews and Saad’s production dropped dramatically in the months of November and December, and it started to really feel like the first line would never get going. A carousel of linemates and continuous nights of goose eggs on the scoresheet for the two former All-Stars was starting to become the norm. On top of this, Toews has been finding himself in the sin bin at too high a rate and has been getting kicked out of faceoffs quite a bit.
However, there seems to be a little life now with the emergence of Hinostroza on the top line. While the sample size is incredibly small, Blackhawks fans can be a little optimistic that this line will play a big factor in the second half of the season. Toews and Saad are scoring once again, and the possession numbers for all three players have been fantastic while they have been playing together.
If the ‘Hawks are going to turn things around and get into the playoffs for a 10th straight season, Toews and his linemates will be essential to the next 41 games.