The Chicago Blackhawks desperately needed a benefactor this year, no doubt. They needed a leader to step up and regain the ol’ familiar winning mentality and culture this team has built over the past decade. With the likes of Jonathan Toews and his newly revamped confidence, he’s certainly bringing back what it means to be a Chicago Blackhawk.
“Guess who’s back, back again? Toews is back, tell a friend!”
Ladies and gentleman, we’ve waited a long time to witness this. Since the 2014-15 Chicago Blackhawks season, captain Jonathan Toews hasn’t been a main benefactor during the regular season.
He hasn’t been able to get an edge and play up to the standards of a three-time Stanley Cup champion. After the past three miserable seasons, Toews has been on a major decline, scoring under 60 points in each year.
Specifically, last season was Toews’ second worst year in point production since 2011-12.
It seems that the culture of being a below average team had the captain ready for change. As a leader, he’s the main catalyst for blame when the team starts to go south. So, with this new season, Toews is paving a new road: the road to redemption.
Toews’ performance took a dramatic change since last year.
During the previous endeavor, he was sluggish and didn’t look like his body could handle the intense speed of this new NHL era. His offseason training that year seemed like it was too focused on strength, and not speed.
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However, Toews took a smarter role this offseason and trained with Jimmy Waite, the team’s goaltending coach. From the get-go, Toews looked prepared, and well on his feet during the first two games of the year. His stats surely back-up that statement.
In the opener against Ottawa, Toews played a fantastic game, scoring a goal and assisting Patrick Kane‘s overtime winning goal during their comeback victory on the road. Each shift seemed like his first. There was no fatigue in his game at all from start to finish.
In Saturday’s tilt with the St. Louis Blues, it was almost like deja vu, but better.
Toews decided to take over the game singlehandedly and serve the rival Blues a demeaning home defeat.
Toews not only scored a hat trick, but he did it by scoring his third goal of the night on a breakaway in OT against Jake Allen. As soon as the puck went in, we all knew this was Johnny’s year, and we’re not wrong about that.
It is vital to see Toews performing at this cataclysmic level of hockey. He noticed how the NHL was evolving into a speed-oriented league, and took action in a smart way.
His leadership through this change is not only bringing out the best in himself, but it is bringing out the best in the team and rallying it to heights much larger than last year’s embarrassment of a season.
It’s our time — no. It’s Johnny’s time.