Chicago Blackhawks: Regular Season Review – Jonathan Toews
By Shaun Filippelli
It may not have been the type of year the Chicago Blackhawks had initially planned, but Jonathan Toews still found ways to show the league just how important he is to this team.
As the epitome of what it means to be a leader, and the captain of his Chicago Blackhawks, any personal accomplishments are far less of a focus for Jonathan Toews as compared to what he hopes to achieve as a team.
Rewinding time to a few seasons ago, Chicago was swept 4-0 by the Nashville Predators to end their 2017 campaign. Then they missed out on the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs completely.
These are not the types of results this city had become accustomed to and their captain was certainly not going to stand idly by and let it continue to happen.
Although the 2018-19 season saw a struggling Blackhawks squad trying to get back into the post-season, which they ultimately failed to do, that didn’t stop Toews from having a rebound year of his own.
He earned 81 points, playing in all 82 games of the 2018-19 season. That was a big jump from the 52 Toews accumulated within 74 contests the year prior. So, what would his following season have in store?
After an early-season coaching change in 2018-19, the start of the 2019-20 season provided Jeremy Colliton with a fresh slate from which to guide this organization. But there wasn’t going to be any progress if his team’s veterans didn’t help lead the way.
The whole organization has experienced turnover, at all levels of personnel, ever since their success started to run dry in recent season.
What hasn’t hindered, though, has been the consistent effort and output from Toews. It doesn’t matter what this team is battling, or their results on the scoreboard, his compete level continues to impress and his 2019-20 season is a further illustration of that.
This was not a successful year for the Chicago Blackhawks. They ended the season in 12th place within the Western Conference, based on points percentage. In any other year, that would not have them in a playoff position, but this season is unique.
While they still struggled to relocate their identity as a winning franchise, they showed signs of success with team win streaks, production from their young talent, and leadership that still strives to be second to none.
Toews is known as one of the best two-way players in the game today and he proved that again in his ability to be tough to go up against throughout this past year, too.
He earned a 57.3 faceoff win percentage, while averaging nearly 20:00 in ice time per game. Toews also accumulated 35 blocks, which is the second-highest of his career on a per-game basis.
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As the impactful leader that Jonathan Toews continues to be, it’s also impressive that his only teammate to produce more than him this past campaign was superstar Patrick Kane, who had a season to remember of his own.
To suggest that this was a successful year for the franchise would be a stretch, especially if you were to ask Toews. However, the Chicago Blackhawks do currently have their spot secured in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Ultimately, that is the goal of every team at the start of each season. So, they can say they accomplished at least that much. Whether they add more to this year’s story is yet to be seen.
Although Chicago will need their whole team to be playing at their peak from the start of the planned post-season, the spotlight will shine brightest on their proven stars.
And there is no doubt that their captain will be ready and waiting for his next faceoff.
At 32 years old, Jonathan Toews is currently committed to the Chicago Blackhawks until the end of the 2022-23 season. With an AAV of $10,500,000, and although the organization is near the ceiling of their cap hit, Toews continues to prove that he’s worth every penny.