Jonathan Toews is paid to play strong protection, win faceoffs and battle arduous for pucks all around the ice.
He is paid to assist kill penalties and to verify the ability play is working easily.
Because the Blackhawks’ captain he is additionally paid to place out any behind-the-scenes fires and to verify staff morale stays up, even in essentially the most dire of circumstances.
And, in fact, Toews is paid to attain objectives.
So whereas Toews is doing — at a minimal — an enough job in loads of areas, he is but to search out the again of the web even as soon as in the course of the Hawks’ first 21 video games.
Toews is one among seven forwards who’ve but to attain with 25 or extra pictures on objective. He and Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler have essentially the most at 37.
It goes with out saying that each staff wants their prime centermen to be at the least a reasonable contributor within the goal-scoring division. Once they’re not, it usually creates a nasty ripple impact that makes it troublesome for groups to win constantly.
The Hawks, whereas 6-3-0 below King, are nonetheless 1-for-30 on the ability play during the last 11 video games. In addition they have simply 8 objectives within the final 5 contests.
So do you pull Toews off the highest power-play unit? Transfer him right into a third-line position for some time?
These are powerful conversations to have with a future Corridor of Famer and a three-time Stanley Cup winner, however solely Toews is aware of for positive precisely how he feels.
Backside line: There’s little doubt that coming again after a season away has not been straightforward.
“It is not minor hockey, you recognize?” stated interim coach Derek King after the Hawks misplaced 2-0 to San Jose on the United Middle on Sunday. “You will get away with it there, however right here these gamers are good (and) these are good groups. … Once you miss a yr of hockey and also you’re coming again and you do not rating for some time, it begins to get to you. However he is working arduous, he is doing all of the issues we ask (of) him.
“He is our chief and he is taking part in good hockey.”
Toews had a couple of probabilities towards the Sharks, with maybe one of the best one coming when Dominik Kubalik regarded for a redirect off Toews’ stick on a power-play. The puck flew to the top boards, making solely slight contact with Toews’ stick.
It is troublesome to say if the cross might have been a bit extra heading in the right direction, or if Toews merely missed, however most guys will let you know they have to get extra wooden on the puck to at the least give it an opportunity.
“The cross might’ve been extra on the heel than on the toe or in the midst of the blade,” King stated. “It is a sport of inches, proper? And proper now, we’re lacking guys a bit an excessive amount of in that space with the passes.”
Toews didn’t communicate to the media Sunday, and the Hawks didn’t follow Monday.
Toews is pissed off and sure urgent an excessive amount of to finish this drought. When he spoke two weeks in the past after a win over Arizona, Toews stated he’d like to enhance “every little thing” in his sport.
As for the objective drought, which was at 15 video games on the time, Toews stated: “I imply it does not hassle me. However, you recognize, I would love to do one thing about it one among lately right here.”
Since then Toews has simply 8 pictures on objective in six video games. So possibly it is simply time to shoot first and ask questions later.
“It is simply not clicking proper now, and it is not simply him, it is a bunch of them,” King stated. “We simply have to remain the course and struggle by means of this.”
Whereas Toews has but to attain, it is not like he is the one one struggling on the Hawks (7-12-2). Removed from it.
Do you know simply 5 Hawks have 3 or extra objectives so far? FIVE! And two of them are Dominik Kubalik and Kirby Dach, each of whom ought to have at the least 6-7 by now.
The Hawks are averaging a paltry 2.14 objectives per sport, second worst within the division behind Arizona’s nearly comical 1.86.
Colorado leads the best way with 4.06 objectives per sport (nearly double the output of the Hawks) and has eight gamers with at the least 3 objectives. Minnesota is subsequent with 3.71 objectives per sport and has 11 skaters with 3-plus objectives.
So, sure, aside from Alex DeBrincat (12) and Brandon Hagel (7) it might assist if the entire Hawks stepped up their sport. This goes double for the blue liners, who’ve a measly 4 objectives COMBINED. That is the identical whole as Adam Boqvist has for Columbus in simply 12 video games. You all bear in mind him, proper?
“For essentially the most half, the floodgates will open for a few of these guys,” King stated. “And if our energy play begins clicking once more, we’ll be on prime of those groups and we’ll come out forward.”
We’ll see. As a result of if it does not occur quickly the Hawks’ little resurgence below King is in large hassle.
Roster transfer: The Blackhawks recalled ahead Josiah Slavin from the Rockford IceHogs and assigned ahead Philipp Kurashev to Rockford.