Blackhawks getting everything from Toews

Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates after his goal against the Washington Capitals during the third period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo Nuccio DiNuzzo)

by Scott King
@ScottKingMedia

There’s nothing else you can ask Jonathan Toews to do this season. After a five-point game that included his sixth career hat trick on Sunday against the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals in an 8-5 win, the Blackhawks captain surpassed his goal total from last season (20) after just 50 games this year.

“It’s pretty cool any time you score a hat trick and just to be on the ice and be a part of that and see the caliber and the level that he brings,” Blackhawks goalie Collin Delia said of Toews.

With 47 points (21 goals, 26 assists) Toews is on pace to have one of his best seasons yet. He has 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in his past 12 games and joined elite company Sunday being one of three active NHL players to have 20+ goals in each of the last 12 seasons along with Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane.

“You got to stay healthy and you got to be consistent,” Kane said of Toews reaching the milestone. “He’s been a big producer for us ever since he came in the league and I think we’d be lying if we said it’s surprising. Just kind of used to it from Johnny.”

This comes in light of a struggling old and young Blackhawks team that’s all but had the playoff window close on them for a second consecutive year, and following a couple underwhelming seasons for Toews.

Like the majority of his games this season, and in his career, Toews did a lot more than what made the scoresheet in Sunday’s game. In addition to his three goals and two assists, he had seven shot attempts, six shots on goal, won 11 of 17 faceoffs, had two takeaways and a 4-0 5-on-5 goal differential.

Instead of joining fellow three-time Stanley Cup champs Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook in having lost a step and likely having his best hockey behind him, Toews improved.

“I think I had a good start (to the season) and that had a lot to do with my preparation,” Toews said. “It’s a bit of an up-and-down, kind of a roller coaster ride.

“You’re going to have some dips here and there where things aren’t going your way and you just got to stay with it and know you’re going to have times [during] the season where you’re going to get hot and you got to make sure you know what’s going on with your schedule.

“We got one more game before the break. It was a good effort for us tonight and we’ll try to get another two points and then rest here a little bit.”

Whether it ends up being another short season for the Hawks and whether or not more of the team is blown up and re-tooled for next season, it’s good to know their captain has found his way back and is giving his team everything he can.

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