Jonathan Toews is paid to play stable protection, win faceoffs and battle onerous for pucks everywhere in the ice.
He is paid to assist kill penalties and to ensure the ability play is operating easily.
Because the Blackhawks’ captain he is additionally paid to place out any behind-the-scenes fires and to ensure workforce morale stays up, even in essentially the most dire of circumstances.
And, after all, Toews is paid to attain targets.
So whereas Toews is doing — at a minimal — an ample job in loads of areas, he is but to seek out the again of the web even as soon as through 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 workforce wants their prime centermen to be no less than a average contributor within the goal-scoring division. After they’re not, it typically creates a nasty ripple impact that makes it troublesome for groups to win constantly.
The Hawks, whereas 6-3-0 beneath King, are nonetheless 1-for-30 on the ability play during the last 11 video games. In addition they have simply 8 targets 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, ?” stated interim coach Derek King after the Hawks misplaced 2-0 to San Jose on the United Heart on Sunday. “You may get away with it there, however right here these gamers are good (and) these are good groups. … If 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 onerous, 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 possibilities in opposition to the Sharks, with maybe the perfect one coming when Dominik Kubalik appeared 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 on the right track, or if Toews merely missed, however most guys will let you know they have to get extra wooden on the puck to no less than 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 recreation of inches, proper? And proper now, we’re lacking guys a little bit an excessive amount of in that space with the passes.”
Toews didn’t converse to the media Sunday, and the Hawks didn’t observe Monday.
Toews is annoyed 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 part” in his recreation.
As for the objective drought, which was at 15 video games on the time, Toews stated: “I imply it would not trouble me. However, , I would love to do one thing about it one among as of late right here.”
Since then Toews has simply 8 pictures on objective in six video games. So perhaps it is simply time to shoot first and ask questions later.
“It is simply not clicking proper now, and it isn’t simply him, it is a bunch of them,” King stated. “We simply have to remain the course and combat by means of this.”
Whereas Toews has but to attain, it isn’t 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 targets up to now? FIVE! And two of them are Dominik Kubalik and Kirby Dach, each of whom ought to have no less than 6-7 by now.
The Hawks are averaging a paltry 2.14 targets per recreation, second worst within the division behind Arizona’s nearly comical 1.86.
Colorado leads the way in which with 4.06 targets per recreation (nearly double the output of the Hawks) and has eight gamers with no less than 3 targets. Minnesota is subsequent with 3.71 targets per recreation and has 11 skaters with 3-plus targets.
So, sure, aside from Alex DeBrincat (12) and Brandon Hagel (7) it will assist if the entire Hawks stepped up their recreation. This goes double for the blue liners, who’ve a measly 4 targets COMBINED. That is the identical complete as Adam Boqvist has for Columbus in simply 12 video games. You all keep 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 will be on prime of those groups and we will come out forward.”
We’ll see. As a result of if it would not occur quickly the Hawks’ little resurgence beneath King is in huge hassle.