Throughout these Stanley Cup Playoffs, Chicago Blackhawks captain and no. 1 center Jonathan Toews has found himself criticized a bit, on more than one occasion, for his lack of goal scoring throughout these playoffs. But with a guy that impacts the game in so many other ways, how big of a deal is it really?
Toews took home the Selke Trophy on Friday night, finally getting some hardware and being recognized as one of the game’s best two-way players. The fact that he was acknowledged as the best defensive forward in the game tells you just how many different ways Toews can impact a game, beyond his goal scoring.
The captain had an absolutely outstanding regular season, with 48 points in 47 games, including 23 goals. This postseason hasn’t brought the same type of production on the stat sheet, with only nine points in these playoffs, including just a single goal. And he’s taken a beating for it.
But that doesn’t mean that Toews hasn’t been playing well. In fact, his line has consistently been the most dominant line for the Blackhawks, in terms of possession and scoring chances generated. Not to mention what he brings to the table in the defensive end from up front.
Just three times in these playoffs has Toews won less than half of his draws. Five times he’s won at least 60 percent. His 15 takeaways are tied for the third most in these playoffs. As far as Corsi goes, Toews has been excellent for the most part. In Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, Toews boasted a plus-31 Corsi, tops on the Hawks. He’s averaging about three shots a game, but his shooting percentage is just one percent.
Toews isn’t struggling as bad as everyone would like to think. He’s been doing everything that makes him one of the best all-around players on the planet. Would you like a bit more on the stat sheet from him? Obviously. But just because he’s not putting games up at a point-per-game clip in the postseason doesn’t mean that his game has fallen off the side of the Earth. He’s still Jonathan Toews and still impacts the game in so many ways. He doesn’t need to find the back of the net every game in order to be effective.