Proud American Hockey League Affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks

Buy Tickets

News

Quenneville, stats suggest Toews is better than ever

By:
11/29/2011 6:33 PM - From ChicagoBlackhawks.com: (link)

It might not seem possible, but
Jonathan Toews is getting even better.

At least, that's what Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said about his 23-year old captain and first-line center. It seems that Toews isn't satisfied with the Stanley Cup title he helped bring to the Windy City in 2010, nor the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs that came along with it.

He wants to do a lot more and it's the team-oriented goals that motivate him most -- despite his current pace to have his best NHL season as an individual. Heading into Tuesday night's game against the Phoenix Coyotes at the United Center, Toews was on pace for career highs in goals and points.

He's already found the back of the net 13 times in the first 24 games, assisted on 12 other goals and put up the game-winning goal in each of the past two games. He also has a team-high 18 points in 14 road games.

And those are just the stats that catch most people's eye, the goals and assists. Toews also leads the League in faceoff win percentage (65.1) and has an impact on virtually every area of the ice.

"Johnny is a top player in our game, and I think as the years go on he just gets better and better and better," said Hawks coach Joel Quenneville, who doesn't hand out compliments like that very often. "In all areas of his game he's rock solid -- offensively, defensively, faceoffs, (power play), (penalty kill), important minutes … and he leads by how bad he wants to be the best player and how bad he wants to help our team. It's a great position to be in from a coaching perspective, and organizationally we're lucky to have him."

The only real luck, of course, was that Toews was still around for Chicago to select at No. 3 in the 2006 NHL Draft. In that draft, the St. Louis Blues took defenseman Erik Johnson with the No. 1 pick followed by the Pittsburgh Penguins selecting another center, Jordan Staal, with the second pick.

"I always give him (a hard time) about that all the time," said Sharp, who like Staal is from Thunder Bay, Ont. "I tell him they went with a Thunder Bay kid over a Winnipeg kid. He always has good games against Pittsburgh, too."

As for Toews actually improving from what he's always been, Sharp said he hasn't really noticed any big change. The hard work is always there with Toews and he knows that eventually it will lead to good things for the Hawks.

"I just see the same old guy," Sharp said. "He's on a good run right now. The puck's going in for him. He's playing good and he does lots of good things out there. He plays in every situation and plays a lot of minutes, so anytime you have those kinds of guys on the team they're important and valuable."

Recently, Toews has been paired with Viktor Stalberg on the left and either Marian Hossa or Patrick Sharp on the right. The results speak for themselves, as his line produces a lot of scoring chances and is converting more into goals now than in the beginning of the season. Toews doesn't call it a hot streak, though -- just the payoff for their consistent effort at both ends of the ice.

"I'm working hard and with my linemates we're earning the success that we're getting," Toews said. "It's not coming out of the blue for us. A lot of people don't see it until you start scoring goals, but you know when you're playing well the whole time. We want to keep that going for a long time … not just for five games or 10 games. We know there's a lot of improvement still left on the table and can only get better."




Search Archive »




Browse by Year »

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
200

Browse by Month »

October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010

December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
December 0200