Jonathan Toews is a very good hockey player. He wears the ‘C’ for the Chicago Blackhawks for a reason as he stands as the leader for one of the most historic clubs in the NHL. We really are spoiled when Toews and his running mate Patrick Kane are on the ice at the same time as they are one of the best duos in the league.
We haven’t had that privilege in over a month after Kane went down with a clavicle injury on February 24. We have had the opportunity however to see ‘captain serious’ shine in a less crowded spotlight since the Kane injury, and that is a privilege in itself.
One word you could use to describe Toews’ game is ‘consistent’; not only for this season, or this stretch without Kane by his side, but for his entire career wearing the red and black.
This year the 26-year-old center has found the back of the net 28 times and added 38 helpers along the way in 78 games played. Just another run of the mill 60-plus point season for the fifth time in his career. His 66 points this season ranks 21st in the league in scoring and second among his teammates behind none other than Kane.
Toews doesn’t just do the simple things that show up on the score sheet, he also runs the Blackhawks’ power play and serves as one of the better Chicago forwards that kills penalties as well. This season he averages 3:36 of power play time per night and 1:26 on the penalty kill, which ranks sixth in the league.
It’s no surprise to see a team’s top forward on the power play, but if we take a look around the Central Division you don’t see another team’s top one or two forwards killing penalties at the rate Toews does while also lighting the lamp on the man advantage. Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars is the closest with his 1:28 of penalty killing time and 3:34 on the man advantage as well. Shocking, I know, to see arguably the best two-way forwards in the division with nearly the exact numbers in that category. Not bad company to be in though if you are Toews or Benn.
Toews also serves as the ‘Hawks top faceoff man as well. This season he’s taken 1,628 draws and has come away with the puck 919 times for a percentage of 56.4%. His 1,628 faceoffs ranks him sixth in the league and his impressive win percentage puts him third in the NHL among faceoff takers with 1,000+ draws on the year. Brad Richards has served as the ‘number two’ faceoff man for the Blackhawks and he’s taken 815 fewer to give you a bit of perspective.
Toews’ consistency also arises in his game history as he rarely misses games staying healthy for the most part year in and year out. Since being drafted third overall in the 2006 NHL Draft Toews has played in 562 NHL games which puts him tied for fourth among all 2006 picks behind Phil Kessel, Jordan Staal, Nicklas Backstrom, and tied with Milan Lucic. He may not be atop the games played list in that category, but he sits second among those names ahead of him with his scoring ratio. Toews averages .90 points per game (506 total points). Backstrom tops the list with .99 points a night (568 pts in 573 games).
Captain serious is one of the rare players that does it all for his team. He lights the lamp, dishes the puck, kills penalties, wins face offs, and is on the ice nearly every single night. And at just 26 years old Mr. Toews isn’t going to be leaving this game sooner rather than later; he’s got plenty of time to continue to make an impressive impact not only in Chicago but for the entire NHL.
Stats via NHL.com and HockeyDB.