8:45 AM CDT, June 17, 2013
If the Blackhawks plan to win the Stanley Cup like they’ve said, then Jonathan Toews ought to start scoring because they aren’t winning it if he can’t.
I know Toews didn’t score a goal in the 2010 Stanley Cup final against Philadelphia that produced the organ-I-zation’s first Stanley Cup in 49 years, but that was a better and deeper team. Just look at how much of it had to be blown up after the parade.
The 2010 Hawks could withstand a demanding championship round without their top center scoring, even if a goal slump shouldn’t have happened then, either.
The 2013 Hawks are deeper than they’ve been the last couple seasons, but not deep enough to have their captain continue a goal-less streak that stands at nine games and a grand total of one playoff goal in 19 games entering Game 3 in Boston Monday night.
In the Game 2 loss in which the Hawks looked embarrassing on the power play and pretty much stopped skating after the first period, Toews played more minutes than any Hawks forward, skated more shifts than any Hawks forward, and took more faceoffs than any Hawks forward (and lost more than any Hawks forward).
And ... nothing.
You can’t play that much and produce that little. Connect the dots, people.
The final is tied at 1, same as the captain’s postseason goal-scoring total in 19 games.
Patrick Kane also hasn’t scored in the final. He helps the Hawks in a lot fewer areas than Toews, so the Toews defenders are probably thinking I should char Kane for so far failing to deliver in the biggest series. I could do that. It wouldn’t be wrong.
But Toews is the captain. He’s supposed to lead. Scoring one goal in two months is not my idea of leading.
People will continue defending Toews, and I get that. He is a wonderful player, an ideal captain, and a mensch.
Plus, it’s Chicago, where fans too often make excuses for their boss faves instead of making demands.
I realize we could find out when it’s all over that Toews was playing with a prosthetic arm or a glass eye or a pacemaker. It’s always that way in the toughest crucible in sports. You rip a guy for slumping in the postseason and then find out he had double-knee replacement between series.
But look, Toews is playing hockey, so he’s accountable, and hockey games are won by goals and Toews isn’t producing.
We’ve seen both games in this final require overtime. Even the overtimes have required overtimes because nobody could score the hero goal in regulation. For the Hawks, it starts with the scorer who gets the most ice time while producing fewer goals than Michal Frolik.
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