Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews had lots to say this week concerning the rival Blues’ run to the Stanley Cup, his private resurgence final season and his group’s focus heading into the 2019-20 season.
A few excerpts from his interview Thursday on “Waddle and Silvy,” an ESPN Chicago radio present:
“No, there was no part of me that was happy,” Toews mentioned of the Blues going from final within the league to Cup winners. “To me, them tanking at the beginning of the yr was an enormous underachievement. I’m not prepared to offer them as a lot credit score as everybody else was this yr.
“It hurts to see St. Louis win the Cup, however I suppose that is what provides you the starvation to return there and be higher.”
Except for the divisional rivalry, Toews’ lack of enthusiasm could possibly be attributed to the Blackhawks going 4-1 in opposition to the champs final season, with three of the wins coming after regulation.
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Growing older Toews
Toews is aware of in addition to anybody that lacking the playoffs is unacceptable, particularly for a storied Unique Six franchise, so when he was requested about how he’s approaching his offseason at age 31, he provided this attitude:
“Properly, I would say it might most likely be much less intense and never as a lot of a workload, however we have missed the playoffs the previous few years and I’d say I have been on the ice greater than something. It is mid-July, the solar is out, it is lovely and I’m heading to the hockey rink. I suppose that focus is there.”
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Chicago has skilled a number of success underneath the management of Toews and Patrick Kane; they helped the Blackhawks win the Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015. The 2 stars are nonetheless placing up massive numbers, too —- Toews recorded a career-high 81 factors final season and Kane had 110.
“I was undoubtedly in a extra offensive function [last season] – fairly a little bit of power-play time,” the 12-year veteran noted. “I suppose as soon as we get our energy play clicking, it appeared like even when you’re not having an excellent evening, possibly the legs aren’t there, you are still going to have an opportunity to provide and get on the board. So it is good to attain these factors. It retains you motivated, it retains you going and it retains you hungry.”
As one of many squad’s elder statesmen, Toews brings not solely management however playoff expertise as effectively; nevertheless, he additionally is aware of what the Blackhawks’ younger gamers can contribute subsequent season. He is hoping they’re going to assist ship the franchise on one other lengthy Cup run.
“We need to give ourselves a chance for that experience to take over,” Toews mentioned. “On the similar time, we acquired some youth, we acquired some guys which might be wanting to show themselves. Younger guys and veterans alike, everybody needs to show themselves within the postseason.
“That is the perfect time to be taking part in. To get there may be the No. 1 purpose, and for us, that is when the actual season really begins.”
Below Toews’ logic, the season by no means actually began final yr – or the yr earlier than that. His focus is on not permitting that development to proceed.