With the season now over after a return to the playoffs and the Western Conference Finals, we're looking back at each player who wore the Indian Head sweater for the 08-09 Season and grading their performance. Next up is our captain, Jonathan Toews
#19 / Center / Chicago Blackhawks
Apr 29, 1988
Contract Status: 2.8 Million Cap Hit (RFA after next year)
|2008 - Jonathan Toews||82||34||35||69||12||51||12||0||7||1||195||17.4|
The Good: It's only fair that I review Toews since McClure wrote about Sharp and Sam wrote up Keith and Bolland. We've completed the circle and everyone gets to write about the player whose jersey we own. I was one of the many that jumped at the chance for a cheap Chinese Toews jersey and I've never looked back. It's given me the chance to retire my Ruutu jersey on game days. Enough about me - on to Toews.
So I actually thought this would be easy to write but it turns out it's hard to praise Toews without sounding mighty redundant. Go back and read most game wraps and there's praise for Toews in them somewhere. All the numbers that should have gone up did and the ones that should go down, went down. We saw him develop as he's almost impossible to beat along the boards. It led to the ultimate drinking game - any time Toews goes into a battle along the boards and comes up with the puck, drink. Pass out by the first TV timeout.
His faceoff numbers improved and he's well on his way towards becoming an elite faceoff man in the NHL - and his wrister from the circles is something we'd all love to see more of. Lets just wrap it up saying there's tons of good about Toews and it should get better next year.
The Bad: The 12 game goal-less streak to start the season was bad but not nearly as bad as most people thought. He still had 7 points in that streak and was still the strong player we expect him to be. It may lead into possible the biggest complaint you can have about Toews - he tries to do too much. At times you can see him trying to carry the team and sometimes he does it (see the Penguins game or game 2 against the Flames). However sometimes all that ends up happening is that he grips his stick too tight and we see Toews angrier than he usually looks.
Playoff Beard Strength: Damn sad.. but his Playoff Mutton Chop Strength was off the charts.
Nicknames: Tazer, The Captain, Captain Serious, 1/2 of Daydream Nation,
Photoshops: I feel like I'm probably missing one or two but this is all that comes to mind
The Grade: I have to go with an A.. but with room for improvement. We don't think we've seen the ceiling for him yet so he'll have to keep getting better for us to keep grading him so high but I don't think that'll be an issue. There isn't any doubt the Hawks made the right choice in giving him the C. Now lets see what they do this time next year... Your thoughts?