Oh Captain, My Captain: Jonathan Toews Anything But Overrated
Sometimes, you can’t help but laugh at the things you hear. Such was the case when the Twitterverse was alive this week, with discussions that Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews might be overrated.
The captain of the Blackhawks, an Olympian, a Stanley Cup champ, and Conn Smythe Trophy winner is overrated? That’s news to me.
Let’s take a look at Toews career so far. Not even that, just look at his accolades in 2009-2010:
- Canada won gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics thanks, in part, to Toews. The now-22-year-old forward led the tournament in assists, and was named best forward of the whole thing.
- In winning gold, Toews became one of just 23 players ever to win a gold medal at Worlds and the Olympics, while also winning a Stanley Cup. Committed Indians’ Tab Bamford back in the summer.
- Toews made a run at benchmarks in Chicago playoff history, breaking Stan Mikita‘s consecutive games streak with at least one point, and tying Denis Savard for most points in a playoff, with 29.
- Those 29 points helped Toews earn the Conn Smythe trophy, becoming the youngest captain and second youngest player ever to win the award.
- With Toews donning the ‘C’, the Blackhawks won the most coveted trophy in all of sports, the Stanley Cup.
That’s one year. Are there other accomplishments? Sure, he was a stud in World Juniors, a standout at North Dakota, and was named the third yongest captain ever. But in that one he made a run at the Hall of Fame.
This year has surely been tough for Toews, but you wouldn’t know it.
Despite playing for one of the most disappointing teams in the league, Toews hasn’t let off the gas one bit. He missed time after a vicious hit against the St. Louis Blues, but has been all over the ice in nearly every single game Chicago has played this season. Good luck finding a game where Captain Serious didn’t leave it all on the ice.
It’s no surprise that his 52 points are tied with Patrick Sharp for the team lead, despite being surrounded by top tier talent in guys like Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa. His 52 are tied with Sharp and Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux for 18th in the league. Part of that is due to his absolutely torrid start to the 2011 year, with just six games in which he didn’t score a point.
Along with lighting up the stat sheet, Toews has begun to establish himself as quite possibly the best two-way forward in the game, playing nearly as well on the defensive end as he does on offense. Oh yeah, he’s pretty good at faceoffs too, winning them at a nearly 55 percent clip.
To say that Toews is overrated is simply absurd. On a scale of overrated to underrated, Toews might even lean towards the latter.
At the end of the day, Toews is a top tier forward in the NHL, and is easily in a league with that captain for the Pittsburgh Penguins, as far as an all-around talent.
So a guy who may have earned himself a permanent residence in Toronto when his career is over, all in the span of six or seven months is overrated? You can take your Ovechkin, or your Sedins, I’m taking Toews.
Flickr Photo via BridgetDS