COLUMBUS, Ohio -- While post-game partying was the norm in Raleigh, N.C. after the All-Star Game on Sunday, guess what Jonathan Toews was doing?
The Chicago Blackhawks captain got his rest and then brought his “A” game north with him to Columbus, helping his team, at the most crucial of times, to a 7-4 victory over the Blue Jackets.
“It was just nice to go out there and produce,” Toews said afterwards. “Had a few chances there in the second. It was nice to get in on a couple scoring chances there.”
He’s being humble. Toews was dominant in the second period, earning a goal and two assists. There was no better, or more important sequence, in a sloppy game, than his shorthanded goal with 0:40 remaining in the middle period.
"[Marian] Hossa put it around the boards,” Toews said. “The defenseman kind of tried to tie up my stick and I kicked it up and the other guy got sucked in. He didn’t think I’d get my stick on it. Next thing you know, I was around him. I had a pretty good chance before that with [Dave] Bolland so I had to make it count the second time.”
And count it he did, on a beautiful scoring play.
“That was a huge goal,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Great play.”
It was the eventual winning tally and gave the Hawks a two-goal bulge to start the third period. Not to mention it came down a man, with less than a minute in the period, both back-breaking type aspects.
Toews' three points came as the Hawks took off after Quenneville called a timeout in the second period with his team trailing, 3-2.
“You don’t expect to score four straight and you don’t want to have to, but we always seem to respond to those timeouts,” Toews said.
His night could have been wasted if not for a 5-on-3 penalty kill in the third period. This time, he was no help to his team. He was part of that two-man deficit after getting called for tripping.
“Its nerve-wracking to have to sit in the box and watch that,” he said. “It’s unfortunate.”
Toews was relaxed and all smiles in Raleigh, but when it came time to be serious again, the captain knew when to flip the switch. And in usual Toews style, despite the win, he wasn’t satisfied.
“Our first game back, there was a lot of mistakes we made in our zone, especially turnovers,” he said. “We’re not happy about that, but all in all we made some plays and scored goals and the confidence factor is good.”
In him as well.