While the Blackhawks are on the way to their first Stanley Cup Finals berth in 18 years, it is easy to see why youth is the first topic that comes to mind when hearing the words “Chicago Blackhawks.” While the Hawks were getting swept during the 1991-92 Finals by the Pittsburgh Penguins, the current captain was only 4 years old. Unlike ’91-92 finals, the Hawks are chosen favorites of the series and it all begins with Jonathan Toews, our Five Star Athlete of the Week.
The march started last year after the Hawks bowed out of the Western Conference Finals after losing to the Detroit Red Wings. While the Hawks gained experienced and backing from many critics saying they were too young, nobody stood out more on this march this year than Toews. Earning the infamous nickname, Captain Serious, it has come from hard work, determination, and a loyalty to a team mentality. Anything less than a Stanley Cup Championship will be considered a failure right now and Toews has backed it by being a leader… by example, of course. The man of few words has let his play this year do the talking, or should I say the screaming.
In comparison to last year, Toews has accounted for 13 more points and has even played one less game. The supporting cast that has been able to work alongside has benefited immensely from his playmaking abilities. While having 7 goals, same as a season ago, Toews has added a mind blowing 19 assists. 14 of the 26 points have come on special teams, which has been a proven weapon that the Hawks lacked during stretches of the regular season.
Captain Serious has scored a point in 14 of the 16 playoff games and even broken a record by scoring at least a point in 13 straight games. A record held by Stan Makita of the 1962 team, it is hard to not accept any accolades for such a feat. Not Toews… not now… not in the midst of fighting for the Cup. We honor Jonathan Toews as the CCS Five Star Athlete of the Week, but by the focus and mindset of the Captain… I can’t see it mattering too much right now. Can you blame him? His dream is now only 4 wins away.