Hawks still waiting for Toews to show up
Sniper has yet to score
When does Jonathan Toews finally make his playoff appearance and find the net?
Patrick Kane arrived in Game 5 with that look-what-I-found overtime goal Thursday night that kept the Chicago Blackhawks’ season alive. Duncan Keith played 42 minutes — half the game in St. Louis — and afterward looked like the only exercise he’d had was reading the paper with a cup of coffee.
Now when does the Blackhawks captain put his stamp on things? He’s done a very good job in the faceoff circle (58 per cent) in the series against the Blues and has been matched up against Paul Stastny for much of the first five games. Toews did help set up two goals in the dying seconds of periods twice, winning faceoffs that led to scoring plays by Keith (slapper in Game 2) and Artemi Panarin, who beat the clock with four tenths of a second left in the middle frame Thursday night.
But Toews doesn’t have a goal through the five games on 15 shots.
“The time is now obviously. I’ve been telling myself that all series,” Toews said. “But you can’t let that belief whither away even if you don’t see the pucks go in. You’ve just got to keep working for it. So that’s what I’m going to do and obviously, I feel like (Game 6 has) got to be that night.”
Until then, there’s the checking he’s doing on Stastny, who has zero points and is a minus-3 so far.
“I know Paul’s got his hands full and he’s done a heck of a job. It’s a premier player in the league and it’s a hard match,” said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. “I think Paul understands every drop of the puck could be the next and last drop of the puck when you play against that man. He’s done a heck of a job at remaining highly competitive against a very competitive player.”
“I think they’re both trying to contain one another,” said Hawks’ coach Joel Quenneville. “You know the guy he’s playing against isn’t doing much either. Johnny still finds a way to contribute in meaningful ways and I don’t look at him as just a point producer.”
The Hawks will be getting Andrew Shaw back for Game 6 Saturday night after serving his one-game suspension. His absence around the net was noticeable in St. Louis. He might play with Toews and Kane Saturday, with Richard Panik moving onto the line with Artem Anisimov and Panarin. Teuvo Teravainen, a lukewarm performer so far, would drop down in the line mix.