Though Jonathan Toews has never been known as a sniper, he’s always been a consistent goalscorer and usually ends up finding the back of the net around 25-30 times a season.
Might not happen this year, though.
Toews, who already missed nine games to a back injury, is now suffering through a different kind of ailment — the dreaded goalscoring slump. He has just four through 26 games this year, putting him on pace for 11.
That would be way, way less than his current career-low of 23 goals, which occurred during the ’13 campaign.
But that was, of course, the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, in which Toews only played 47 games. Extrapolate that over a full season, and it’s a 40-goal effort.
“I don’t know what to tell you; I feel like I’ve got experience dealing with this sort of thing,” Toews said following last night’s loss to Ottawa, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “I don’t know what that says about my game. But I still believe I’m that offensive player.
“I’ve just got to stay with it and keep working.”
There were signs of Toews’ offense slipping a bit last season, when he finished with just 58 points — one of the lowest totals of his 10-year career. He insisted the dip wasn’t about linemates or chemistry or rhythm and, in classic Captain Serious form, took full responsibility for it.
“I think I have to just look at myself and take responsibility for that,” he said, per The Athletic. “I think this year, regardless of who I’m playing with, whether it’s [Marian Hossa] or anybody else, I think the two of us will definitely want to have a comeback year and just have fun and play with some excitement and play loose and let that offense come to us.”
It’ll be curious to see what, if anything, head coach Joel Quenneville does to spark his captain. Known for going to the line blender early and often, Coach Q must be somewhat concerned about the fact Toews hasn’t scored since Nov. 6, a span of 13 games.
Toews opened up Tuesday’s game on a powerhouse line with Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin. One would think that trio will stick together for a little bit — and if playing with those two can’t get Toews’ offense going, well, hard to imagine what will.