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What The Toews Injury Did to the Hawks - Oh, and a Hawks/Sharks Preview | December | 2010 Articles

What The Toews Injury Did to the Hawks - Oh, and a Hawks/Sharks Preview

Written by Kelly Thomas Reardon on .

This isn’t going to be your typical preview post.  First, I want to address what happened with Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks Tuesday night.  I’m fairly certain that no one that follows the Blackhawks to nearly any extent would disagree with me when I say that Jonathan Toews is the heart, soul and lifeline of the Chicago Blackhawks.  He wears the ‘C’ for a reason: he leads by example, he holds his team accountable, he delivers in all aspects of the game and he leaves everything on the ice every night.

Now, when a player that represents your team in this fashion goes down with an injury, SOMEONE, I don’t care who, needs to step in and be that player.  Understand that I’m not asking that someone step in and be exactly the type of person and player that Toews is, but someone has to step in and be that leader.  The first place one should look is at those with the ‘A’ on their sweaters: Duncan Kieth and Patrick Sharp.  They’ve both been around the block enough that they should be able to handle that situation and if they can’t, they should not be alternates.  That is exactly their responsibility, to step in when Toews can’t.  Seeing the massive letdown -- granted, they were playing like shit before, and they just played shittier after Toews went down, but that’s besides the point -- that the Hawks suffered is ridiculous.  They acted like Cam Janssen dragged each of their mothers out on the ice and raped them with a pool cue.  So Toews got injured.  Big fucking deal.  I’m the biggest damn Toews fan you’ll find around, yet I’ll steal a line from Bruce Boudreau here: PULL YOUR SACKS UP.  If you can survive both Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa being out together for an extended period of time, you can live without Jonathan Toews, with the disclaimer that someone steps up.  That didn’t happen in the damn slightest Tuesday.  You are professional hockey players.  People get injured.  Stars get injured.  Do you think if Nicklas Lidstrom went down that the Detroit Red Wings would hang their heads, throw a pity party and let two points just waltz out the arena?  Hell no.  Datsyuk, Zetterburg, Kronwall or hell, even Bertuzzi would step up.  They’d realize that this is a time for the team to step up in their leader’s absence.  I would expect my REC LEAGUE TEAM to do a better job of rallying and playing for me if I went down with an injury in a game.  Absolutely no heart.  Quit crying, do your job, and play for your fallen captain.  It’s what men do.

Now my second complaint.  (Aren’t you glad you clicked on this link?)  The injury came as a direct result from an opposing player’s check.  The play was absolutely clean (just a good hard hockey play), but someone has to step up and AT LEAST be physical immediately after.  Pound some damn meat to make them pay for taking out your leader.  It doesn’t have to be a fight, it doesn’t have to be an assault on their stars, but it does need to be a statement that we are not going to be pushed around or intimidated by your physical play.  That didn’t happen either.  If John Scott, Nick Boynton or Jassen Cullimore can’t step up in these types of situations and be bone-crushers, then what the fuck good are they?  They certainly aren’t very good at hockey.  If they can’t even be meatheads well, then they are a waste of a roster spot.  

This team needs to grow a pair right fucking now or it could mean the season.  Toews is slated to be out two weeks.  If we say he comes back AFTER the game against Colorado on 1/12, then he will miss seven games.  Of those seven games, five are against Western Conference opponents that are all hovering in our general area and -- based on our reaction to the injury last night -- can’t be taken for granted at all.  That’s ten valuable points.  We need as many of those points as possible, and can’t sit around waiting for Toews to be healty to keep winning.  Let’s hope last night’s stinkbomb was an aberration of their recent play.

Anyways, now that my blood pressure is firmly in stroke range, we’ll calm down with a preview of tonight’s tilt with the Sharks.

Game Time: 7:30 PM
TV/Radio: CSN / WGN Radio (720 AM)
California Loooove: Couch Tarts

The Sharks are coming off a road loss to the Minnesota Wild last night, 5-3.  This is following a 4-0 loss to the Kings two days prior.  This is a team we need to jump on early and get them down in the dumps.  Don’t think they don’t know what happened to us Tuesday night, and don’t think they won’t try to come out and rip (what’s left of) our hearts out early.  That’s exactly what we need to do to them.

The Sharks are sitting tied with us at 43 points (with the Hawks having played one more game) and chilling amongst the sludge of teams in the middle of the Western Conference.  The issue in San Jose -- as many predicted -- is the blue line.  The loss of Rob Blake to golf courses and the lack of any addition has made the (very good) signings of Antti Niemi & Antero Niittymaki in the off season pretty much pointless.  We see every year how well strong goaltending does behind shit defences. *COUGH*FLORIDA PANTHERS*COUGH*

Meanwhile, our Men of the Four Feathers have just dumped all over their recent four game winning streak with that skid mark of a game in St. Louis.  Apparently at Wednesday’s practice, Coach Q busted their asses for not backchecking hard enough during a drill.  We need more of this.  Just like the Calgary Comeback last season defined our year for us, I think this series of games without Jonathan Toews will define what this team is really made of.  We all know that Toews would walk through the fires of hell just for a regular season win, but the rest of the team needs to show that dedication and competitive fire.  And it has to start tonight.


Editor's Note: I'd be completely remiss by passing up that rant without posting the greatest inspirational speech video ever.


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