Via the primary 11 video games of the 2022-23 NHL season, Chicago Blackhawks middle Jonathan Toews has seven targets.
He’s by no means finished this earlier than.
It’s essentially the most he’s had since scoring six targets within the first 11 video games of the 2018-19 season, boosted by a hat trick within the second sport. It’s miles forward of final season, when Toews didn’t rating his first purpose till Dec. 9 towards the Montreal Canadiens — the twenty sixth sport of that season.
So, let’s handle the headline instantly: is Jonathan Toews again?
Properly … form of.
The final consensus of the ol’ eye take a look at appears to be that Toews seems to be far more like his previous self this season. Toews truly had time to organize for this season versus the 2021-22 season, when his major focus was shaking off no matter signs lingered from that mysterious ailment which sidelined him for your complete 2020-21 season. It’d be truthful to conclude he’s in higher bodily form now than he was final season, when he regarded a step behind the play more often than not.
As for knowledge that’s simpler to quantify, Toews’ seven targets have come on 21 pictures, a capturing share of 33.3 that can definitely lower because the season continues, as a result of Toews has a profession mark of 13.8. He’s not the primary participant to journey a shot share heater, after all — simply ask Brandon Hagel.
The extra illuminating facet is trying on the conditions when Toews has scored his targets. Following Thursday’s sport, Toews has:
- 3 on the ability play (about 43 p.c of his targets)
- 2 throughout 5-on-5 play (28.5 p.c)
- 1 into an empty-net (14.25 p.c)
- 1 throughout 3-on-3 OT (14.25 p.c)
Evaluate that to Toews’ career-best 35 targets from 2018-19:
- 9 on the ability play (about 26 p.c)
- 19 throughout 5-on-5 play (54 p.c)
- 4 into an empty-net (11 p.c)
- 2 throughout 3-on-3 OT (6 p.c)
- 1 shorthanded purpose (3 p.c)
Not solely is Toews using a shot share heater, he’s additionally on a equally unsustainable roll with power-play targets. It’s not a foul factor, simply not one thing prone to proceed over the long-term.
Within the prime of Toews’ profession, he was on a line with Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp or Brandon Saad, which constantly owned the puck greater than its opponents, resulting in extra pictures, possibilities and targets for that line than towards that line. Toews hasn’t been on a line like that in the previous couple of seasons and his possession numbers within the small pattern from this season are equally underwhelming.
Listed here are Toews numbers for the time being, per Pure Stat Trick:
- 46.22 p.c share of shot makes an attempt (CF%), though that’s 5.96 p.c above the workforce charge
- 42.84 p.c share of anticipated targets (GF%) 1.34 p.c above the workforce charge
- 41.67 p.c share of high-danger possibilities (HDCF%), 1.55 p.c underneath the workforce charge
- All whereas beginning within the offensive zone simply 43.18 p.c of the time
None of these numbers look good, though it’s price noting that Toews is outperforming nearly all of his teammates in these classes regardless of not having the advantage of soft zone begins within the offensive zone (the road of Patrick Kane, Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou is receiving nearly all of these).
Toews is on an unsustainable goal-scoring binge and has mildly underwhelming possession numbers …
However is he again?
Greater than something talked about above, issues like this recommend that, yeah, he’s:
Toews: “If you happen to have a look at our document (5-4-2), you is likely to be shocked should you had been taking a look at this workforce earlier than coaching camp… However with the group that now we have and the dedication the fellows have made to one another and to being a part of this workforce…it doesn’t really feel stunning in any respect.”
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) November 4, 2022
Jonathan Toews: “Proper now, it’s enjoyable to simply go play. There weren’t actually any (expectations) for our workforce and for myself, particularly, this yr. … It’s good to see the puck luck and the bounces and it’s undoubtedly a very good feeling and one thing I wish to maintain going.”
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) November 4, 2022
If Toews was one of many on-ice targets for criticism because the Blackhawks plummeted south over the past 4-5 seasons, then he can be granted credit score for a workforce that’s outperforming it’s abysmal expectations for this season — that’s the blessing and the curse of sporting the “C.” In that second quote, Toews appears to acknowledge that he’s benefitting from some favorable hockey fortunes (aka “puck luck”). However it looks like this workforce is flipping a collective center finger at each exterior supply that’s put a restrict on this workforce’s ceiling.
It doesn’t imply that this workforce goes to win a Stanley Cup or something, as a result of the general lack of top-end expertise will result in market corrections for a few of these unsustainable developments ultimately. However this workforce is already doing higher than it anticipated, already doing issues it wasn’t presupposed to do — and Toews is without doubt one of the key figures in that improvement.
So, in that regard: yeah, Jonathan Toews is again.