It’s been a tough calendar year for Chicago Blackhawks fans. After nine consecutive post-season appearances and four consecutive 100 point seasons, the Blackhawks failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2017-18 and put up a miserable 76 points.
Captain Jonathan Toews had felt it and is looking at ways to improve his game heading into next season. However, during an interview with the Chicago Sun Times, the veteran forward made some shocking comments about his age, and how he wants to get back to his younger style of play. Toews will be turning 30 soon, and he admits he is definitely feeling it...
“It definitely sneaks up on you,” Toews said of turning 30 to the Chicago Sun Times. “You don’t see it coming. For me, it’s [about] recapturing that energy, that motivation, that excitement and that mindset of a young player that just takes nothing for granted, that you had in your younger days. But also carrying that experience with you.”
Toews is therefore trying to find a balance between getting back the energy he appears to have been missing in recent campaigns, while keeping the experience and knowledge he has acquired over the years. He must feel the pressure of young players like Alex DeBrincat, who is becoming a more important part of the roster since he was selected in the second round two years ago.
“Getting that skill and that creativity back in my game is a big thing I want to focus on,” he said. “You watch a lot of these young guys that are coming up and getting the opportunity to play right away — they all have the skill, they all have the skating. And it’s days like this, where they’re out there working on stuff and playing around and just being loose and creative. It’s going to be fun to get that back into my game.”
However, Toews should know that turning 30 is just a number. While he seems to focus on the number of years in him, some fans would prefer that he focuses on the numbers of goals he can put up next season. His 52 points last season was a career low for a full season, and he scored just 21 and 20 goals in each of the past two seasons after scoring 28 in each of the previous three years.
Let's hope that fan won't worry about him getting anxious about turning 30, and that Toews can indeed find that young energy he once had to get the Hawks back into a contending spot next spring.