The Blackhawks are 3 wins away from their second Stanley Cup in four years with Jonathan Toews scoring just 1 goal in 18 games.
How is that even possible?
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It's a true tribute to their depth that the Hawks have made it this far without their captain contributing much in the way of offense, but as teammate Dave Bolland sees it, there's no way to measure on the score sheet the heart and will Toews plays with.
"I don't think it matters, the goals," Bolland said Friday as the teams prepared for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday at the United Center. "I think it's a matter of heart and the way you play.
"Goals are always big and points are always big, but if you're playing your heart out every night and playing your game, the goals will come.
"The way he plays with his heart on his sleeve, and his desperation, things happen. Keeping the puck out of the back of your net, that's the main thing."
Toews, who won the Selke Trophy on Friday as the NHL's top defensive forward, is past the frustration he felt early in the playoffs when the puck wasn't going in for him.
Now it's all about winning the Stanley Cup.
Toews does have 8 assists despite playing against the opposition's top defenders. It was his pass on a 2-on-1 with Patrick Kane that set up Kane's series-clinching goal against Los Angeles in double overtime in the Western Conference finals.
"It doesn't matter who scores; that's the way I've looked at it," Toews said. "Of course, that drive and that hunger to score and to create offense has always been there.
"For a lot of guys there's a bit of scrutiny when it doesn't go your way, but for myself I just try to stay with it and not dwell in it too much, just try to be positive going into every game and keep going with the same attitude."
Toews admitted it bothered him more early in the playoffs than it does now.
"Certainly when we were down 3-1 against Detroit, that was probably the most pressure I felt and I think we felt as a team to try to find a way to score goals," Toews said. "Whenever you're down in a series and things aren't looking so good, that's when you're going to feel it the most."
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville worries about a lot of things, but what he's getting from Toews isn't one of them. Quenneville knows he always can count on the captain's best effort at both ends of the ice.
"One thing you know, he's the ultimate player as far as in all zones," Quenneville said. "He plays well without the puck, brings speed to your game, puck possession, awareness to how you want to play technically. Special teams he's out there in all those minutes. He just plays a hard game.
"One thing with Johnny, he doesn't give up a lot. He brings a lot to the table besides the production. You expect he's going to break out one of these days."
The fact Toews has 1 goal in the playoffs is of no concern to Quenneville.
"Offensively his numbers may be down, but the one thing you get from Johnny, without the puck, they've got to be concerned with him," Quenneville said. "He figures in the opponents in their top matchups a lot of times, they're going to see Johnny a lot.
"He's playing against some guys that know how to play without the puck. Usually gets a top defensive pairing. There's attention that's got to be paid to him. But you know he leaves it out there."
Every time Toews was on the ice in Game 1 on Wednesday, there were Bruins defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg.
"We know Seidenberg is a great skater and can use his body, and Chara he's got, I don't know what to compare his reach to, it's tough to get away from it on his half of the rink," Toews said. "He's going to get a piece of you somehow.
"But like I said earlier in the week before we even started the series you've got to outnumber Chara as much as you can. Try to make plays around him where you're putting pucks into areas and just outskate him as much as you can."
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