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Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews ready for battle in Stanley Cup defense

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Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks

As go Patrick Kane (88) and Jonathan Toews (19), so go the Stanley Cup champions. (Bill Wippert/Getty Images)

By Brian Hamilton

CHICAGO – At 11:42 a.m. on Monday, Patrick Kane stopped at the edge of the rink at Johnny’s Ice House West, the Blackhawks’ auxiliary practice facility. He wiped down his stick before he skated onto the ice, double-tapped the blade and then dumped over a bucket of pucks before he went to work. A minute later, Jonathan Toews joined him. Chicago’s captain picked up one of the scattered discs and stick-handled through the face-off circle before flicking a shot into the upper right corner of an empty net.

It was the first time since mid-March that the franchise cornerstones had skated together in public. They’d mostly been sequestered as they recovered from injuries – Kane’s knee, Toews’ nebulous “upper-body” – but here they were in full view as the Blackhawks’ defense of their Stanley Cup championship began. And not one other skater on the roster joined them. Aside from two goalies, it was just Kane and Toews and 20 brisk minutes of hard work. This was a fitting opening scene for the postseason: Chicago will go nowhere in the playoffs without its two Conn Smythe Trophy winners drawing everyone’s attention. But the Blackhawks are also going to need more than just Kane and Toews.

“The first four games I was out, the team went 4-0,” Toews said with a smile, moments after leaving the ice and towelling off his sweat-soaked scalp. “It was looking pretty good for a while there. Our team has always done well dealing with key players being hurt, whether it’s guys like [Marian] Hossa or [Patrick Sharp] or Kaner, whatever. We’ve always found ways to step it up. Now when you get some top players back, it’s always about those guys fitting in and being part of the room. Nothing changes that way.”

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  • Published On Apr 17, 2014
  • Jonathan Toews of Chicago Blackhawks to miss rest of NHL regular season

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    By Allan Muir

    Just when it seemed like things couldn’t get worse for the stumbling Blackhawks, coach Joel Quenneville announced on Wednesday that captain Jonathan Toews will miss the rest of the regular season as a result of an upper-body injury suffered during Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Penguins.

    Toews was hurt when he was slammed into the boards by Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik. Toews left the ice holding his arm and did not return to the game.

    Quenneville alleviated the gloom by saying that he expected Toews to be “100 percent” for the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but his absence will cause problems down the stretch. The Hawks are locked in a tight battle with the Avalanche for home-ice advantage in their first-round matchup. Chicago is currently in third-place in the Central Division, and trails Colorado by three points with just six games remaining.

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  • Published On Apr 02, 2014
  • Jonathan Toews, Team Canada grace Sports Illustrated cover after Olympics

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    02-25-team canada

    By Stanley Kay

    At the 2014 Sochi Games, Team Canada took home both men’s and women’s ice hockey gold medals for the second straight Olympics.

    First, the Canadian women rallied from a late two-goal deficit to top Team USA 3-2 in overtime of the final. Then the Canadian men — after a quarterfinal scare against Latvia — shut out the U.S. and Sweden, respectively, to capture the gold medal.

    In this week’s issue, Michael Farber writes about Team Canada’s gold medal triumph, calling the men’s team the “greatest Olympic squad ever assembled.”

    PHOTOS: 2014 Sports Illustrated Covers

    Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews, on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the second time, scored Canada’s first goal in a 3-0 victory over Sweden in the gold medal game.

    CAZENEUVE: Canada sings solid gold after yet another Olympic hockey triumph


  • Published On Feb 26, 2014
  • Top 13 NHL Memes of 2013

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    Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs appeared in some of 2013's best hockey memes

    Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs was fodder for some rich material this year.

    By Sam Page

    When you consider the personalities that are involved, it’s really no surprise the lengths to which NHL fans will go to celebrate their idiosyncratic in-jokes. Equal parts the ribbing, self-deprecating British humo(u)r of Canadians, American pop culture obsessiveness, and the us-against-the-world solidarity that comes with loving the low sport on the major league totem pole, hockey fan culture really can’t be topped.

    Just kidding–it’s all about Phil Kessel’s stupid face. Ha ha, wow, look at that thing.

    So in honor of all things virally funny that may or may not be Phil Kessel’s face, here are the top 13 NHL memes of 2013.

    MORE: 13 best players | Hits | Goals | Tweets | Weird moments | Most painful | Front office moves

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  • Published On Dec 20, 2013
  • Bauer’s OD1N “concept car” equipment to be showcased at Sochi Olympics

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    By Michael Blinn

    Hockey equipment is already at its apex. Everything is lighter, faster and as protective as possible.

    Or so we thought.

    On Thursday, Bauer announced a new line of player and goalie equipment, dubbed the OD1N. It’s safe to say that we’ve made it to the future–and it’s pretty sweet.

    First, some background:

    In early December, an image made its way around the hockey internet of some pretty crazy-looking skates in action. Other than a blurry Bauer logo, it was anyone’s guess as to what they could be. More and more teaser photos came out, and Bauer dropped some tidbits:

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  • Published On Dec 20, 2013
  • Is this a picture of Jonathan Toews wearing Canada’s Olympic jersey?

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    By Allan Muir

    Check out that mug on Jonathan Toews. Poor guy looks like he was just forced into working a fashion show by Joe McGrath. Only instead of modeling Ensemble No. 32 (“the Omar Sharif”), it looks like he’s wearing an oversized pajama top.

    Only . . . wait a minute . . . that’s a Nike logo. And there, right below the neckline. Those look like the fake laces we were all laughing about on the American sweater. . .

    Good lord . .  .tell me those aren’t Canada’s Olympic jerseys!

    A poster on Reddit speculated as much after discovering this image tonight on the Getty Images web site. It apparently was taken early today at a photo shoot in Newark.

    It has since been pulled down. That tell you anything?

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  • Published On Sep 05, 2013
  • Jonathan Toews brings shame to the proud sport of hockey

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    By Allan Muir

    There was a time, not so long ago really, when a man could call himself a hockey player with pride.

    But that time, sadly, has passed. And it’s all Jonathan Toews’ fault.

    The captain of the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks was home in Winnipeg when he took to the Pine Ridge Golf Club with a few buddies, including Zach Bogosian and former Jets’ great Dale Hawerchuk. But instead of a relaxing afternoon of chasing balls and swapping stories, the group was challenged to an impromptu game of hockey-on-grass by a rag-tag group of underdogs from PGA Tour Canada.

    What happened next is something that must never been spoken of again. Well, except around the 19th hole, where a bunch of minor league golfers can boast about the time they took it to a bunch of NHLers.

    One thing’s for sure: Toews may be a great leader, but he ain’t the answer to Canada’s goaltending woes.


  • Published On Jul 24, 2013
  • Toews tops Bergeron again as NHL trumpets first batch of award winners

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    Josh Harding

    Josh Harding won the Bill Masterson trophy after playing the season with multiple sclerosis. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    The upside of abandoning the NHL’s flashy awards presentation in Las Vegas is obvious: no experiments in forced chemistry between C-list celebrities and hockey players; no disdainful hosting from Jay Mohr; and no more sequels to the wacky adventures of Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan.

    Still, this year’s hastily planned alternative won’t exactly be remembered as a triumph of marketing genius, either.

    The NHL dropped the first eight winners online and the buzz it generated nearly matched the excitement over the last Twisted Sister LP. It’s really too bad, since the league could have benefited from wider exposure afforded to these worthwhile honorees.

    The most highly anticipated award of the night went to Jonathan Toews, who edged out Patrice Bergeron (again) in the tightly contested race for the Selke Trophy. You can read Sarah Kwak’s take on it here. In my book, Bergeron deserved a repeat win — he took home the hardware last season — based on his league-leading faceoff numbers and the fact that he was on the ice for just 13 even-strength goals-against all season. Toews is right there with him on nearly all counts, but I think the voters tossed him this bone after bailing on him in the MVP balloting.

    And now, the rest of the winners:

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  • Published On Jun 14, 2013
  • Selke Trophy finalists: Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Toews, Pavel Datsyuk

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    Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Toews, and Pavel Datsyuk are 2013 Selke Trophy nominees

    Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Toews and Pavel Datsyuk make the Selke a highly contested award. (Icon SMI (2); Getty)

    By Allan Muir

    The league announced today that Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews are the three finalists for the 2012-13 Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is awarded “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”

    Nary a “knock me over with a feather” nominee in that bunch. The Selke has taken a few hits over the years as being a reputation-based award, but this trio burnished their well-established reps for two-way excellence with undeniably strong seasons.

    When the vote counts are revealed, it won’t be a surprise to learn this was the year’s most hotly contested hardware. You can’t make an argument against any of these guys.

    MORE NOMINEES: Hart | Norris | Vezina | Calder | Lindsay | Masterton

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  • Published On May 15, 2013
  • VIDEO: Toews, Thornton drop the gloves

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    By Allan Muir

    Don’t know what got into Chicago captain Jonathan Toews Friday night, but he clearly had enough of his San Jose counterpart, Joe Thornton.

    First, Captain Serious decided to board Thornton. Cheap shot all the way. Play continued on the delayed penalty call, but Toews was still fired up. He ignored the puck to chase down Thornton, who was parked on the end boards in the Chicago zone. Toews laid the lumber multiple times on Thornton, who looked like he wasn’t quite sure that Toews was serious until the Hawk dropped his gloves.

    Probably not his best decision.

    It was just the third fight of his career, but you probably could have guessed that from his technique-free and completely failed attempt to teach Jumbo Joe a lesson. Decision, Thornton.

    Toews ended up with nine minutes for his troubles. Amazingly, he avoided taking the rap for instigating and for instigating with a visor. If those penalties are going to be on the books, you’re not going to get a more clear-cut reason to call them than this.


  • Published On Feb 15, 2013


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