Jonathan Toews' improvement on the ice since debuting with the Blackhawks in 2007 is easily tracked by statistics that document his goals, assists and faceoff wins. What isn't displayed in graphs or charts on paper or web pages is the growth Toews has shown as a leader since being named captain before the 2008-09 season. As hard as the 24-year-old has worked on his slap shot, he has put in just as much time — if not more — on being the Hawks' heart and soul. "I want to improve on how I am in the locker room, on the bench, as an individual and just bringing that positive energy, especially when things maybe don't go right," Toews said. "I'm trying to stay even-keeled and not get frustrated. That's something I've been focusing on." Toews' leadership perhaps is needed more this season than any other, considering the importance of each point during a lockout-shortened season. On Tuesday night at HP Pavilion in San Jose, the Hawks will continue a six-game trip that could help define their season. In the first three games, the Hawks have been on an emotional roller coaster with two shootout losses and a shootout victory. Right in the middle of it has been Toews, a steadying force on the ice and in the dressing room. "You're going to have your good days and bad days," Toews said. "You just have to let things come to you and stay positive through the good and the bad and try to set the example in the way you work and the way you play and try to get your team to play the same way." There's a reason Toews was given the moniker of "Captain Serious" by his teammates. Get him near a hockey rink and he's all business. These days, he's trying to go with the flow a bit more. "I'm just more relaxed (and) more positive," Toews said. "Things are always easier when you're winning. You just try and keep that consistency of who you are and what you bring to the table. That's what speaks the loudest."
Toews serious about captain's duties
Chicago Tribune | Feb 4