Blackhawks

Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews has seemingly been through it all during his 10-year NHL career.

He wasn't going to let a 13-game goal drought prevent him from playing any differently, but even the greats can squeeze their sticks a little bit too hard when things aren't going their way offensively.

The Blackhawks captain got back on the scoresheet for the first time since Nov. 6 thanks to some puck luck, when he tapped home what appeared to be a shot from Artemi Panarin. The goal extended Panarin's point streak to a career-long seven games with the assist and gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead on the power play midway through the second period.

It took a while for the goal to be announced to the United Center crowd of 21,918 because it was unclear whether Panarin's shot hit an Avalanche defender and ricocheted in.

But it was Toews who was ultimately credited with the goal even though it may have gone in without his help.

"Like I've been saying it was a matter of time," Toews said following a 2-1 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night. "It was an ugly one. I probably stole that one from Bread Man but I think he's had his fair share of one-timers on the power play. It was nice to feel one and see it go in. It always helps the confidence no matter what.

"Unfortunately we couldn't feed off it and get some more the way we needed it tonight. It sucks we came up short."

 

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

It was only Toews' third point in his last 11 games, but perhaps the puck bouncing in your favor is a sign of good things to come.

He helped create his luck, too, after registering a team-high seven shots on goal. The Blackhawks also controlled 53.1 percent of the even-strength shot attempts, according to naturalstattrick.com, when he was on the ice.

"(He was) around the net, Jonny scored a goal so that'll help him going forward," Quenneville said of Toews' game. "He had the puck a lot. Some of those shots, traffic or not, the shots around the net are a little more dangerous. But usually he's around the net, kind of like (Artem Anisimov).

"The other guys are usually feeding him in that area. Toews is probably more effective around the net and getting those greasy goals like he got tonight."

Toews has now scored a goal in each of his last four games against Colorado, dating back to the 2015-16 season. In their first meeting this season, he scored the first goal that turned out to be the game-winner, and followed that up by lighting the lamp in his next two games.

Perhaps the flood gates will open up after the Blackhawks return from a three-day Christmas break.

In Tuesday's game against the Ottawa Senators, Toews had a prime opportunity to bat the puck in on a wide-open net but it sailed high. He stared at the heavens for a second or two after it happened while play around him continued on.

On Friday, the hockey gods rewarded him for sticking with it.