Ever since he broke into the NHL in 2007, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has been leading the organization to new heights, and he was rewarded for his tireless work on Monday when an assist on Andrew Shaw’s empty net goal against the Carolina Hurricanes gave the captain 500 career points.
Monday was the 556th game in Toews’ career, and even though it took him 33 more games to reach 500 than it took teammate Patrick Kane (who hit the milestone in October), it’s still a nice excuse to pause and reflect on the impact that Toews has had on the Blackhawks, and the NHL as a whole.
To celebrate the achievement, we’ve compiled our five favorite moments of Toews’ Blackhawks career, and if we don’t include one that stood out to you, we’d love to hear from you about it in the comments below.
5. Toews Ties it Up Against the Canucks
The Blackhawks had gone down three games to none in their 2011 opening round playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks, but improbably the team had won three straight to force a Game 7 in Vancouver. Unfortunately, they found themselves down 1-0 in the game with less than two minutes to go, and to make matters worse, they were short-handed.
That didn’t matter, apparently:
4. Toews Leaves Coyotes Howling
Down 3-1 in their best of seven series against the Phoenix Coyotes in 2012, the Blackhawks found themselves heading to overtime to try to extend their season, and after winning a face-off and grabbing a loose puck around the boards, Toews made sure the series made it back to Chicago:
3. Toews Demoralizes the Blues
The Blackhawks went down 2-0 in their first round series against the St. Louis Blues in the 2014 playoffs, but they came back and won two straight games in Chicago to tie things up, and Toews gave them the series lead with this spectacular breakaway goal in a pivotal Game 5 triumph:
2. Toews Gets a Hat Trick the Hard Way
In a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Toews thought he had scored his first career hat trick, but the goal was disallowed, leaving fans who had thrown their promotional giveaway hard hats onto the ice feeling blue. Fortunately for them, Toews eventually did finish off the hat trick, and even more plastic headwear hit the United Center ice:
1. Toews Makes Bold Statement vs. Avalanche
As the third overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Toews was always figured to be a potentially stand-out player, but in this game against the Colorado Avalanche in 2007, he served notice to the NHL that they were about to see something special: