CHICAGO – The two faces of Chicago Blackhawks hockey over the past decade have prided themselves on using their exploits for the greater good of the team. Hence they’ve been a part of three Stanley Cup championship teams and a collection of playoff appearances.
This year, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have been at arguably their best in their careers. They’ve equaled or surpassed some personal bests, and have helped carry a young team through a rare coaching change.
One could argue the pair helped to revive the Blackhawks’ playoff hopes nearly on the own, especially since the beginning of the calendar year. But not even Kane and Toews efforts could stop the team’s official elimination from the playoffs this week, thanks officially to an Avalanche win over the Oilers on Tuesday night.
But with three games left in which only pride is on the line, the pair aren’t about to let up.
Kane set a career-high in points while Toews set a new personal mark for goals for a season while scoring the winning shootout goal in a 4-3 Blackhawks victory over the Blues Wednesday night at the United Center. While it didn’t do much for the team in the standings with two games to go, it did give fans another chance to see the faces of the franchise at work.
Toews started off the night by reaching a career milestone with a first period goal, giving him 35 on the season. That surpassed his total of 34 which he set in the 2008-2009 season while adding to his career-high 79 points on the season, which beat his previous high of 76 in the 2010-2011 season.
Meanwhile, Kane set a new career mark in points in his successful career thanks to an assist on the Toews goal in the first period and his score in the third that made it 3-1. That gives the forward 107 points on the season, besting his total of 106 in his MVP year of 2015-2016. His 65 assists are a career-high and his 42 goals are the second-most since breaking into the NHL in 2007.
St. Louis tied it with two goals in the third, with the last coming from Tyler Bozak with 19 seconds remaining in regulation, After a scoreless overtime, it was Toews that provided the only goal for either team to give the Blackhawks the two points.
It’s meaningless in the playoff race, but in the scope of the Blackhawks’ two best players, it’s another chapter in a memorable season for each.