A week into training camp Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews took a few minutes to answer a variety of questions to ESPNChicago.com. The Hawks' captain has a night off on Thursday while some of his teammates take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.
How much more comfortable are you in your own skin as captain now than three years ago?
Jonathan Toews: There are a lot of responsibilities with being a captain in the locker room. I feel like I can handle those a little bit better now whereas before I was just making sure I was ready to play. The more comfortable you can get the more you can handle. And it always helps to have the same leaders around like Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp. Guys like that. The list goes on of guys who kind of know their place. Everyone how has a role and their own job to do. It’s a team game, everyone helps each other out.
What has to go right, besides health, for you or Patrick Kane to reach 100 points?
JT: A lot has to go right, obviously. Health is one of them. It is a goal that both of us want to reach. It’s one of those things if you can do it, it proves you’re one of those really elite players. But you can’t think of that ultimate thing at the start of the season. You just have to go out there and play and take it one game at a time and Kaner and I are going to work hard and be the best that we can be. If 100 points happens, it happens.
Would you like to see your buddy Kane fight in a game one time? How much would you pay to see that?
JT: I don’t want to see that. I want to see him comfy on the bench or serving out penalties the way he normally does. Let’s keep it that way.
Other than from the main core who is your pick to click? Who is the breakout guy?
JT: I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between guys like Micahel Frolik, Viktor Stalberg, and Rostislav Olesz. I think they are three very skilled, left-hand shots. They all have speed, they’ve got strength and I think those are guys that can be really big for us this year. They’ll assume a role and they know when they get the chance they have to go out there and do something. They have the talent to do it.
Who is your kryptonite on defense on another team?
JT: No one, really. Niklas Lidstrom?
What about a goalie who gives you troubles and you think you have to do the little things on a given night when you face him?
JT: No one comes to mind.
For the team this season, what would be unacceptable for Jonathan Toews?
JT: At this time of year making the playoffs is everyone’s goal. We want home ice and we’ll go from there. You can’t just set goals and say, ‘oh 100 points’ or ‘Stanley Cup or bust’. You have to take it one step at a time. It doesn’t work the other way.