Toews feeling added pressure to score
May, 20, 2013
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com
DETROIT -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who hasn't scored a goal in the playoffs, said he feels some added pressure to score, but he's trying not to let it affect him mentally entering Monday's Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal series.
"Again maybe a little added pressure given the situation," Toews said after Monday's morning skate at Joe Louis Arena. "But I know it's one of those things that I got to keep working, keep trying to find ways to score and eventually it's going to come. Right now, just not letting it build up too much in my own mind.
"Sometimes you start squeezing the stick and the rest of your game kind of goes downhill, so not letting that happen. But I know that sooner or later, something's got to give. Hopefully, I'll be able to find a way to contribute in a big way for my team."
Toews tied for Patrick Kane for a team-best 23 goals during the regular season, but he has no goals and three assists in seven playoff games.
Toews' longest goal-less streak lasted four games during the regular season. He's had 21 shots on goal in the playoffs and has had five against the Detroit Red Wings in the second round. He entered this season's playoffs with 17 goals in 52 career playoff games.
"I feel like I've been in situations before where you go a stretch of games without scoring," Toews said. "Again, it's tough. Anyone would start to doubt themselves a little bit. But there's no time for that. There's a lot of different ways I can help my team out. I've really focused on that and been patient. You've got to be patient and know if you keep working something's got to work out for you.
"You've got to keep working, try to keep the puck as much as you can. The more you have it, the more opportunities you're going to have to score. Eventually something's got to go in. Once they do, whether it's myself or [Brandon Saad] or [Marian Hossa,] I think that confidence will come rushing back that we can keep scoring on a regular basis. We're confident that's going to happen."
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville believes Toews isn't the only player who has to improve his play, especially after the Blackhawks lost 4-1 to the Red Wings in Game 2.
"(Toews) was like a lot of guys last game," Quenneville said. "We all need to be better. We expect everybody to be much better. I think it's across the board. We got be better in the puck areas. We got to be more predictable in our game. We need to be better in certain areas of the ice. Just not Johnny, it's everybody else has got to collectively chip in."
Toews expressed frustration with the way the Red Wings and their captain Henrik Zetterberg physically played him in Game 2 and believes the Red Wings may have gotten away with a few penalties.
Heading into Game 3, Toews said the Blackhawks must do the same to Zetterberg and his teammates.
"Obviously, he's doing a lot of little things to take myself and my linemates off our game," Toews said. "I think he's a smart player that way. Maybe it's time to return the favor a little bit. A little frustrated after the game the other night, just sometimes you try to draw penalties and things aren't being called. I guess it's the nature of playoff hockey that sometimes they're going to let things go a little bit more often. It's time to dish that back a little bit and try and make things a little difficult for him and his linemates as well."