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Hooked on their captain

5/26/2013

Jonathan Toews did not win the game for the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday night. But it felt like he may have turned the series.

His second-period goal off Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard's mask was the Hawks' third goal in a 4-1 Game 5 victory to keep the Western Conference semifinals and their season alive heading into Game 6 in Detroit Monday night.

Toews was as mentally battered as we have ever seen him in Game 3 with three penalties -- two for high-sticking -- in one six-minute span in the second period. He could also have been called for slashing Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg while an official stood between them.

Worse was that while Zetterberg has been the best all-around player for Detroit, Toews had not scored a goal in the playoffs to that point.

If you don't think seeing their captain and their rock in such a shaky state affected the Hawks as a team, then you haven't been watching the positive effect he has had over them for the last six years.

Read the entire column.