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Sunday, February 16, 2014
Oshie's heroics bring back memories for Toews

By Scott Burnside

SOCHI, Russia -- It didn't matter the country or the venue -- the T.J. Oshie shootout spectacle was the talk of the hockey world, if not the entire Olympics.

Oshie's stunning performance in the Americans' 3-2 shootout win against host Russia on Saturday, when he scored on four of six shootout attempts, saw his Twitter followers explode from 90,000 to 167,000. He also did an interview with Al Michaels ("Do you believe in miracles?!").

Oshie's performance also brought back memories for Team Canada center Jonathan Toews.

The Chicago Blackhawks captain once upon a time scored three shootout goals for Canada in a World Junior Championships against the United States in a semifinal game in Sweden.

"Yeah, he put on a show. That was pretty cool to watch him" Toews told reporters after Team Canada's morning skate Sunday. "Not only scoring four out of six and probably could have gone six for six had he gotten a bounce on the two that he missed. But just watching him with a smile on his face and how relaxed he looked, I think he was almost 100-percent sure every time that he was going to score.

"Pretty amazing with that pressure to send that same guy out six times in a row. Even if the guy's automatic, it takes a lot of confidence from the coaches to put a guy like that over the boards that many times. He's a great kid and a pretty cool moment in his career, I'm sure."

Some of the Canadian players attended a curling match Saturday and then watched the U.S.-Russia game from the lounge in the athletes' village. Watching the tension-filled game made Toews and his teammates wonder how they would react should the same circumstances present themselves at some point in the tournament.

"It's scary to think about, but who knows? I'll be ready for whatever," Toews said. "I know I've had a lot of confidence in the shootouts this year and in the past as well, so if I'm called upon, you just got to go down there thinking -- find any way you can to score. If we happen to find ourselves in that situation, I think a lot of guys would be ready for that chance.

"I think for us to watch that, we know we might have to go something like that pretty soon so we've got to be ready for
that challenge, ready for that excitement. You can't win a gold medal without going through a few nail-biters like that, so we've got to be ready for it. That's what it's all about."

So, just how deep is Toews' bag of tricks if he does get pressed into shootout duty? The two-time Stanley Cup winner and member of Canada's gold-medal team four years ago wasn't tipping his hand.

"I can't comment on that now," he said. "You'll have to wait and find out I guess."