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I don't get it, and I haven't understood it for several years (basically ever since Dave Bolland left).

I believe Toews is over-taxed and no longer capable of scoring and checking effectively at the same time.   Few players can do both jobs.  

Toews no longer scores much, and his checking game is suffering as well.   He needs to concentrate just on offence.   

Finding a legitimate third line checker should not be so difficult, though Bowman does not seem to recognize the situation.  

At one point, I believe he thought Kruger would be answer.  Obviously, the coach had other ideas.  

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I still don’t buy that Toews is just checking, he doesn’t even score on the pp, or really anywhere. I’m telling you guys, and Merper alluded to this too, Toews is playing to not get hurt. He’s had a few concussions, if you’ve ever had a serious concussion, it’s not fun and you’d take things a little slower, and you can see the fire in Toews is burning at low light these days. He’s sacrificed a lot, and though it’s frustrating, I believe he’ll put it al together again, one day he’ll feel normal again!!!

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Big-T said on 5 minutes ago:

I still don’t buy that Toews is just checking, he doesn’t even score on the pp, or really anywhere. I’m telling you guys, and Merper alluded to this too, Toews is playing to not get hurt. He’s had a few concussions, if you’ve ever had a serious concussion, it’s not fun and you’d take things a little slower, and you can see the fire in Toews is burning at low light these days. He’s sacrificed a lot, and though it’s frustrating, I believe he’ll put it al together again, one day he’ll feel normal again!!!

He doesn't have the energy to focus on scoring after chasing around the opponent's best players most of the night.

When a player is tired, he stops fighting for the puck.    He loses his effectiveness and makes poor decisions.  This is the real issue.   I see an exhausted player trying to do too much and accomplishing nothing.

When I was thirty, I was no longer able to handle two (or three) nights out in a row.   It was a sudden thing.    You lose your stamina.

 

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mvr said on 19 minutes ago:

He doesn't have the energy to focus on scoring after chasing around the opponent's best players most of the night.

When a player is tired, he stops fighting for the puck.    He loses his effectiveness and makes poor decisions.  This is the real issue.   I see an exhausted player trying to do too much and accomplishing nothing.

When I was thirty, I was no longer able to handle two (or three) nights out in a row.   It was a sudden thing.    You lose your stamina.

 

I don’t disagree that you can lose it, but he’s lost it since age 27, and I don’t buy that. I’ve been watching lately, and he’s averaging 18-20 mins a night. He usually gets 3-5 of those on the special teams, so he gets 14-17 mins a game of 5 on 5. That’s not too taxing. At home Q gets him away from the top lines and tries to give Wingels and Bouma a shift against them when he can. His scoring woes are due to him falling off the bike and afraid to get back on. I’ve been paying close attention to what you’ve been saying, and some nights it’s true, but most nights he gets quite a few shifts where he isn’t against the top line, and he just doesn’t have it. He skates like the wind, and he still has the hands, he doesn’t have the will, and you can’t teach that or coach that, that is up to the player!!!

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mvr said on 1 hour ago:

I don't get it, and I haven't understood it for several years (basically ever since Dave Bolland left).

I believe Toews is over-taxed and no longer capable of scoring and checking effectively at the same time.   Few players can do both jobs.  

Toews no longer scores much, and his checking game is suffering as well.   He needs to concentrate just on offence.   

Finding a legitimate third line checker should not be so difficult, though Bowman does not seem to recognize the situation.  

At one point, I believe he thought Kruger would be answer.  Obviously, the coach had other ideas.  

But, if as you say, when he was relieved from his checking duties last February, he turned into a scoring machine, then do that again, as this team needs his scoring, not his checking.  What is harder----being an elite offensive player or being a checker?  Seems to me that the former is much more difficult.   Therefore, let Toews score and send some other guy to do the checking.  Who cares if Schmaltz doesn't score and just checks.  He ain't gonna score much if he didn't focus on checking. 

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jacksalmon said on 9 hours ago:

But, if as you say, when he was relieved from his checking duties last February, he turned into a scoring machine, then do that again, as this team needs his scoring, not his checking.  What is harder----being an elite offensive player or being a checker?  Seems to me that the former is much more difficult.   Therefore, let Toews score and send some other guy to do the checking.  Who cares if Schmaltz doesn't score and just checks.  He ain't gonna score much if he didn't focus on checking. 

So it would be up to Stan to find a checker.   He has not done it.

 

Big-T said on 10 hours ago:

I don’t disagree that you can lose it, but he’s lost it since age 27, and I don’t buy that. I’ve been watching lately, and he’s averaging 18-20 mins a night. He usually gets 3-5 of those on the special teams, so he gets 14-17 mins a game of 5 on 5. That’s not too taxing. At home Q gets him away from the top lines and tries to give Wingels and Bouma a shift against them when he can. His scoring woes are due to him falling off the bike and afraid to get back on. I’ve been paying close attention to what you’ve been saying, and some nights it’s true, but most nights he gets quite a few shifts where he isn’t against the top line, and he just doesn’t have it. He skates like the wind, and he still has the hands, he doesn’t have the will, and you can’t teach that or coach that, that is up to the player!!!

I believe the fatigue accumulates over time.   It's compounding night after night.    A few shifts here or there make zero difference.

 

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txyak said on 19 minutes ago:

Toews doesn't look like he can score even if he plays no defense at all

Exactly, the compete factor just isn’t there. And I’ll bet everything that he just didn’t “slow down”. He’s playing to not get hurt. Why? 10.5 that’s why. Before anyone rips him, you’d do the same exact thing. Does anyone think that he’d retire so the Hawks get 10.5 in cap space? He signed an 84 million deal, I expect him to play it out. Even Kopitar is having a career year offensively, Toews will make it back once he finds the compete factor again!!!

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txyak said on 2 minutes ago:

Maybe in his next contract year

I think MVR is half right, yes Toews plays some defense, yes he’s got a lot of miles on him, but when your compete factor is non existent, the problem is greater. I’ve been injured before and I can tell you I really had no intent on engaging in physical play, I had a sore back, and it took the better part of two years to get it under control and back to normal. I think Toews will straighten this out, and be back. It may not be this year, we see it all the time with top players, Crosby, Malkin, OV, Perry, Getzlaf, Kopitar, Carter etc etc. They’ve all played a lot and they’ve all came back strong after a bad couple of years!!!

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jacksalmon said on 17 hours ago:

Don't understand why DeBrincat wasn't moved to the first line.  Now, Toews is really going to be depressed over what they have given him for linemates.  It's kind of a mess over there. 

- because difference between easy matchup+3rd dmen pairing and elite line competition + D top pairing does matter for every forward..

- because every winger (out of 20+) who was moved to Toews line in past couple of season went down in production and performance incl. Kane, Hossa,  Panarin, Saad, Schmaltz, Shaw and Hartman and Dcat is good but he's not Chuck Norris.

- because Dcat is doing above all expectations there and 3L with him is good and Q doesnt want destroy only working line.

- because Q has realized, that Toews is not top 6 center actually and would be 3C (maybe 2C) in most of NHL teams so has put bottom forwards to him.No reason to waste Saad or Dcat o-talent there more.

 

Edited by Modry-Jazyk
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mvr said on 4 hours ago:

So it would be up to Stan to find a checker.   He has not done it.

 

I believe the fatigue accumulates over time.   It's compounding night after night.    A few shifts here or there make zero difference.

 

Seriously, I guess I am an idiot, but if a guy can play in the NHL and can't concentrate on checking and do a good job of it, if that is what he is told to do, then he should find another career.  Turn someone on the current team into a checker and let Toews score at will, if that is his problem. 

If fatigue accumulates over time, then, again, how much sense did it make to give Toews, Kane and Seabrook their megayear contracts.  Maybe there is a lesson here to be derived from something I think you said awhile back, which is that most of these guys deteriorate after 27 and are somewhat washed up by 30.  So, why sign them to huge contracts for many years after those ages?  I know there is an argument against this brought up by the success of Crosby and Malkin the last two years.  So, it is not black and white,  But, GMs should think twice about these lengthy contracts given to players who might have seen their best from 20 to 27 and have very little left to give after that.  I am not saying that is absolutely and always true, but your comments about Toews and players after 27, in general, certainly do raise a question about those contracts. 

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Big-T said on 4 hours ago:

Exactly, the compete factor just isn’t there. And I’ll bet everything that he just didn’t “slow down”. He’s playing to not get hurt. Why? 10.5 that’s why. Before anyone rips him, you’d do the same exact thing. Does anyone think that he’d retire so the Hawks get 10.5 in cap space? He signed an 84 million deal, I expect him to play it out. Even Kopitar is having a career year offensively, Toews will make it back once he finds the compete factor again!!!

So, what is he waiting for?  I am not knocking him.  I just wonder why you think he is not competing, as you say, and why he would all of a sudden start again.   No need for you to answer as I see you already provided the info I was looking for a few posts above.  Thanks. 

Edited by jacksalmon

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Modry-Jazyk said on 1 hour ago:

- because difference between easy matchup+3rd dmen pairing and elite line competition + D top pairing does matter for every forward..

- because every winger (out of 20+) who was moved to Toews line in past couple of season went down in production and performance incl. Kane, Hossa,  Panarin, Saad, Schmaltz, Shaw and Hartman and Dcat is good but he's not Chuck Norris.

- because Dcat is doing above all expectations there and 3L with him is good and Q doesnt want destroy only working line.

- because Q has realized, that Toews is not top 6 center actually and would be 3C (maybe 2C) in most of NHL teams so has put bottom forwards to him.No reason to waste Saad or Dcat o-talent there more.

 

Reasonable answers.  It still means that Q has a mess on his hands.  He is going to earn his pay this year; or admit that he can't find the answers. 

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jacksalmon said on 47 minutes ago:

So, what is he waiting for?  I am not knocking him.  I just wonder why you think he is not competing, as you say, and why he would all of a sudden start again.   No need for you to answer as I see you already provided the info I was looking for a few posts above.  Thanks. 

If you’ve ever had concussions, it makes life very difficult. Vertigo, headaches, it seems like the world hates you. Coming back from your 3rd or 4th one is very tricky. He may never be the same, but to see a guy at 27/28/29 lose his compete factor, it’s usually he doesn’t want to get hurt. Once he feels 100%, I feel he will remember urn to normal. I don’t think he’s “waiting”. It’s just what his body will allow at this time. Watch tape of him from 5 years ago, and watch now. You’ll see what I mean. Just watch the clip of game 7 vs  Vancouver in 2011. About a minute left and down by a goal, while short handed. Toews threw caution to the wind and went down the ice with one thing in mind, scoring the tying goal at all costs, he doesn’t play with that recklessness anymore!!!

 

 

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Big-T said on 39 minutes ago:

If you’ve ever had concussions, it makes life very difficult. Vertigo, headaches, it seems like the world hates you. Coming back from your 3rd or 4th one is very tricky. He may never be the same, but to see a guy at 27/28/29 lose his compete factor, it’s usually he doesn’t want to get hurt. Once he feels 100%, I feel he will remember urn to normal. I don’t think he’s “waiting”. It’s just what his body will allow at this time. Watch tape of him from 5 years ago, and watch now. You’ll see what I mean. Just watch the clip of game 7 vs  Vancouver in 2011. About a minute left and down by a goal, while short handed. Toews threw caution to the wind and went down the ice with one thing in mind, scoring the tying goal at all costs, he doesn’t play with that recklessness anymore!!!

 

 

Good post, you forgot to mention his two goals against the Ducks a couple of years ago in the playoffs in the WC final.  He has changed and you might be totally right in your explanation of why. 

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I believe there are only two possible strategies worth considering regarding Toews.  

1) Big T and others continue to push for a top six winger such as Evander Kane.    I believe this approach would certainly help this year somewhat, though I am concerned about how much it would cost (both in terms of futures and cap space).   My concern here is that Toews' scoring (and the team's overall record) will not improve enough to justify the expense, especially if the coach intends to still use him as his primary checker.   The window could already be closed.   The team is likely to get worse in the next few years before it gets better, and moving out significant futures at this stage is not going to help.

2) My approach would be to revamp the third line by adding a young checking-line centre.   I believe this approach would cost much less, and it would free Toews to used for more scoring situations.   It likely would also extend the player's career by decreasing his workload.   

Would adding a third line centre make this team a contender this year?   Likely not.  

Will taking some of the defensive responsibilities away from Toews be the magic cure to his game?   Of course not.    

But it will help him, because he will doing less on the ice.   And finding a third line centre is a realistic plan.

 

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^ You need both. And another top 4 D-man. How to do that is the question. Move Hossa's contract, make this an off-year/bank on the cap rising, and eliminate dead weight (Panik/Sharp, which was a terrible idea for the get-go) would be a start.

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You might be able to groom one of the kids (ie Debrincat or Schmaltz) for the vacant top six winger position.   

I don't see a legitimate centre prospect in the system (other than perhaps Hayden, whom the coach has not even tried at the position).

The absence of cap space and quality trading chips really limits what Bowman can do in the short term.    

I say get the centre now, and tinker around with the other needs.   Burning out the star players is not a good strategy.

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Granada said on 1 hour ago:

^ You need both. And another top 4 D-man. How to do that is the question. Move Hossa's contract, make this an off-year/bank on the cap rising, and eliminate dead weight (Panik/Sharp, which was a terrible idea for the get-go) would be a start.

Realistically, Bowman might have the resources to get one of these concerns filled.  Of the three pieces, the only one who won't cost much is the defensive centre.

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MVR, you’re correct that a 3rd Center is of importance. However, does Q trust the said center as much as Toews? And will he keep going to the well? Personally, I haven’t seen it as much as stated, but I feel Q is Q and won’t use the new center as much as he should. At this point Toews shouldn’t even see PK time. I think with Toews we just have to wait it out and see how he progresses. But a top 6 player would help get this team headed in the right direction, and possibly help Toews out!!!

 

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If things go the same for much longer, Quenneville shouldn’t get a chance to coach any new players. 

He may be too close to this group to make the tough choices. 

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Puckjim said on 26 minutes ago:

If things go the same for much longer, Quenneville shouldn’t get a chance to coach any new players. 

He may be too close to this group to make the tough choices. 

 

This will be 5 losses in a row....Aloss on Friday will make the situation interesting.   At this pace, there has to be a major change somewhere as there is no commitment to the Indigenous Chief Black Hawk.

 

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mvr said on 13 hours ago:

Realistically, Bowman might have the resources to get one of these concerns filled.  Of the three pieces, the only one who won't cost much is the defensive centre.

I don't think it's completely out of the realm of possibility that he can fill at least two of these holes. He just has to stop with these God-awful zitty contracts. Panik's contract is ridiculous. We don't need Sharp. That's close to 4 million opened right there. I'd attach Schmaltz to Hossa's contract to move it, so you can maneuver in the off-season. It's time to stop throwing zit at the wall to see what sticks and make a decision between Debrincat, Schmaltz, and Hayden -- because the team isn't big (or talented) enough for all of them and they're just taking time away from one another as far as developing in the top six goes.

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Granada said on 16 minutes ago:

I don't think it's completely out of the realm of possibility that he can fill at least two of these holes. He just has to stop with these God-awful zitty contracts. Panik's contract is ridiculous. We don't need Sharp. That's close to 4 million opened right there. I'd attach Schmaltz to Hossa's contract to move it, so you can maneuver in the off-season. It's time to stop throwing zit at the wall to see what sticks and make a decision between Debrincat, Schmaltz, and Hayden -- because the team isn't big (or talented) enough for all of them and they're just taking time away from one another as far as developing in the top six goes.

Between those three there's a decision to be made?

 

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