Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Jonathan Toews came into the postseason with a reputation as a big-game player who raises his performance when it matters most. After all, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2010 and was the best player on the gold medal-winning Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
But Toews has been surprisingly awful, especially on offense, during these playoffs with just one goal and eight assists through 20 games. In the Cup final, he's been held scoreless, largely because of Bruins center Patrice Bergeron.
For a player who scored at a point-per-game rate during the regular season (48 points in 47 games), Toews' offensive struggles in the playoffs have been greatly disappointing for Chicago.
His playmaking skills, ability to win puck battles and force turnovers ignite the team's offense and gain it possessions. The absences of that spark significantly impacts the Blackhawks' success.
In the Cup final, Toews has not been able to create offense against Bergeron or Boston's No. 1 defenseman, Zdeno Chara.
In the first period of Game 3, Chara was on the ice for all of Toews' shifts, and this situation will continue in Game 4 when the Bruins have the last line change as the home team.
If Toews is unable to find more success in his matchups against Chara and Bergeron for the remainder of the series, Chicago's season will end in disappointment.