It can be assured that fans have heard by now that both Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith have been the first six players selected to the NHL’s 2010-2011 All-Star Game. The game will be played on Sunday, Jan. 30 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Incidentally, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will coach one of the All-Star teams as well.
This is a great reflection of the Blackhawks, their team, their coaching staff and the organization as a whole.
Fans have recognized that Chicago has two very good players in Keith and Toews, and these guys are basically the heart and soul of the Blackhawks offense and defense. Both players have helped lead Chicago this season and both are well deserving of this honor. They have both had a nice season and really deserve the honor that they have gotten.
So how have Toews and Keith’s season worked out so far? Let’s take a quick look at what each of these guys has done so far this season to get themselves into the All-Star game.
Toews may not be having the best season statistically, but he’s been very efficient and very reliable during the time that he’s been in the lineup. He has played in 39 games (through Jan. 5) scoring 15 goals with 19 assists (15th and 48th in the NHL). Toews has totaled 35 points and that has him at 23rd in the NHL in scoring.
Toews has missed some time due to injury this season, but it hasn’t affected him on the ice that much (his injuries) and he’s playing very well when he’s out there and in the game. The Blackhawks certainly missed his leadership when he was out, and it’s that leadership that makes him one of the better players in the NHL.
Being named to the NHL’s All-Star team is definitely a sign that his skill, leadership and value are being recognized.
The NHL’s best defenseman last season was voted to the NHL’s All-Star game this season and for good reason. He has been one of the top defensemen in the NHL this season and is continuing his strong play again in the 2010-2011 season.
When it comes to scoring, Keith has scored three goals (ranking 328th in the NHL) with 21 assists (which is 38th) for 24 points (ranking 106th). But this isn’t why he’s the best defenseman in the NHL. Keith is very consistent and helps keep the puck away from the Blackhawks net and gets it back over into the opponents end of the ice quickly.
We cannot forget coach Quenneville. Quenneville was given the Blackhawks head coaching job at the start of the 2008 season. Quenneville started out his head coaching career with the St. Louis Blues before moving on coach the Colorado Avalanche. After that, he ended up in Chicago.
In his second season with Blackhawks, he helped lead the team to the Stanley Cup Finals, and there the Hawks won the Stanley Cup. That’s quite an achievement for a coach in just his second year with the team.
The Blackhawks and their fans should be proud of what Toews, Keith and Quenneville have done this season and that they will do in the future. Every team should be lucky enough to have a combination like this. Thank goodness the Blackhawks are.