As he tries to return to All-Star form, Jonathan Toews’ two-goal effort a preseason Blackhawks’ highlight

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates a second period goal against the Detroit Red Wings during a preseason game at the United Center on September 25, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – Instead of an exhibition game, it was a bit of a “Turn Back The Clock” night for the Blackhawks’ captain.

That’s because the performance that Jonathan Toews put on against the Red Wings is something that made him one of the best players in hockey, and an example of what the Blackhawks hope he can become again.

In a high-scoring affair where the first goal was scored 16 seconds into the game, Toews notched a pair of goals in an 8-6 defeat against Detroit in the start of the home stretch of the Blackhawks’ postseason.

His performance won’t count in any standings, of course, but it’s been a year-and-a-half since Toews has a regular season game with two-or-more goals (March 16, 2017 vs Colorado). Perhaps it’s a positive sign to what the captain hopes can be a resurgence of his great career at 30.

After a 28-goal, 66 point season in the Stanley Cup title-winning 2014-2015 season, Toews has seen a decline in offensive production. Last year he had 20 goals and 58 points – his lowest totals in a full 82-game seasons since his rookie season.

His plus/minus has also dropped, going from +16 in 2015-2016 down to -1 this past season.

Having Toews return to his previous numbers would give a major boost to the team that missed the playoffs for the first time in a decade last season. He’s one of the mainstays of the Blackhawks’ dynasty along with fellow forward Patrick Kane, who saw his goals also drop by seven and points by 13 last season.

Yet Toews isn’t focused just on his own performance but also others on the ice, especially a number of young players. One of the ones he was asked about after the game was Dominik Kahun, who scored a first period goal Tuesday night.”

“You get in the game, you see a guy like Dominik has all that but he has a lot of hockey sense too. So, as a line, just try to talk about some little things,” said Toews. “I guess I’ve been known to put too much in some guy’s heads sometimes but we had some talks this morning as far as where we wanted to play with the puck and he went out there, and he was in all the right areas.

“So, nice to see him get one early in the game, I thought he played great in a lot of ways.”

Maybe if the captain can repeat his own solid performances on Tuesday when the games count, it can mean good things for all those around him along with the team he helped to build into one of the NHL’s best.