Patrick Kane Opens Up On The Struggles Of Playing Without Jonathan Toews This Season

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Just before the season started, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews made the shocking reveal that he was taking an indefinite leave from hockey for health reasons. The whole situation has remained under wraps, as no one really knows what’s going on with Toews’ health.

Chicago sports fans had been speculating on Toews’ future all year, until a report indicated that he was on track to return to the team next season.

While the Blackhawks will look to get their captain back from his mysterious illness by 2022, the team didn’t look the same without him this season. The young Hawks were surprisingly in playoff contention most of the year, but fizzled at the end.

In his end-of-the-year presser, Blackhawks superstar (and unnamed de-facto captain) Patrick Kane spoke on the struggles of playing without #19 by his side.

“I miss him in a lot of ways,” Patrick Kane said to NBC Sports Chicago. “Off the ice, he’s a great leader, great friend. So you miss him just in that sense. And then obviously on the ice, for me, it makes things a lot easier, too. Whether we’re playing together or not, you have that 1-2 punch that gives the other team something to think about, about who they’re going to defend. They’ve got to be more aware when he’s on the ice and I can come on next and maybe get easier matchups.”

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Kane also focused on all the ways Jonathan Toews would have made the Blackhawks better on the ice.

“You miss him a lot in the faceoff department,” he continued. “We saw that a lot with the power play this year. It gets to a point where it becomes frustrating you’re losing the draws and you’ve got to start on the breakout on the power play. He was so good at that. You took that for granted where you were always starting with the puck in the offensive zone. It seems like when we did that this year, we had a little bit more success and could create more. Miss him there.

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“There’s a bunch of other ways we miss him. You expect him to be back, hopefully, he is back, and he’s obviously a big part of the organization.”

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will have their names tied together when we look back on all the Blackhawks were able to accomplish in the 2010s. The pair of Toews and Kane came into the league together, grew together, and ended up winning three Stanley Cup Championships in Chicago.

While Patrick Kane remains one of the best players in all of hockey, it was certainly weird seem him without Jonathan Toews alongside him.

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