Jonathan Toews flew down the right side of the ice and ripped a beautiful goal from the circle off a one-timer from Brandon Saad, then spun his stick and barely cracked a smile.
Breaking the 700-point mark for his career two days earlier elicited little more than a “pretty good” from him, and picking up two goals Friday against the Jets was equally shrug-worthy.
Toews kept the Hawks in the game with a goal in each of the first two periods, bringing him to 703 career points, seventh in franchise history.
When contemplating the significance of joining the team’s 700 club, which is led by all-time greats Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull and Denis Savard, Toews’ was already looking ahead. He’s out to ramp up his scoring after the last two seasons, when he put up 52 and 58 points.
“I’m definitely proud of reaching , but I want to keep it going,” he said at Friday’s morning skate. “I feel like I can keep scoring at an even better rate than I have the last couple years, but it is nice to hit a number like that.
“I’m learning every day and getting better, I feel good physically and mentally and I’m learning a lot from the young guys … I’m learning and taking more time off the ice to keep improving skill aspects of my game.”
After a goal and two assists in the win over Pittsburgh and two against Winnipeg, he has 29 points on 16 goals and 13 assists this season.
His first goal against the Jets was vintage Hawks. Saad corralled the puck in the front left corner and sent it out to Duncan Keith on the wing, then Keith centered it to Toews. He resettled for a moment with a quick move to create space and fired it top-shelf to tie the game 1-1.
It was his first multi-goal game since an early-season hat trick against the Blues. Before the mini-outburst, Toews went two straight games without a point.
Breaking 700 surely gave him a bit of a boost, even if it didn’t cause much of a stir with Toews or in the locker room.
The puck from his milestone will join a collection of other memorabilia from the best moments of his career somewhere in the team facility or a dusty closet at home. He’s not sure how to find them or exactly how they get there, but someday he’ll dig them up to reminisce.
“I think our equipment trainers do a pretty good job of that,” he said. “You’ve gotta ask them. I’m pretty sure they’re keeping track of that. It’s stuff I don’t appreciate in the moment, but later on I definitely will.”
Those moments have become so routine for Toews after 12 seasons that teammates hardly celebrate them with him anymore.
“We haven’t done much,” fellow center Dylan Strome said. “It’s obviously a pretty good accomplishment, but he’s got a lot of points. Hopefully he gets to 800, 900 and more.”
The next man Toews aims to catch is longtime defenseman Doug Wilson at 779 points. Patrick Kane is fifth with 865.
Toews has a renewed determination to ramp up his game after the two underwhelming seasons.
As the Hawks try to climb out of the bottom of the Central Division, they’re looking for as much offense as they can get from Toews. The more milestones he hits, the better.