Jonathan Toews envisioned connection with Patrick Kane as kids

SHARE Jonathan Toews envisioned connection with Patrick Kane as kids

Toews and Kane began playing against each other as kids. | Gene J. Puskar/AP

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are on a line again as the Blackhawks desperately try to save their season, and they looked really good in their first run. They each chipped in five points as the Hawks unloaded on the Capitals in Sunday’s victory.

Their chemistry looks natural, and there’s some history there. They played together early in their pro careers and still team up on the power play, but Toews traces it all the way back to their youth.

“I remember since we were like 12 or 13 playing against each other in Triple-A hockey, he was one of the smallest guys out there and he just seemed to be able to handle the puck so well even at that age,” he said of Kane. “He could back defenders off and create time and space.

“He was tough to check because he was slippery and he was just deceptive, so I think that’s what sets him above everybody else in the league and most star players that maybe can take advantage of skating, size and speed where he doesn’t really need any of those things. He’s so smart when he gets the puck.”

Kane and Toews seem enthusiastic about playing together on the Hawks’ top line, an idea coach Jeremy Colliton hatched to jumpstart his team from a five-game losing streak. Toews had a hat trick and Kane scored twice to beat Washington 8-5.

That combination, which features Drake Caggiula as the left wing, gives the Hawks an overwhelming top line, but its overall viability hinges on whether their second, third and fourth lines can produce.

The second line is anchored by Alex DeBrincat, who is playing with Dylan Strome and Dominik Kahun, and Brandon Saad is the best scoring option on the third line with David Kampf and Marcus Kruger.

The Hawks’ fourth line against the Capitals was Artem Anisimov, Chris Kunitz and John Hayden.

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