Hawks Insider

Toews ‘blown away' by reception in final game with Hawks


The Jonathan Toews era with the Blackhawks has officially ended after GM Kyle Davidson announced that Thursday's regular-season finale against Philadelphia would be The Captain's last one with Chicago. And what a memorable night it was. 

Toews received a massive ovation when he was announced as a starter. It got even louder after he scored in the second period. The roof would have blown off if he completed the storybook ending with an overtime winner but he was barely stopped on a breakaway.

However, it most certainly didn't take away from the moment. Nobody in the building will forget the mutual love that was shared between Toews and the sold-out United Center crowd of 20,219, which was the third-highest attended game of the season.

"I’m blown away," Toews said. "I really felt almost unworthy of a moment like that. I was just telling Sharpie in the hallway, I hope that guys like him and Duncs and Seabs and Kaner and go down the list, if they were lucky enough to watch the game tonight that they could feel that love from the fans.

"I told the guys in the room after the game that it just goes to show — obviously it’s more than a game out there when you’re able to be part of some special years where you win Stanley Cups and provide a lot of special feelings for the fans, but obviously it’s a two-way street. We gave our heart and soul and poured everything we had into this team, this organization, this game for a lot of years and to reap the rewards like that, you can’t draw it up any better.

"I just hope that those guys I’ve shared a locker room with for a lot of years felt that, as well, and were able to share that with me tonight. I guess in my mind, it’s hard, it’s hard to accept that sometimes life changes. But at the same time, it’s exciting. I’m really excited to see where this team goes in the future and it’ll be fun to watch.

"I’ll always be a Blackhawk for the rest of my life. You grow up dreaming of being an NHL hockey player and you idolize your heroes and you live for those big moments and when things like that happen, you realize it’s more than a game. And it makes it all worthwhile. So it’s pretty special."

In fact, Toews had to be nudged by his teammates to take an extra lap. If you didn't want the night to end, you weren't alone. 

"It's almost hard to accept that love and that praise," Toews said. "I tried my best to just soak it in. The guys were telling me I should do one more lap. I was like, 'That was one too many already right there.' It was pretty cool. It was overwhelming. I didn't expect that.

"Really didn't know what to expect tonight, but just tried to focus on the game just as I always do and go out there and create some offense and try and win the game for us. Unfortunately fell a little bit short. Still a pretty special moment for all of us."

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