Thread: Post-Game Talk: Hawks - Sharks = Hawks Win 5-3
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02-06-2013, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyJet View Post
As a Hawk fan one should be able to appreciate the contributions of Toews, Kane and Hoss, as they are all great players in their own rite, and each brings a lot to this team.
Comparing Toews with Crosby is difficult. Sure, it is natural for, and I can fully understand that most fans automatically go with Crosby but Crosby is not the defensive presence that Toews is, and he never will be. I can equate it somewhat to comparing Gretzky with Messier in their heyday. They were both tremendous hockey players but who was more valuable in their overall game? Either way you canít really go wrong, but who would you rather have in a crucial, high intensity and physical playoff game? I think youíd be surprised at how many GMís/coaches would take Messier. That would be my pick as well. For this team, Toews is their heart and soul. Even at his tender age he is right up there with Hull and MikitaÖ. Same as Crosby is up there with Lemieux and Jagr. You choose. But please donít give me this crap about Toews being overrated by anyone. All real hockey people will tell you he is underrated, if anything. He should have been a nominee for the Selke every season he has played in the NHL.

Back to the game: havenít seen it yet, but absolutely love the fact that Keith stood up for Mayers.
I think the difference between Crosby/Toews and Messier/Gretzky is the fact that while Crosby may never be as good defensively as Toews, he is still pretty damn good defensively. Also Crosby doesn't mind playing in a rough physical game one bit, in fact he seems to thrive in them. The same could not be said for Gretzky.

As for the Toews/Crosby debate itself, I agree it is not as cut and dry as many make it out to be. If Crosby had absolutely no injury concerns, I would take him over Toews (he would literally be the only player in the NHL I would at this point). But the thing about Toews is that he just means so much to this team. The argument I used to make (although now it is changing a bit since we have lost in the 1st round the last 2 years) is this:

in Toews' first 3 seasons in the NHL:
- As a rookie led a team that was 5th worst in the league a season before to within 3 points of a playoff spot (I would argue they would have made the playoffs had he not been injured)
- Named captain as a sophomore and leads his team to the conference finals
- Following year leads his team to the Stanley Cup and is named Conn Smythe winner

When you look at those accomplishments, can you honestly say that if you replaced Toews with any player they would have led the Hawks to significantly more success? It is pretty hard to top. Now, as I said earlier, this argument has since changes a bit after 2 first round losses, but I think the gist of it remains the same: while there are players out there that may put up more points, may be flashier, may be more offensive etc... it would be hard to argue that trading any of them for Toews would have significantly improved the success of this team.

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