Jonathan Toews has been there through thick and thin as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. The 2006 3rd overall draft pick has accomplished a lot in his career, including gold medals at the U-17 Hockey Challenge, the 2006 and 2007 World Juniors, the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, to go along with three Stanley Cup championships, and a Conn Smythe Trophy for Most Valuable Player in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs.

That is an extremely impressive resume, and it is not a coincidence that he was a member of the Blackhawks team that became what many consider to be a dynasty over the last decade or so.

This year has been a bit of a different story.

The team that would be a dominating force in the standings over the last few seasons is now sitting  last place in the Central Division (granted, the Central Division is an absolute wrecking ball this year and the ‘Hawks 24-20-7 record actually isn’t horrible). Their franchise trajectory over the past few years has been similar to that of the Vancouver Canucks, who have also had a very talented team stripped down to a bottom-feeder position in their division.

The two teams met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs three consecutive times between 2009 and 2011. Chicago won in the second round in both of the first two years, winning the Cup in 2010, and the Canucks eliminated the ‘Hawks in the first round of the 2011 playoffs, where they would lose to the Boston Bruins in a seven-game Stanley Cup finals.

This was considered one of the most intense rivalries in the game at the time. Lately, maybe not so much. It’s hard to maintain the intensity when both teams are trying to get themselves out of the gutter.



When asked if the rivalry still existed, Toews agreed that it may not be what it was.



Kesler and Bieksa have since moved on to the Anaheim Ducks, while Roberto Luongo has returned to the Florida panthers. As one fan pointed out, Toews may have accidentally left out one key member of the rivalry.



While key members Daniel and Henrik Sedin still suit up for the Canucks, as well as Toews and Patrick Kane for the ‘Hawks, the rivalry just isn’t what it was back in the day.