Puck Daddy

Unsung Hero: Brent Seabrook’s sage advice pays off for Jonathan Toews

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

View photo


Getty Images

CHICAGO – Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews sat together in a hotel lounge during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For Toews, the postseason had been a defensive gem but an offensive struggle, with just one goal scored for the Chicago Blackhawks.

“What are you thinking about?” Seabrook, a defenseman, asked.

“Nothing,” Toews said. “What are you thinkin’ about?”

It was the wrong answer.

“What are you thinking about?” Seabrook inquired again.

Toews then realized what Seabrook was fishing for.

“SCORING GOALS!” Toews snapped back, like a private answering his sergeant in boot camp.

Toews is the captain of the Blackhawks. Seabrook is a leader, too, as one of the team’s more vocal players in the pregame moments and a veteran willing to speak up if necessary – even when it’s to the player wearing the ‘C’.

The most famous moment came in Game 4 against the Detroit Red Wings, when Toews took three penalties in the second period and was coming unhinged. Seabrook skated over to the penalty box and attempted to calm him down.

“If the rest of the group sees him like that it's going to trickle down so we need him to be focused and be ready,” Seabrook said at the time.

The sage advice continued in conversations like the one on the hotel lounge. As Seabrook said during an off-day interview at the Stanley Cup Final, he was sick and tired of hearing the talk about what Toews wasn’t doing. Here’s Seabrook:

“He’s gotta goals for us. When he’s going, we have a chance to win,” said Seabrook. “I just felt like he needed to start thinking about scoring goals.”

Toews said Seabrook has leadership qualities the media and fans don’t see.

“He always has. He’s one of the louder guys before the game, in the locker room and between periods. I think it’s part of his ritual to get himself going,” said Toews. “Tries to get the boys going, and tried to do the same for me.”

In Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night, Toews finally broke through with his second goal of the playoffs. In overtime, Seabrook ended the game with a blast that beat Tuukka Rask, giving Chicago a 6-5 win and a 2-2 series tie.

Two friends, going back to when Seabrook was Toews’ roommate in the center’s rookie year. Two leaders for the Blackhawks, leading them when they needed it the most.

“He cares about his teammates, and he wants his teammates to have success. And more than anybody, he wants to win this thing," said Toews.

Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
Is new Stars coach Lindy Ruff the right man for the job?
Seth Jones understands if Avalanche pass him over
Blackhawks fan almost dies celebrating Game 4 win

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • After OT win, Wild face well-rested Jets

      The Minnesota Wild came off their bye week Monday and needed awhile to get going. Despite falling behind four times, the Wild eventually earned a 5-4 overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings. The Winnipeg Jets hope the return from their bye … More »

      AP - Sports - 5 hours ago
    • Caps add coveted defenseman Shattenkirk

      Caps add coveted defenseman Shattenkirk

      (Reuters) - The Washington Capitals made a huge statement in their pursuit of a first Stanley Cup by adding highly prized defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in a trade with the St. Louis Blues on Monday. Washington sent a 2017 first-round pick, a … More »

      Reuters - 5 hours ago
    • Rising Penguins visit struggling Stars

      Two teams on divergent ends of the NHL playoff spectrum, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas Stars, meet Tuesday night at American Airlines Center. Pittsburgh (38-14-8) sits second in the Metropolitan Division and in great playoff position, but … More »

      AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
    • Mumps hit Wild for 2nd time in 3 seasons

      Mumps hit Wild for 2nd time in 3 seasons

      The Minnesota Wild came back from their five-day bye with a most unwelcome visitor: the mumps virus. Forwards Zach Parise and Jason Pominville were diagnosed with the highly contagious disease and must miss at least three games. Assistant coach … More »

      AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
    • Flames on a roll going into start of homestand vs. Kings

      Johnny Gaudreau is heating up at the right time for the Calgary Flames. The 23-year-old left winger had two goals and an assist on Sunday as the Flames skated to a 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. "It was a nice road trip and hopefully we can … More »

      AP - Sports - 6 hours ago