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 Is Jonathan Toews the best player in hockey? Allow Anonymous Users Reply to This Topic...
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PickupHockey All-Star

3670 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2014 :  08:44:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Poll Question:
For several years, the general consensus has been that Sidney Crosby is the best player in the NHL - solid leader, scores buckets of points while playing against top defenders, cup winner, Olympic winner, etc.

However, over the last couple of years, Jonathan Toews has quietly come into his own, and legitimately challenges for the title:

- 2 time cup winner, poised to have more playing with a dominant team. Captain of said team
- 2 time Olympic champion
- improved offensive output to the point that he is nearly PPG
- one of the most complete players in the NHL - leader of the team, excellent offensive numbers, annual Selke finalist for defensive play, top-3 in faceoff % each year
- one of the best "big game" players in the NHL, consistently shows up when the team is on the ropes, and normally contributes to success in those situations.

Is Toews the best player in the NHL today?


Yes, he has overtaken Crosby
No, Crosby is still better
They are about even
There is someone better than both of them


4803 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2014 :  11:13:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's not just one bad playoffs or big-time tournament for Crosby . . . it's been quite a few, all in a row up until now. Basically from 2010 onward . . . he hasn't had any performance that PROVED he really was the best in the game. He piles up points at a point per game pace or more, but never dominates or shapes a game like the truly great players do. I would argue that Malkin does this to a greater degree right now.

Toews statistically has been at that tier just below Crosby . . . which is still rarified air, but certainly a step down. And yet . . . he has been absolutely DOMINANT at times, taking over a game at will in playoff games and big tournaments. And unlike Crosby, Toews has often been the guy topping the opposition's main offensive threat as well, a more physical version of Datsyuk.

So, this is one of those very rare cases where . . . I think you give a guy (Toews) the crown as "best player in hockey" when you are talking about a player who finished tied for 24th in points, 26th in goals, and 31st in assists during the regular season? His game is SO complete now, that he definitely considered one of the top three defensive forwards in the league every year, beside Datsyuk; he can be physically dominant, play pk, pp, etc; and, when it matters the most, in the playoffs and big tournaments . . . he is very good.

But after much thought . . . no, I can't put him there. I just changed my mind.

Toews isn't better than Crosby . . . but he's not worse, either.

All hail Canada`s team the Montreal Canadiens our hope for a Stanley Cup to come home to Canada is 2014! Keep Calm and Carey on!
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PickupHockey Pro

400 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2014 :  13:30:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I said they are about even because they are two different players!
i say even because of what each ing to their teams
Toews is far and away the better 200 foot player! which is fantastic for Chi as it shows the entire team their commtiment to both sides of the ice

Crosby if far and away better on the offense side of the ice.
This is Great for Pits because high powered offense is hard to defend against and having crosby on the teams sometimes draws people in to signing with the team.

both bring element to their team. Both are equally important to their team. But if i had to choose which player i would want on my team to build around it would be Toews!
This day an age a 200 foot game i feel is more important than high octane offense
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PickupHockey Legend

6113 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2014 :  16:08:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I look at it this way.....If you were a GM picking a team (not fantasy hockey) for just one season of hockey, who would you pick if you were lucky enough to land first pick overall? Me, it'd be Crosby. I don't care how good Toew's 2way game is, i take the guy who outscores him by a BIG margin. If i need a two way guy, with my next pick i grab a guy like Kesler.

Here's the thing, Toews is a great all around player, but offensively, he's prob not even in the top 20. He's had one season at a PPG or better pace, and there's an * by it seeing as it was last year's lockout shortened season (and he only barely got there with 48pts in 47games). I get it, he's won lots in the past and will prob win some more soon. But let's not kid ourselves when looking at the teams these guys play for. I think a lot of people have this feeling of "Pittsburgh is SO strong" and most of it is because of Crosby and Malkin. Sure, Neal is good, Letang too, etc, but Chicago really is a great team. Kane, Keith, Hossa, Sharp, Seabrook....the list goes on. That's some pretty fine team mates don't ya think?

Let's look at it another way. Swap them, and who's more effective and which team is better because of the switch? I'd say Crosby in Chi would be better than Toews in Pittsburgh.

In summary, as forwards, i think offense is more important than defence and thus i would still say Crosby's the better of the two.
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PickupHockey Veteran

2307 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2014 :  17:47:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Stats are not the best way to select a best in the world. A guy like Kovalchuk could probably outpoint Crosby in Pittsburg if you could magically exchange the 2, but isn't as rounded a player as Crosby and Pittsburg wouldn't be as successful with the swap. A guy like Ovechin might make Pittsburg better in the magical player swap, maybe even Hall or Taveres. Then again, line up all those players on the same team and you never know, Crosby might still be the go to guy. I just dont subscribe to the notion that the guy with the highest stats wins the best overall player category.

But back to the topic at hand, Chicago is an overall better team than Pittsburg. Line up Toews and Crosby on the same team and Crosby would be the go to guy. Toews, no disrespect, would play second fiddle to Crosby, if on the same team. I am not pumping the tires of Crosby here either, as I think he isn't the whole package either, but he is as an individual, more outstanding as a hockey player, than Toews.
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8286 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2014 :  10:12:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think there are a number of great points made so far. Another way to consider the question is if you could swap the two players for one another, what happens. If Crosby immediately plays for Chicago and Toews plays for Pitts, what do the two teams look like. If Crosby is with Chicago I think they are every bit as good and maybe better. I don't think Pitt gets better with Toews because there is a pretty big lose of production.

I also think one needs to consider that could Crosby be the defensive player that Toews is?? I think the answer is yes. Pitt has always built a good defensive 3 line so Crosby doesn't have to be a two way guy and he can focus on being a scorer first. Not saying he isn't responsible defensively, he just doesn't have to be a shutdown guy. Now, could Toews be the offensive player that Crosby is if he didn't have to be the shutdown guy too? I don't think so.

One think that Toews has over Crosby is dude is absolutely clutch and he wins everything. Take nothing away from Crosby's Cup or the game winner in the Van Olympics but Toews always finds a way to play his best games when it counts the most. Crosby doesn't.

So, I still put Crosby as the best player in the NHL. However, if the statement was Is Toews the most complete player in the NHL I'd say the answer is yes. That torch has been passed from Datsyuk to Toews in the past few years.

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