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.
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