Blackhawks star center Jonathan Toews is one of Manitoba's favorite sons. But his popularity in his home province will take a hit after his goal with half a minute remaining in regulation time Sunday gave Chicago a late 4-3 win over Winnipeg and dealt a significant blow to the Jets' playoff hopes.
The 26-year-old Toews, who hails from Winnipeg, saw his team fall behind 3-1 to the Jets at MTS Centre after two periods. But the Hawks, who also need every point they can get to stay ahead of the Minnesota Wild for third place in the Central Division, got a goal from Patrick Sharp early in the third – and with 30.8 seconds left in the frame, Toews stepped up with a deflection past goalie Ondrej Pavelec to give the visitors the lead and the win:
The Jets could've pulled to within four points of Chicago with a win – and more importantly, they could've put some space between themselves and the Los Angeles Kings for the final wild card berth in the Western Conference. Now, they sit only two points ahead of the Kings, who have a game in hand and would hold the tie-breaker if the teams finished with the same number of points.
They still love you there, Johnny. But really, if it was going to be anyone who hurt the Jets like this, did it have to be Toews? Sometimes the hockey gods can seem particularly cruel.