Jonathan Toews didn't play in Europe during the lockout, but he's still off to a great start.
Toews is evidence that there's more than one way to stay sharp over an extended layoff. He spent three days a week doing informal skates during the work stoppage. "It wasn't the same thing as playing on a team, being in Europe or being in that everyday routine. But we pushed ourselves hard," Toews said. "I'm sure a lot of guys across the league thought the same thing, that 'Hey we don't know when this will end.' We just kept that optimistic feeling that at some point it was going to happen, and we wanted to be ready to play our best hockey when it did." Chicago is 6-0-1 going into Friday's game against Vancouver.