Friendly Rivalry

College buddies met as rivals for first time on Saturday

Saturday, 10.18.2008 / 9:40 PM CT / St Louis Blues - Features
By Chris Pinkert  - St. Louis Blues
X
Share with your Friends


Friendly Rivalry
 
T.J. Oshie invited Chicago's Jonathan Toews to dinner and promised to keep the trash talk to a minimum. "I'm saving it for the game," Oshie said Saturday morning. (Getty Images).
T.J. Oshie and Jonathan Toews went out for dinner Friday night as best friends.

A mere 24 hours later, they were bitter rivals.

It's not that the dinner went bad, but when the Blues met the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night at Scottrade Center, the former University of North Dakota linemates were wearing opposite colors for the first time in their hockey careers; Oshie in blue, Toews in enemy red.

“It (was) a little bit different since we’re usually in the same color green,” Oshie said. “I don’t know if I like (playing against Toews) too much because of his work ethic, how good he is and how much offense he brings to the game. But I (was) excited for the challenge.”

He was up for it, too.

Oshie beat Nikolai Khabibulin for the game-winning goal in a shootout, lifting the Blues to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Blackhawks. Toews scored Chicago's lone shootout goal.

In college, the pair dominated the games, leading the Fighting Sioux to two consecutive Frozen Four appearances before Toews, a first-round draft pick (third overall) by Chicago in 2006, left to play in the pros.

“They’re both great players,” said Blues forward Chris Porter, who also played at North Dakota and scored his first career NHL goal in Saturday's game. “It didn’t matter who I was playing with, we always had a good line because of those two. (Toews) is a great playmaker, but I think (Oshie) probably has better hands.”

“We were all working together as a line on every shift,” Oshie said about his college linemates, whether it was Toews, Porter or Ryan Duncan, who won the Hobey Baker Award in 2007 as college hockey’s most valuable player. “They gave me chances to go around and make that big hit, cheat a little bit or make a flashier play because I knew they were going to be able to back me up. We almost always knew where each other was (on the ice) just from playing together and building that chemistry. It worked out really well.”

Oshie finished a three-year college career with 142 points (59 goals, 83 assists), while Toews recorded 85 points (40 goals, 45 assists) in two years at the university. He also fared so well as a rookie last season that he was named team captain in July, making him the third youngest captain in NHL history at 20 years, 79 days.

Jonathan Toews spent two seasons as Oshie's teammate at the University of North Dakota and played in two Frozen Fours. (Getty Images).

Off the ice, the three remain the best of friends. But for more than 65 minutes on Saturday, the friendship was on hiatus.

“We enjoy playing the game,” Toews said. “We were smiling at each other, but business is business. Obviously we have to go out there and work and do a job for our team.”

“Every time you go on the ice, there are no friends,” Porter said. “(And) anytime the Blues and Blackhawks play, it’s a pretty good rivalry. I think both teams are on the up-and-up, with younger and older players. Both want to win now, so anytime you have teams like that, it’s going to be a great rivalry.”

Both clubs are chock full of young talent that will remain a staple for years to come. And with the announcement earlier this week of former Blues’ coach Joel Quenneville as the new bench boss in Chicago, it’s possible the Blues/Blackhawks rivalry of years past will return soon in full force.

“Absolutely, why not?” Toews said. “Our division is getting a lot stronger in the past few years. It’ll be fun to see, it’ll definitely be a battle between the young guys. It could be a start, who knows.”

The truth is, the friendly rivalry between the three players started Friday night at dinner.

Oshie and Porter offered to take the Blackhawks’ captain out, then conveniently argued amongst themselves about who would pick up the bill. Frustrated and trying to keep things simple, Toews ended up paying for dinner.

“They owe me when they come to Chicago,” said Toews.

Could the Blues rookies have been arguing simply to trick him into picking up the tab?

“No, absolutely not," Porter said, laughing. "We owe him next time."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 77 47 22 8 220 188 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 CHI 75 45 24 6 213 175 96
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 75 43 27 5 215 203 91
7 WPG 76 39 25 12 215 201 90
8 CGY 76 41 28 7 224 201 89
9 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
10 DAL 76 37 29 10 236 243 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 75 36 35 26 71
A. Steen 73 24 38 6 62
J. Schwartz 68 24 32 14 56
D. Backes 74 25 29 6 54
T. Oshie 66 19 32 13 51
P. Stastny 67 14 29 5 43
A. Pietrangelo 75 6 36 -4 42
J. Lehtera 68 11 29 18 40
K. Shattenkirk 50 8 32 17 40
P. Berglund 70 9 13 -5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 24 13 3 .920 2.18
J. Allen 19 6 4 .906 2.45

 
TICKETS
Single Game Tickets
2015-16 Ticket Plans
Group Tickets
Luxury Suites
Renew Your Season Tickets
NHL Ticket Exchange
View From Your Seat

TEAM
Roster
In the System
Coaches
Front Office
Blues History
All-Time Player Roster
Chicago Wolves
Alaska Aces

SCHEDULE
Regular Season
Practice Schedule
Promotions Schedule
Schedule Downloads

STATS
Player Stats
League Standings

NEWS
News
Features
Blues Overtime Blog

VIDEO
Video Channels
Game Highlights

GameDay

SOCIAL
Find a Player
Facebook
Twitter
Mobile App
E-mail Subscriptions

FANS
Hot Deals for Cool Fans
Photo Galleries
License Plates

COMMUNITY
Blues in the Community
Blues 14 Fund
50/50 Raffle Numbers

SHOP
Online Store
Blues Auctions
True Blues Authentics

stlouisblues.com is the official Web site of the St Louis Blues. St Louis Blues, stlouisblues.com and stlblues.com are trademarks of the St Louis Blues Hockey Club. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

PRIVACY POLICY | ADCHOICES | TERMS OF USE | EMPLOYMENT & INTERNSHIPS | GUEST EXPERIENCE SURVEY | CONTACT US