First it was when Jonathan Toews was part of Team Canada's gold-medal winning men's hockey team at the Vancouver Games. Second, was at Wachovia Center where Toews became the first Chicago Blackhawks player in the 55-year history of the Conn Smythe Trophy to be selected as playoff MVP before he hoisted the Stanley Cup.
"I don't see him like this too often," said Gilbert, who joined other family members as the Blackhawks organization celebrated its first Cup since 1961. "He is usually really serious, but we are all pretty serious in our house. It's an event like this where you can really see the other side of him."
Toews didn't have the most amazing series, providing no goals and only three assists, but the award voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) covers the entire playoffs. With an assist in the Blackhawks' championship-clinching 4-3 overtime victory in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, Toews finished with 29 points -- one point behind Philly's Danny Briere for most in the playoffs.
While hardly common, the Conn Smythe has gone to a member of the losing team five times. The top candidates on the Flyers were likely Briere and defenseman Chris Pronger, but it appeared unlikely the vote would go against a member of the winning team that had the likes of Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith as major contributors.
"The bigger the game, the bigger he seems to rise to that challenge," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Toews. "He was a big factor tonight."
The first Conn Smythe was awarded to Montreal's Jean Beliveau in 1965, four years after the Blackhawks won their last Stanley Cup.