Jonathan Toews nearly slashes referee Justin St. Pierre in frustration.

Terrible positioning by the official.

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I know that there will be people who will be quick to criticize Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews for losing his cool here, but honestly I think we should be applauding his restraint. 

On Sunday night Toews and his Blackhawks were facing off against the Colorado Avalanche in a battle between one team barely clinging on to a playoff spot in the Avalanche and another team desperate to find a way into the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs in spite of being 6 points out with only 8 games remaining on their schedule  in the Blackhawks. As you would expect in such a scenario the game very much had a playoff atmosphere to it and tensions were running high from the moment the very first puck was dropped.

That being said though it was not until just under 12 minutes had expired in the first period that tempers really boiled over. Surprisingly it was the normally stoic Jonathan Toews that found himself extremely frustrated, although given the reasons for that frustration I think everyone can relate to him here on some level. 

Toews and the Blackhawks were looking to set up a play in the offensive zone and Toews was in full control of the play, moving inside the Avalanche zone with the puck. That is until at least the unbelievable happened and referee Justin St. Pierre threw what can only be described as a full on pick, shutting down Toews' momentum and the play entirely in the process. Obviously this was an unintentional play on the part of St. Pierre, but that being said the level at which he disrupted Toews on this play was rather embarrassing from a National Hockey League referee. 

Toews understandably was furious on the play and even appeared to raise his stick and turn towards St. Pierre as if he were about to deliver a lumberjack like chop to the official who had just ruined the play. To his credit though Toews regained his cool long before he ever took a swing at St. Pierre but it was clear that he had just let the official know exactly what he thought of him in that moment. 

Check out the replay below.