Joel Quenneville was clear about his point.
The Chicago Blackhawks aren’t playing much different over the last four periods -- during which they’ve scored just one goal -- compared to when they were lighting the lamp with regularity. The difference has been in the details, and one night after a colossal collapse the Hawks seemed drained in their 3-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
“It was a chance at redemption tonight from last night’s [loss to the Wild],” Quenneville said. “Just maybe not the energy across the board that we sustained over a lot of this stretch, but we’ll be excited about Thursday and get some rest … It’s the end of a busy 15 games in 26 nights but I still think we battled and worked and tried to get that second [goal].”
If the shot differential is any indication, then Quenneville is right. The final numbers showed that the Hawks outshot the Ducks 43-12. They dominated the third period while Anaheim was just trying to hang on. With three days between games, it was time to let it all out.
“We said if we get one goal it could make the difference,” Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “We definitely wanted to lay it on the line for 20 minutes and try and see what we could scrape out of that game. There wasn’t one second where we thought we were out of it.”
The Hawks got one goal but couldn’t manage the second. Anaheim had something to do with it. Several Hawks mentioned how hard it is playing from behind against them and Quenneville said their style of play with the lead is a good one.
“We definitely had to dump it in to get in on the attack,” Quenneville said. “We got more effective and productive when we did get some dumps and retrievals.”
Toews made the point not to make the last two nights “bigger than it is” and reminded everyone, “As good as your team can be, we’re not going to win every game. But we’re sure as hell going to try.”
With some needed time between games, trying and then doing should return soon.
-- Marian Hossa missed the game with a lower body injury. Quenneville said he is “hopeful and likely” to return on Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Hossa was able to finish the game on Saturday in Minnesota.
-- Cam Barker is close to returning after missing his fourth game in a row.