It’s beginning to sound like a broken record: “We didn’t come to play for 60 minutes.”
The Chicago Blackhawks had all the momentum in the world in the first period of a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Shots and scoring attempts were coming from all directions, and Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom was on the verge of a meltdown. The Hawks took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
But then it ended.
“It was kind of like the last game,” Joel Quenneville said afterwards. "[Philadelphia] went up 1-0 and we slowed down a little bit. Tonight, they made it 2-2 and we slowed down a little bit.”
It’s a perplexing aspect for a team that knows -- 50 games into its season -- that it can’t relax at any time.
“One more game before this break, in our own building, you have to find a way to generate something,” Jonathan Toews said. “That one slowly got away from us so that’s frustrating.”
So the Hawks head into a five-day break on a sour note, losing twice in three games after already getting five days off between games.
“We show signs we’re ready to take off and we lose back to back home games which slows you down and you have sit there and think, ‘what can we do better,’” Quenneville said. “That’s got to be our mindset, there are ways of getting better. I think when we play a fast, speed game, we’re much better. When we slow down and look for plays I think we become victimized by the other teams being patient.”
Pace is the word Quenneville has used a lot lately. The Hawks had some for one period on Tuesday, but one period wasn’t enough.
-Toews thought he had scored the Hawks' third goal of the night on a goalmouth scramble with 4:33 remaining in the game. Referee Stephane Auger called it a no-goal.
“He said he blew the whistle,” Toews explained. “I don’t know why he blew it so fast. It’s beyond me. You should be given a few seconds to see what happens in front of the net when there is a scrum there but I guess he lost sight of it quicker than usual.”
“[Boynton] hadn’t played in a while,” QuennevilIe said. “I was looking forward to see what that pair would look like. I thought Nick was alright.”
-Toews said his lower-body injury is fine despite missing practices on Monday and Tuesday. He says he should be a go for All-Star Weekend.
-Marian Hossa was scratched due to the flu.
-Duncan Keith had a busy night, but not necessarily a great one. Here is his stat line: 6 shots, 3 attempts blocked, 3 missed shots, 3 giveaways, 2 takeaways, and a minus-2 rating. He hit the post in the third period after getting his initial shot blocked, something which has happened with regularity this season.