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Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews: “I don’t think by any means are we getting frustrated”
Down 2-0 to the St.Louis Blues in the Western Conference first-round series, Jonathan Toews isn’t worried about the Blackhawks getting back to playing their game. As far as he’s concerned, they’re playing it.
Despite all the tumult of an eventful series and the 2-0 deficit, the Blackhawks are 1:52 away from being up 2-0. This series predicament actually is a far cry from the 3-1 deficit the Hawks faced against the Red Wings last year — when the Hawks couldn’t score, Toews was shackled by Henrik Zetterberg and famously lost his cool by getting three penalties in a 5:34 span of a 2-0 loss in Game 4.
‘‘I don’t think by any means are we getting frustrated or getting off our game,’’ Toews said Monday after the Hawks’ morning skate at the United Center. ‘‘We’ve just got to find a way to be better with those leads late in games if we happen to have them.
‘‘It’s easy to point fingers when you blow leads like that in Game 1 [with 1:45 to play in regulation] and Game 2 [with 6.4 seconds left]. But we’re going to keep working on it and building on the things we’ve done well and improve some of the little things that went wrong. That’s our focus in Game 3 tonight. We’ll be excited to play in front of our fans.”
Bryan Bickell’s knee-to-knee hit on Vladimir Sobotka and Brent Seabrook’s illegal check to the face of David Backes appeared to be evidence that the Hawks were going over the line in trying to combat the Blues’ physical nature. But Toews didn’t agree with the notion that the Hawks were playing the Blues’ game.
‘‘I don’t think that’s the case at all,” Toews said. “There are some moments where we want to return that physicality. We have to do that. We have to create some space for ourselves and especially if we want to play intense and we want to have the puck.
“They’re going to be coming after us every time. They want it. They’re playing really hard. So we’ve got to return that. Obviously there’s a fine line that we don’t want to cross. And we know as a team that’s the way we play.”