Blackhawks

Hawks Ugly Start Leads To So-So Finish

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By Connor McKnight-

CHICAGO (CBS) Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Ray Emery helped the Blackhawks salvage a point Monday night.  Although the final read, 4-3 Coyotes in a shootout, it could have been much worse.

After the Blackhawks morning skate, Patrick Kane remarked on the need to hop out to a lead against a Coyotes team that put a 4-1 drubbing on his squad just six days prior.  That fast start never came.

Instead, Raffi Torres and Mikkel Boedker put Phoenix up 1-0 just 2:35 into the first.  It was a 2-on-1 play that may have been a little fluky.  Still, had the Hawks been able to clear the zone and establish a serious possession, it doesn’t happen.

As the Hawks battled boos and momentum, the Hawks slogged into the second period only to find themselves down 3-0 and watching Corey Crawford head to the bench.  While Crawford certainly wasn’t good (3 goals against just 16 shots) he may have been more a victim of circumstance than bad.  Toews said as much afterward explaining that the team needed to help Crawford by clearing pucks and entering the offensive zone with some authority.

Toews seemed determined to do just that–at least, after Crawford left the ice.

With two goals in a little over seven minutes–and some dominating shifts in between–Toews cut the lead to one and put himself on top of the NHL goal scorers list with 17.

Toews helped tie the game with nearly 6 minutes to play on a dynamite assist to Kane.  The play was frighteningly slick and underscored why Joel Quenneville puts that pair together when he needs a goal.

Despite eking out a point from a disastrous start, the Hawks were, essentially, ticked off after the game.  While most admitted there’s some solace in the comeback, it’s equally true to say that after seizing momentum in their building with 26 minutes to play, a 3-3 game should turn into two points.

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