Toews' power-play goal a welcome sight

April, 9, 2010
4/09/10
11:25
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
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[+] EnlargeJonathan Toews
AP Photo/David ZalubowskiJonathan Toews snapped a seven-game streak without a power-play goal when he scored in the first period on Friday against the Avalanche.
DENVER -- Before the Chicago Blackhawks took on the Colorado AvalancheFriday night, Joel Quenneville was asked what he’s most worried about going into the playoffs. There was no pause before his answer.

The power play.

It ranked 17th in the NHL going into the game. It hadn’t scored in seven contests and was in a 0-18 and 1-29 slump. No wonder he didn’t hesitate.

Midway through the first period Quenneville’s team ended the drought when Jonathan Toews stuffed one past Peter Budaj. The goal was nice; the puck movement even nicer.

"I think we were clicking a little bit on the power play," Toews said after the game. "We were figuring out what they were giving us.

"It was nice to see one go in. Hopefully we can use that confidence to keep getting better on the power play because it’s going to have to be a big part of our game going to the playoffs here."

The Hawks had four other chances with the man advantage and once again skates were moving and so was the puck. They didn’t score a second goal, but they hit iron twice and caused confusion in the Avs zone.

"I think there were a lot of positives," Marian Hossa said. "We tried to practice to keep things simple and finally we got a power play goal. It’s huge. Now we just have to build on it."

One power play goal per game is what any team would be happy with, especially in the playoffs. Maybe their coach won’t be as concerned after Friday.

"Nice to score," Quenenville said. "It’s been a long time. I think that’s going to help the patience and the confidence in the right areas. It was better."

"It was nice to see some production. It was a little thin, and I might not be exaggerating."

NOTES
  • The Hawks set a franchise record with their 23rd road win of the season.
  • Colin Fraser has scored four goals in his past three games after scoring two in 66 games.
  • Antti Niemi said he was "surprised" by the bad angle shot Ryan Stoa took for the Avs first goal. It went right thru Niemi’s glove for Stoa’s first career goal.
  • Jordan Hendry missed the game with a "lower body" injury. Quenneville said it was not a serious injury.
  • Dustin Byfuglien was bothering Hossa as he gave postgame interviews. Hossa was asked if he prefers Byufglien on the point or in front of the net on the power play. "I Like Buff on the point because he has a hard shot. He just has to know where he’s shooting it," Hossa said with a straight face.
  • The Hawks can clinch the top seed in the west with a San Jose Sharks' loss in regulation on Saturday or a Hawks victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.
  • Jesse Rogers | email

    Chicago Cubs beat reporter
    Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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