Defensive turnovers costly to Hawks
January, 24, 2012
By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- Though the Chicago Blackhawks offense suffered without Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp in a 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, it was their defense that put them in an early hole.
“I think scoring first was important,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “I thought we sagged off that first goal.”
That first goal came courtesy of a turnover by Sean O'Donnell.
“Two unfortunate giveaways there,” O’Donnell said. “Mine was the first one, and then there was the second one there, and you just can’t do that to a team like this.”
The Hawks have proven this season that you can’t turn the puck over to any team behind their own goal. After O’Donnell did it, Nick Leddy turned one over in nearly the same exact spot. The Predators scored on both of them.
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford skates off the ice after a 3-1 loss to the Predators.
“I didn’t see the first one,” Corey Crawford said. “The second one, I don’t know, they made a good play out in front.”
And after the second one, the normally mild-mannered Crawford smashed his goalie stick over the crossbar. It probably said a lot more about the Hawks’ overall frustrations on defense than just that one goal.
“There are some things that we need to tighten up,” O’Donnell said. “Overall we’ve had a good first half but there is room for improvement.”
Especially where championships are won -- on defense.