Toews: Hawks need to eliminate 'bad habits'

January, 26, 2014
Jan 26
10:43
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews assumed like many people the Blackhawks had righted themselves after consecutive wins over the Anaheim Ducks and Boston Bruins last weekend.

A week later, Toews isn't so sure.

[+] EnlargeJonathan Toews
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesJonathan Toews says the Blackhawks need to pick themselves up fast after their third consecutive loss Sunday.
After the Blackhawks' 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, Toews called out the Blackhawks for their inconsistent play and dropping their third consecutive game.

"I don't know what it is," Toews said. "We had two good games against Anaheim and Boston. I felt like we were starting to see the light as far as getting our game back and getting four lines rolling and putting all the pieces together.

"The last three have been back to that sloppy style of play where we're playing for a while before that. We need to get rid of these bad habits and get rid of them fast."

What hampered the Blackhawks earlier in the month and again in their past three games is putting together a full game. They've gone 4-3-5 in January mainly because of that.

On Sunday, the Blackhawks owned the Jets through two periods, outshooting them 27-6. The Blackhawks could capitalize with only one goal on those 27 chances and allowed the Jets to remain in the game. In the third period, the Jets ignited and found ways to take advantage of their chances. They scored three goals, which included an empty-netter, on 15 shots on goal in the final period.

"Tough loss for sure, for sure, for sure, for sure," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We didn't play the same way in the third period. But you know they're going to get a turn, and we're going to get some defensive zone shifts, and we got to play the right way. We were a little bit uncomfortable in our own end when they did have zone time, which shouldn't happen."

Toews was disappointed in the Blackhawks' inability to finish off what they started against the Jets.

"As you can tell, we threw away another two points," Toews said. "I don't know. I don't really have an explanation right now without saying anything negative.

"We played some good hockey in the first two periods, and I feel like we were experienced. We know what we have to do in those situations, but we just haven't done it lately. Frustrating to come out and have that kind of lackluster effort where we find ourselves on our heels to a team that's just kind of have nothing to lose in the third period. Nothing good to say about the finish of that game."

The Blackhawks' task now is attempting to get back on track while on the road. They lead into the Olympic break with six consecutive road games.

"Regardless [of home or away], we have to play better," Toews said. "We keep reminding ourselves we only have a handful of games before this break. It needs to be better and better right now and can't wait any longer."
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Sharp
PTS GOALS AST +/-
78 34 44 13
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Sharp 34
AssistsD. Keith 55
+/-M. Hossa 28
GAAC. Crawford 2.26