Chicago Blackhawks: toughness
May, 8, 2013
By Jesse Rogers | ESPNChicago.com
Hannah Foslien/Getty ImagesToughness includes being able to take a hit and make a play, as Jonathan Toews does.CHICAGO -- It's been a knock on the Chicago Blackhawks going back to the year they won the Stanley Cup: They're not tough enough, they don't throw their body around enough, and yes, they don't drop the gloves enough.
That last critique has little to do with winning a title, and the other two matter everywhere but the stat sheet. The Hawks have been outhit 133 to 98 in their series with the Minnesota Wild but lead 3-1. They were outhit 20-10 on Tuesday but won the game handily, 3-0. In fact, their 98 hits is the least of any playoff team, including four that have played one fewer game.
"I feel like our team can play a number of different ways," Patrick Sharp said after Tuesday's game. "People want to make a big deal of the hits. That's fine. We've won a physical game before. We've won a lot of games with our speed and playmaking ability, so whatever the type of game there is, I feel confident in our guys."
That's the mark of a championship team: winning in different ways. The NHL calls for it especially over the course of the postseason, which lasts for two months. Some games will be tightly contested, others more wide open. The Hawks have proved they can play both ways. That has something to do with their goaltending as well.
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