Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Jonathan Toews defends Hawks
By Scott Powers ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said Wednesday he disagreed with Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo's recent suggestion that the Blackhawks were cheating on faceoffs during their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
"I don't think so," Toews said at the United Center on Wednesday. "You can watch a lot of faceoffs. They're pretty even. I don't think our guys are really overstepping their boundaries by any means."
Yeo said earlier in the week the Blackhawks were failing to put their sticks down on the ice on faceoffs, and it benefited them during the first two games in Chicago. The Blackhawks and Wild tied 41-41 in faceoffs in Game 1, and the Blackhawks had a 31-26 advantage in Game 2.
Yeo made his comments after the Wild won 40 of 72 faceoffs in Game 3 in Minnesota.
"Certainly being at home is a bit of a difference," Yeo said on Monday. "I say that because if we're doing it the right way, they have to put their sticks down. When we were in Chicago, I thought they did a pretty good job of cheating in some of those situations."
According to the NHL's official rules, at least the toe of a player's stick blade must be placed on the ice in the designated area and remain there until the puck is dropped.
The Blackhawks-Wild series isn't the only one where faceoff cheating has become a topic. Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle also recently said the Boston Bruins were guilty of cheating on faceoffs.
Toews thought coaches might be raising faceoff questions during the playoffs to gain an advantage for their teams.
"I don't know if they're trying to get the attention of the officials to try and get their help or something or what," said Toews, who is 58-of-90 in faceoffs during the series. "If you're losing draws, you got a find a way to do something different. You got to be aggressive. You got to be ready to go when the puck is being dropped.
"Sometimes if you're caught cheating by the referee, you're thrown out and sometimes you're not. It goes both ways. If something happens to me like that, you can't just sit there and complain about it. You got to find a way to talk to them or find a way to win draws. I don't know why so many people are complaining about it."