Hawk’s Captain Inspires Team To 5-3 Win After Disapointing First

St. Louis- Chicago’s Corey Crawford faced 15 shots on his net in the first period letting two by but stopping many other chances with some great off balanced saves.  Chicago looked a little shaky starting the game off on Presidents day in Missouri.

The Hawks have let a lot of games go this year in the second and Toews didn’t want that to happen again on Monday afternoon.”It was a little frustrating and maybe I got after the boys a little bit too much, but obviously you saw the guys responded to it,” Toews said. “The leaders in this locker room held the rest of the team accountable and everyone stepped up to the plate.”

The Blues took the lead in the first with a power play goal; the puck struck Crawford in the mask and landed in front of the net with McDonald putting it away.  Chicago gave up another later in the first with another rebound goal, after many shots and much commotion St.Louis’ Boyes found the puck and put it away making it 2-0.

At the first intermission the Hawks got together and wanted to turn the game around. Toews had some words of encouragement for Chicago, hoping to get the team to back into the game.  “Johnny knows what to say at the right time,” Corey Crawford said. “He told us to just relax and play our game. The first period was gone and we knew there was nothing we could do about it.”

Either Toews said the right things or the the Blues started to give up.  “Obviously in the second period we took our foot off the gas a little and they just took advantage of it,” Oshie said. “It’s just an unacceptable second period.”  Whatever it was, the second period was a different Chicago team.  Two minutes in the first Viktor Stalberg got a bounce coming from the face off deep in the Blues zone, flinging it past Bishop sparking Chicago making it a one goal game.  Not much later Bryan Bickell got the puck back to Hossa who skated down drawing Bishop out of his net and getting a pass through to Bolland who only had to tap it in the empty net.

With the game all tied up the Hawks weren’t about to let up, “They just turned it up,” Blues coach Davis Payne said. “A good team turned it up and we didn’t recognize that soon enough.”

With five minutes played in the second Hawks Patrick Sharp hustling on the boards gets the puck to Captain Toews who found Kane skating towards the net putting a high wrister right past Bishop.  With eight to go in the second Kane got a pass from the point from Seabrook who makes a nice little fake shot-pass drawing the defense setting up Toews with a pass in front, who skates right in front of Bishop getting the 4th goal on 8 shots in the second period.  “I felt good going into the game, felt good in the first. I felt good in the second, too,” said Bishop, “Just a couple of breakdowns there.  “I’ve got to make one big save there to keep the team in the game.”  The Blues didn’t feel so good replacing Bishop after the 4th goal putting in Conklin.

With the second over and the Hawks with the 4-2 lead Chicago did a good job only giving up one more and getting it back on an empty net by Hossa to hold onto the win.  “To go from down two to up two in the matter of one period, that’s huge for us,” Kane said. “We knew what we had to do.”

The Hawks figured out what they had to do even missing Coach Q, they got help from Toews, the vets, and assistant coach Havialnd. “For sure, he had a lot to say, he doesn’t say a lot, so certainly when he does it means an awful lot. I walked through and I just know he was saying what he needed to say, and a couple of other guys said it, too.” Haviland talking about what the team did to get back into the game.

Coach Q was released from the hospital and is at home getting some rest to recover from a stomach ulcer.  The Hawks are helping with the recovery getting the team tied for the eighth and final spot for the playoffs.  They will try to add to their 68 points playing again on Thursday in Nashville to face some of their old teammates at 7:00pm on CSN.