When the Blackhawks return from the all-star break next week, coach Joel Quenneville wants his team to understand it needs to play a speed game to be successful.
The Hawks have been too plodding at times and it shows in their mediocre 26-20-4 record at the break.
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"We show signs that we're ready to take off, then we lose back-to-back home games, which slows you down and all of a sudden you have sit there and think what can we do better," Quenneville said. "That's got to be our mindset, that there are ways to get better, and when we play a fast speed game we're much better. When we slow down and look for plays, I think we get victimized by other teams' being patient."
Quenneville still plans to enjoy all-star weekend, where he will coach one of the teams along with assistant Mike Haviland.
"When we're there we have to enjoy it, but at the same time it's not the way we envisioned going into it," Quenneville said.
Take your pick:
The 4-2 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday robbed the Hawks of going into their six-day all-star break with any momentum.
"You can look at it two ways," goalie Corey Crawford said. "We can feel sorry for ourselves and cry about it for four days, or we can be (ticked) off and come back hungry and come back strong.
"There's definitely two ways we can take it and we have a lot of positive guys in this room so I think we'll take it the right way."
Nick Boynton was back on defense Tuesday after sitting out the previous 10 games, mostly as a healthy scratch.
Boynton was minus-1 in 12 minutes paired with rookie Nick Leddy.
"He hadn't played in a while and we wanted to see what that pair looked like," Joel Quenneville said. "I thought it was all right."
The Hawks announced Wednesday they will play the Edmonton Oilers in a preseason game Sept. 20 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Hawks will be the home team. … Nick Leddy was assigned to Rockford on Wednesday for salary cap purposes during the all-star break. Leddy likely will return in time for Tuesday's game at Columbus.
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