Toews believes Blackhawks can play much better
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Leave it to the captain to tell it like it is.
No rosy, we-just-played-our-best-game of the series scenarios from Jonathan Toews.
As the Blackhawks head into a potential series-clinching Game 5 against Minnesota Thursday at the United Center, the laser-focused Toews on Wednesday talked of redemption from the game before — the Hawks' lone loss of the series — and what might have been.
"We'll learn from Game 3 in this series," he said. "We had a chance to really take control of this series and we knew exactly what to expect from their team; that the first game in their building was going to be a good one.
"To be able to kind of throw that effort back in their face would've been huge for us in showing them that even their best might not be good enough ... and we didn't do that at all.
"This is a chance to redeem ourselves."
For the series, yes, but it's also a chance for the Hawks to redeem themselves for two straight one-and-done postseason runs.
With a 3-1 advantage — fresh off their best performance and back on home ice — the stars seem to be aligned. Still, the Hawks' stars aren't aligned in taking anything for granted against the pesky Wild.
"(That we're peaking) sounds like a good idea, but we've had trouble getting out of the first round the past couple of years," Patrick Sharp cautioned.
Added Patrick Kane: "I thought (Tuesday) was a good team win, but I still feel we can play even better. The situation we're in now, I don't know if we've even ramped it up to playoff intensity yet — to where it could be."
Sounds like someone's has been listening to Hawks coach Joel Quenneville.
"We should be looking to improve off the levels we're at," Quenneville said. "I think Tuesday's game is probably the minimal standard we should be looking for.
"The energy and compete level has to be one way — and that's all-out."
The captain couldn't agree more.
"We certainly want to have our best game of the series," Toews said. "We know it's going to require that for us to win and that's all we have to focus on."
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