Don’t count out the Blackhawks just yet.
They might trail the Red Wings 3-1 in the Western Conference semifinals after 3 straight losses, but the Hawks feel they still have a chance to win the series — a real good chance.
Game 5 of the series is Saturday night at the United Center.
“We know that if we win one game there’s a way out of it,” Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said Friday. “We’re not worried about winning three in a row yet.”
The Hawks held a team meeting Friday where they talked about comebacks.
“It’s happened,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We were down 3-1 when I was in St. Louis (and won a series against Phoenix); Car Bomb (Daniel Carcillo) was in Philly (when the Flyers rallied from a 3-1 deficit to stun Boston in 2010).
“We were down 3-0 against Vancouver (in 2011) and took it to Game 7 in overtime. Things happen.”
They just don’t happen that often. Teams have led in a series 3-1 a total of 229 times and the club that’s down has rallied to win just 20 times.
“We talk about momentum and how important it is come playoff time,” Quenneville said. “They’ve obviously got it right now, but one game can turn everything around. That’s what we’re looking for. The big picture looks bleak, but at the same time we’ve got two home games here.”
The Hawks are going to need better results from Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.
Toews still is without a goal in nine playoff games. Hossa, Kane and Sharp each have 1 goal in the series, while Keith and Seabrook are part of a power play that has fizzled badly (1-for-12).
“Our best players need to be our best players,” Toews said. “We need to lead. We need to grab the rope and start pulling for the rest of the guys, and it starts with myself.”
Toews is coming off one of the most forgettable games of his career Thursday in Detroit. He took 3 straight penalties in the second period and was in the box when Jakub Kindl scored what turned out to be the winning goal on a power play in the Red Wings’ 2-0 victory.
“I understand what happened in the second period wasn’t a good thing, but I don’t attribute it to me losing my temper,” Toews said. “I was a little bit careless with my stick and unfortunately it cost me and it cost our team.”
Toews obviously thinks he got too much of the blame for the Game 4 loss.
“I think when things go well for our team sometimes maybe I get a little more credit than I deserve and I think the same goes the other way,” he said. “We’re positive. There’s a good feeling in the locker room today.
“We’re very close to finding a way to win one game, and we do that we know all that confidence and momentum is going to come rushing back and that’s what we’re focused on.”
Seabrook played only 12 minutes in Game 4, and Quenneville hinted Friday that there might be a change happening on defense in terms of pairings. So maybe look for Seabrook to go back to playing with Keith.
“Everybody is counting us out now except us in here,” Seabrook said. “There’s been a few guys in this room who have come back from 3-1. We’re as upbeat as we can be. I think we all take the burden for being down 3-1.
“We all win as a group, and we all lose as a group. We’ve all got to pick up our socks here.”
The Hawks have to find a way to solve Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, who has stopped 124 of 129 shots in the first four games.
“I think we’d like to have more quality with traffic,” Quenneville said. “I think we’re getting some decent looks, but I think more traffic would make it a little more of a challenge.”
The Hawks believe if they can win one game it will have the Red Wings thinking that maybe they can blow this series.
“Obviously, we’re not where we want to be in the series, but dwelling on that and feeling sorry for ourselves isn’t going to do anything,” Toews said. “We’ve got a positive group of guys and we’ve had a great season for that reason, so we’re going to stick to what has helped us win hockey games.
“I’m sure Detroit knows and we know this series is a long way from being over.”
ŸFollow Tim’s hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.