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updated: 4/3/2014 8:19 AM

Hawks stand by decision not to retaliate after Toews hit

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A nanosecond after seeing Jonathan Toews crumple to the ice courtesy of a monster check delivered by Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik, forward Brandon Bollig was ready to seek some revenge for his fallen captain.

"Of course," Bollig said after Wednesday's practice at Johnny's Icehouse.

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So too was Andrew Shaw.

"I came on the ice and was looking for him, but by that time he was already gone," Shaw said.

The fact that the Blackhawks didn't react in a more physical manner to Orpik's hit, which the NHL opted not to review, has brought up quite the debate in the hockey world over the last few days.

And it was the old-school, eye-for-an eye people versus those who argued that the close score and the playoff implications at the time of the incident overruled picking up a slew of penalty minutes while exacting revenge.

There seemed to be no gray area.

But for coach Joel Quenneville there certainly was.

"I didn't like that hit," Quenneville said. "At that time, what could you have done differently? You could look at all the different options.

"There were probably no great options at that time, it was a 2-1 hockey game. How it was addressed is something you could talk about."

But the bottom line …

"The options weren't great. It was a tricky one. Not an easy one to say exactly what should've happened."

What did happen is the Hawks indeed picked up their intensity, but they never delivered the kind of blow or blows to Orpik -- or any Penguin for that matter -- that the old-schoolers would have liked to see.

"That's probably not the guy that's going to engage in fights," Bollig said of Orpik. "It's got to be the right time and the right place and the game's changed as far as the fact that you can't necessarily go out there and jump the guy and get 15, 17 minutes of penalties if you (do) and he doesn't fight back.

"So that puts your team down much more than you want. If it had been a different score or a different time of the year … but the situation that we were in -- the score of the game and the meaning of the game -- we needed the 2 points and that's what we were focused on."

That must have been ridiculously difficult to do, huh?

"It's very hard, especially with a player like that -- the captain," Bollig said. "You definitely want to go out there and do certain things, but at the same time you're a professional and you have to act like it."

And that's what the Hawks did. Instead of brawling their way to the finish line they stayed right with Pittsburgh until the final minutes when a pair of goals by Sidney Crosby sealed the deal.

"People are trying to get fighting out of the game and that's a situation where it would've happened," Shaw said. "The league is trying to get rid of it and the refs are always in there right away breaking it up.

"Johnny's a great player and he would've stuck up for one of us if that happened."

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