03/21/2009 12:29 AM - From chicagoblackhawks.com: (link)
As the Hawks current five-game winless streak has progressed, it seems as if the team has progressed as well. It hasn’t shown up on the score sheet yet, but head coach Joel Quenneville says that he sees progress from his team.
We got down early, but we kept fighting back,” he said. “The effort has been there the past few games and we could have easily won either of our last two games. But getting the win is what we’re looking for. We want to get better.”
No matter how many times the Hawks gained momentum in their 5-4 shootout loss to Edmonton, the momentum seemed to elude them as Edmonton responded quickly with goals of their own.
It’s disappointing,” said Jonathan Toews. “We’ve been getting better and better, getting our game back, and we’re just disappointed. The guys worked hard tonight and we still made a few mistakes and gave up some goals we shouldn’t have. But I think for the most part we worked hard and everyone stepped up their game. Nothing discouraged us; we kept coming back.”
The Hawks will have to increase the intensity through the next four games –all home contests- if they want to keep pace in the Western Conference; not one team on their upcoming schedule is out of the playoff race, and the Hawks will be getting each team’s best shot.
The standings are at the forefront of our focus right now,” said Toews. “We’re aware of what’s going on and we’re trying our best to control the things we can. The teams at the bottom – right around the cutoff – are going to play just as hard as us. We’re trying our best to control what we can.”
This is the time of year that everyone picks their play up,” said Duncan Keith. “We all want to play hard, and we’re just worrying about one game at a time. We’re excited to be in a race and it’s a different kind of play at this point in the season. But we’re ready for it.”