After losing for the first time in their Western Conference quarterfinal, the Blackhawks know they need to be better.
Nobody knows it more than their captain, apparently.
Jonathan Toews took the team to task following Sunday’s Game 3 overtime loss to the Wild — in which Chicago was out-hit, out-shot and generally outplayed.
“We let them do their thing through the second and midway through the third, too,” Toews told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It wasn’t until late in the game that we started playing well and getting back to pursuing pucks and play on offense.
”We can’t be satisfied with that effort.”
Minnesota recorded 34 hits to Chicago’s 13 — granted, there might’ve been some “home cookin'” at play with the Xcel Energy Center’s in-house statistician — and out-shot the ‘Hawks 37-27.
In all, it was the Wild’s most impressive performance of the series.
Even though Minnesota also took Chicago to OT in Game 1, that performance didn’t have the same kind of feel to it. The Wild were outshot by 10 and were out-hit 40-36 in the series opener, and blocked 21 shots to Chicago’s 10 — suggesting the ‘Hawks had a majority of the possession throughout.
That wasn’t the case in Game 3.
Toews realized Chicago didn’t respond well to Minnesota’s best effort of the series, but vowed to improve on that for Game 4.
“We probably didn’t play as well as we should have under that pressure. We’ve got to understand this is what it is. We’ve got to play a smarter road game and understand that teams like that are going to try and overwhelm you.
“We’ve got to come back with more. We didn’t respond enough.”