Blackhawks’ Toews: ‘It’s time to play hard’

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A loss to the Colorado Avalanche has bumped the Chicago Blackhawks to third in the Central Division.

The Blackhawks couldn’t complete the comeback in a 3-2 defeat on Wednesday to the Avalanche, which took over second in the division, now four points back of the leading St. Louis Blues.

At 90 points, it would take a monumental collapse and losing streak from the Blackhawks, defending Stanley Cup champions, to miss the playoffs. But, with a team that has a shot of winning back-to-back titles, simply making the post-season isn’t good enough.

In their last 10 games, the Blackhawks have gone 5-4-1, and have just three wins in six games since coming back from the Olympic break.

The team’s captain, Jonathan Toews, isn’t overly pleased with Chicago’s recent play, especially now that it’s the stretch drive.

“Maybe we can learn our lesson now that games aren’t going to get any easier. It’s time to play hard,” said Toews, as per Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Toews added: “We don’t want to think of ourselves as a team that just turns on the switch come playoff time.”