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Canucks 6, Blackhawks 2: Hawks save their worst for hated rival

Hawks center Jonathan Toews tries break free during rush up ice second period Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 loss Vancouver Canucks Sunday

Hawks center Jonathan Toews tries to break free during a rush up the ice in the second period of the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks Sunday November 6, 2011 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: December 8, 2011 8:18AM



It was by far the Blackhawks’ worst performance of the young season. And it inexplicably came against the hated Vancouver Canucks.

Their special teams were horrendous.

Their composure was absent.

Their skill and speed was negated.

And their effort as a team was “poor,” Jonathan Toews said.

Add it all up and what you have is a 6-2 hammering at the hands of the rival Canucks Sunday in front of an angry and mortified United Center crowd.

“They were better in all areas, whether it was physical, special teams, 5-on-5,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “I was disappointed with it across the board. It was an ugly game.”

The Hawks’ special teams figure to get most of the attention considering the Canucks were 5-for-6 on the power play, while the Hawks were measly 0-for-5 with the advantage.

But Toews said the loss goes beyond that.

“We didn’t play a very good game all around,” Toews said. “We should have been expecting an effort like that from them. I’m not sure why we took them lightly. We played well and did some good things all week, and we didn’t show much of that tonight. ... There’s not too many positives we can take from this game.”

If there’s one thing it was Marcus Kruger’s willingness to crash the net and score a rebound goal on goalie Roberto Luongo at 15:07 in the second period, which cut the Canucks lead to 3-2.

But it didn’t take long for the bad to overcome the good -- again. Jannik Hansen scored 43 seconds later on a wide-open net, continuing a trend of bad defensive coverage by the Hawks.

“At 3-2, we were in the ballgame, maybe not, but it was still a game,” Quenneville said. “There have been several goals going in our net, where we’re not in the right spots. We’ll continue to address it.”

Luongo allowed a soft goal to Michael Frolik, but made some tough stops en route to saving 38 of 40 shots. Corey Crawford finished with 32 saves.

Henrik Sedin, who was sent to the ice by Patrick Kane and Dave Bolland on separate occasions for covering Crawford in snow, had a goal and three assists. Daniel Sedin recorded a goal and two assists, while David Booth and Dan Hamhuis each had a goal and an assist.

Niklas Hjalmarsson was on the ice for five goals by the Canucks and Brent Seabrook was on for four of them.

In a reversal from previous games against the Canucks, it was the Hawks who came unhinged at times and marched to the penalty box. It just made matters worse.

“This is a game where we showed why we don’t need a big tough guy; we need to play hard whistle to whistle,” Henrik Sedin said. “And when they’re doing the things they did tonight, we need to score on that power-play, and we did.”



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