Four goals in 3rd says it all for Hawks
By Adam L. Jahns firstname.lastname@example.org January 16, 2011 10:54PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
That captain Jonathan Toews spoke up was a given.
But the best news for a Blackhawks team in need of staying on the right path and becoming the consistently good team everyone expects them to be was that multiple players felt compelled to say something when they fell behind the Nashville Predators.
“There was a couple players around the room who made their voices heard in the [first] intermission,” winger Troy Brouwer said. “Guys listen to that. I’m not going to say who said them, but when those guys say things it gets everybody’s attention.”
It took awhile, but the Hawks did snap out of their going-through-the-motions funk in time for a dramatic 6-3 victory over the Predators on Sunday at the United Center. Brouwer responded by scoring twice in a 40-second span in the third period to highlight the Hawks’ come-from-behind win.
Dave Bolland also had two goals for the Hawks, who earned three out of four points in their home-and-home against the Predators.
“There was a lot to say,” said Bolland, who was a plus-3. “We knew what we were doing wrong. We had to be better. In this room, guys speak up. Nobody holds anything back. That’s a good thing about these guys. If we have something to say, we say it.”
Something definitely needed to be said.
The Hawks were sloppy, and the Predators were dictating the pace of the game. Nashville led 2-1 after the first period, taking advantage of four Hawks penalties by beating Marty Turco (20 saves) on their first two power plays.
Bolland’s highlight-reel goal in the second, when he undressed defenseman Ryan Suter en route to beating Anders Lindback (28 saves), tied the game at 2 but failed to ignite the Hawks.
It took another shot in the arm to wake them up.
J.P. Dumont gave the Predators a 3-2 lead 3:45 into the third. After that, the Hawks sprung to life, scoring four goals.
After Brouwer’s two goals, Bryan Bickell and Toews scored for the Hawks.
“Guys got fired up and it woke the rest of us up,” said Toews, who recorded his 100th career goal. “Everyone has got to bring that once in awhile. It’s good to see.
“You don’t want to be negative in the locker room or on the bench. Everyone has got to be accountable in here.
‘‘There is nothing wrong with what went on in here. Obviously after that, we played much better in the second half of the game.”
The Hawks had to play better.
Losing both games of their home-and-home with Nashville would have been disastrous, especially with five days off before their next game.
“With two losses, it wouldn’t have been fun for five days sitting around waiting for our next game,” Bolland said. “We knew tonight was a big one.”
The victory for the Hawks was a complete reversal from their shootout loss to the Predators on Saturday, when they blew a two-goal lead in the third.
A win in regulation also was a good thing in the ever-changing Western Conference standings.
“There is a big pack right now, and we’re trying to separate ourselves,” Brouwer said. “Squandering two points [Saturday] obviously didn’t help.
‘‘But there’s so much depth on this team, we need certain guys to step up, and every night different guys are going to step up.”
Different guys also will speak up, apparently, and that’s a good thing, too.