Monday, Dec. 13, 2010
Posted 9:41 PM Updated 11:55 PM
By Tracey Myers
DENVER The frustration in the Chicago Blackhawks locker room was palpable. The mistake-riddled game they had just finished left their coach and their captain just about at a loss for words.
The words they did use, however, were succinct and very accurate.
Devastating, humiliating, embarrassing, I dont know what word you want to use but its not a good one, Jonathan Toews said after the Blackhawks sloppy 7-5 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night. I dont know what to say right now.
There wasnt much to say, really. The Blackhawks were defensively shoddy early and Marty Turco couldnt stop the bleeding he was pulled 40 seconds into the second, allowing four goals on 10 shots. And even Corey Crawfords attempts to help the team steal two undeserved points went awry, as the Blackhawks gave up three Avalanche goals, including an empty-netter, in the final 2:24 of regulation.
There are certainly some games that got away from you that make you feel like you got kicked in the guts, and that was definitely one of them, coach Joel Quenneville said. We werent sharp all night. We were fortunate to have a lead with three or four minutes to go but it caught up to us in the end.
Troy Brouwers second goal of the night, a deflection of a Duncan Keith shot, put the Blackhawks up 5-4 with 8:17 remaining. Jeremy Morin, Bryan Bickell and Jack Skille also scored for the Blackhawks. But as Quenneville said afterward, the forwards werent the problem.
Turcos first start since Dec. 3 was a short one. After he allowed Matt Duchenes goal 40 seconds into the second, the Avs fourth of the night, his evening was over. Teammates didnt put a lot of the brunt on Turco.
I feel bad for Marty, Brian Campbell said. It seems like hes played good but we get in there and we give up breakaways and theres only so many 2 on 1s he can stop. I think every one of us owes him an apology.
Still, Crawford faced his share of shots off messy play, too, and he stopped all 10 he saw through the second. But with time dwindling in regulation, the Avalanche turned up the heat and the offense. Tomas Fleischmanns shot from inside the blue line tied the game with 2:24 remaining, and Duchene scored from in front exactly one minute later to put the Avs up 6-5.
Ryan OReilly added an empty-netter to complete the Blackhawks forgettable night.
Craw was fine there. He gave us a chance at the end, Quenneville said. With three or four minutes (left) we have a lead. Whether you deserve it or not you have to get something out of the game. Thats why it leaves such a bitter taste.
Crawford said the loss was brutal.
I dont think anyone wants to lose like that, he said. We had all the momentum, (Brouwer) scored a good one, a gritty one in front there to go up top, and we just fell apart in the last two minutes there.
Devastating, humiliating, embarrassing. The Blackhawks will want to forget this one quick.
It doesnt matter who we play. Our level of satisfaction gets up there for no reason in particular. I dont understand it. Thats what ticks me off so much, Toews said. We know what we have to do as a team to go out there and find a way to win with five minutes left, and we do the things we know are going to set us up to fail. Were going to come in here and act all ticked off, but whats that going to do? The games over and we didnt get two points.
Morin has helped the Blackhawks during this latest injury rash. But if some of the teams injured players get back soon, general manager Stan Bowman said the team will loan Morin to the U.S. team for World Juniors later this month in Buffalo.
If hes in our lineup here, were not going to take him out of the NHL to put him in World Juniors, Bowman said. But the way things are transpiring hed be going to Rockford if guys are healthy. If thats the case, well release him (for the tournament).
The World Junior tournament begins Dec. 26 but there is training camp prior to it. Morin was on last years gold medal-winning team, so hed be fine if he wasnt there immediately for camp.
Im sure theyd love to have him there from day one. But he was on the team last year, so theyre familiar with him and the coaches are comfortable with him in that way, Bowman said. He could probably miss a little bit of it.
Marian Hossa and Fernando Pisani, who are sidelined with lower- and upper-body injuries, respectively, skated in Chicago on Monday, Quenneville said following the loss. He said Patrick Kane (left ankle) could be skating maybe Wednesday.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.