Jonathan Toews: Blackhawks 'can bring a lot more'


Jonathan Toews: Blackhawks 'can bring a lot more'

ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Blackhawks’ demeanor following their Game 1 loss vs. the Anaheim Ducks was as to be expected: certainly disappointed but not overly sullen.

“We expected them to be a good team,” Patrick Kane said. “I don’t think we came in here and thought it was going to be easy.”

No, it wasn’t going to be easy. And it’s not going to get any easier from here on out. But if there’s one thing the Blackhawks know it’s how to respond to tough situations, especially in the playoffs.

[MORE BLACKHAWKS: Kyle Cumiskey to play in Game 2 vs. Ducks]

The Blackhawks will look to even the Western Conference Final when they face the Ducks in Game 2 on Tuesday night. While this is the first time the Blackhawks have trailed in a best-of-seven series this season, they’ve dealt with this in the past – they were in a 0-2 series hole vs. St. Louis in last year’s first round before they won the next four games. They liked a lot of what they did in Game 1 but know they have to be better in Game 2 to get a split.

“It’s night and day between wins and losses, especially in the playoffs, but I think we know we can bring a lot more than we did yesterday,” Jonathan Toews said. “We started well, created chances, did a lot of good things, a lot of little things well in the early parts of the game yesterday and kind of trailed off and let them keep control as they got the lead. Maybe to a certain degree, we got that one out of the way. But I think we definitely have to bounce back.”

[MORE: Calm Frederik Andersen finding postseason success]

The Blackhawks know where they have to be better. The power play struggled in back-to-back opportunities in the third period on Sunday – coach Joel Quenneville said he could put Kane on both units, as he did earlier this season. They missed out on opportunities off Ducks turnovers, and couldn’t keep the Ducks from capitalizing on their mistakes.

And as good as Frederik Andersen was against them on Sunday – he stopped 32 of 33 shots – the Blackhawks said they have to make things tougher on the Ducks goaltender.

“He’s a big guy in there, he makes a lot of saves that he can see. On some empty nets he even made some big saves,” said Patrick Sharp, referring to Andersen’s stunning stick save on Kane’s first-period shot. “We can do a better job of battling, fighting our way to the front of their net. But we’ll give them credit for Game 1 for doing a good job of boxing us out and letting their goaltender see the puck. So getting to the net is key for us.”

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The Blackhawks have enough experience not to get rattled when they’re down in a game or in a series. The Ducks present challenges that the Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild did not but adjusting to different styles are part of the postseason too. Going back home with a split is key for the Blackhawks, who, like the Ducks at the moment, are undefeated at home this postseason. They played a pretty good game on Sunday. They need a really good game on Tuesday.

“We have to have some urgency right here right now,” Toews said. “Try to put some pressure on them in their building and go home feeling good about ourselves.”

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center


Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals


Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: