Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010
Posted 9:39 PM Updated 11:02 PM
By Tracey Myers
The Chicago Blackhawks were outhit, outhustled and outplayed by the St. Louis Blues for 60 minutes on Tuesday night. If not for their goaltender, it wouldve been a lot worse.
Marty Turco stopped 40 of 43 shots, but the Blackhawks could muster little in defense or offense as the Blues beat them 3-1 at Scottrade Center on Tuesday night. The Blackhawks didnt have much jump from the start on Tuesday, and it didnt get any better when Jonathan Toews was lost to an upper-body injury 13 minutes into the game.
Toews was hit by Blues forward Matt DAgostini near the boards, his right shoulder going into them as he fell. Coach Joel Quenneville said theyll know more Wednesday on how Toews is.
Turco, meanwhile, was outstanding. In his second consecutive start, Turco was once again busy, active and big. He made 18 of his 40 stops in the first period.
Marty was great, coach Quenneville said. Its 1-1 going into the third period, a great spot to be in. We werent deserving of it at all.
Patrick Sharp said Turco was our best player, no question about that. He saved us on a number of opportunities and created scoring chances for us. That (outing) was not good enough for us as a team and we know that.
For Turco, it was his second consecutive strong outing.
It was good to get in the last game; slapping the posts makes a big difference. I felt better than I thought I would, Turco said. (Tuesday) you want something so bad, to play well on the road and get a win. Its less about me and more about us.
The Blackhawks were actually down three players in about a 10-minute span in the second period. Troy Brouwer took a puck to his left leg and left for a few minutes, as did defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. Both returned and finished the game.
But even in those opening minutes when the Blackhawks were at full strength, they had no jump, no fire and no push against the physical and pace-pushing Blues. Quenneville called it brutal.
Maybe we get (Patrick) Kane and (Marian) Hossa back and we think its going to be easy again, he said. We need to play hard and simple. We need to get rid of that cutesy stuff.
Even John Scotts lengthy and successful fight against Cam Janssen early couldnt spark the Blackhawks. Scott and Janssen went at it for several minutes, with Scott landing a couple of big rights on the Blues right wing, who refused to go easily.
I dont know if we were complacent or wanted an easy game, but we just didnt want to battle, Scott said. They were all over us in the first. It was just a bad game for us all around.
Patrick Kane returned to the lineup on Tuesday, playing his first game since sustaining his left-ankle injury on Dec. 5. He played just under 20 minutes.
I definitely couldve played better, Kane said. I think after an injury like that you try to feel it out a little bit. But I can bring more for sure.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.