'Hawks coach slams last effort

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

They're coming off one of their worst losses of the season and desperately want to bounce back.

Sound familiar? Of course.

But this time, the team in question is the Chicago Blackhawks.

Tonight, the Calgary Flames are going to try and erase memories of a 9-1 spanking by the San Jose Sharks, but the 'Hawks are also looking to forget their last outing.

On Tuesday, they lost 4-1 to the Ottawa Senators in the nation's capital.

The 'Hawks couldn't have a better place to rebound than in Calgary, where they have won six straight regular-season visits.

"We're not really banking on what we've done against this team this year or previous years," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said.

"We're walking into a tough situation because they are coming off some similar games where they are ticked off and not satisfied with the way they've been playing.

"They will be a hungry team. We have to worry about how we're playing as well."

The 'Hawks, who haven't lost more than two straight games this season, suffered just their second defeat by three goals Tuesday.

One thing head coach Joel Quenneville will change is the goalie. Rookie Antti Niemi will get the nod, and he has a 6-1-1 record and 1.28 goals-against average on the road this season.

Although Quenneville said this appearance was scheduled, starter Cristobal Huet wasn't great against the Senators, but the coach said that wasn't the only issue.

"We're disappointed in all aspects of our game," Quenneville said.

"You look over the games we've had to date, that might have been the worst game we played all year. We want a response."

That must sound scary to the Flames. The last time the Hawks were in Calgary, they whipped the Flames 7-1.

Now the Hawks have something to prove to their head coach, and this is a good place to continue a season-high eight-game road trip.

"We do like this building," said 'Hawks forward Patrick Sharp.

"It's a lot of fun to play in. It's not exactly fun all the time because Calgary plays a physical game and are intense. It's been fun for us. This game was circled on the calendar because we know it will be a tough one."

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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