Toews to team: stop worrying

Jonathan Toews speaks during media availability at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, June 3, 2010....

Jonathan Toews speaks during media availability at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, June 3, 2010. (Alex Urosevic/QMI Agency)

Steve Simmons, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:59 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA — Jonathan Toews has two words for his Chicago Blackhawks: Stop fretting.

The captain of the Hawks is concerned that his team has spent too much time worrying about varying aspects of the Philadelphia Flyers instead of going out and just playing their own skill-first game.

“We’re letting everything get to us,” said Toews, who again was held pointless in the 5-3 loss to the Flyers in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final. “We’re worrying about their power play, we’re worrying about the crowd, we’re worried about things like noise that we can’t control. We have to stop worrying.

“We have to stop worrying about this, worrying about that.”

The battle of the scoreless captains and the first lines not performing up to speed took a turn for the worst for the Blackhawks Friday night. Flyers captain Mike Richards finally scored and finally made a difference in the series. The basically invisible Jeff Carter scored an empty-net goal and to himself on the scoreboard. But Toews, who played well, didn’t muster anything on the scoresheet and clearly is feeling the heat after the first back-to-back losses of the playoffs for the Hawks.

Toews knows it is up to him to lead offensively, but is now concentrating on leading the Blackhawks back into the series.

When asked if the Hawks could win the Cup without contribution from the first line, Toews said: “Obviously not.”

Then he went on to say that the Blackhawks can’t keep trying to come from behind because the Flyers are too good at shutting them down if necessary.

“They know how to hold a lead,” Toews said. “We almost came back at the end but you can’t put yourself behind like that and expect to come back.

“It’s easy to say we need to be more prepared. But we weren’t ready to start that game. I don’t know why. As loud as it gets (at Wachovia Center) and as crazy as the crowd gets and the energy the Flyers feed off it, we can’t let them dictate play. We can’t let that get to us.”

Coach Joel Quenneville shuffled his lines in the third period, breaking up Toews and Patrick Kane and the Hawks made a push to come from behind. Whether he continues that strategy in Game 5 is yet to be determined.

“It doesn’t matter who is playing with who,” said defenceman Brent Sopel. “We have to avoid all the mental mistakes. Every time we made a bad mistake the puck wound up in our net. We didn’t cover up very well for each other. You can’t give up four goals and expect to win.”

steve.simmons@sunmedia.ca


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