The Chicago Blackhawks haven’t been playing the kind of hockey fans have come to expect, and it appears their supporters made that known at the United Center Tuesday when the team suffered a disappointing 6-2 loss to the Dallas Stars.
Fans booed the Hawks off the ice after a first period that saw the Stars rack up a whopping four goals, and the sound was likely something the team is not used to hearing from its followers.
“Our fans are great,” Captain Jonathan Toews said after the game. “Not going to say anything on that. Obviously it’s not the show that fans expect. You know, they want to come and see us win by four or five goals. It’s unfortunate that we get booed in situations like that, but it is what it is. We’ll focus on things we can do out on the ice.”
Head Coach Joel Quenneville said the game was “hard to watch,” a sentiment clearly shared by many fans.
“I don’t know if it’s confidence or whatever, but I think we have to find a way to rectify the way we play and the way we play with more urgency,” he said. “It’s hard to measure confidence to me. If you play hard, you find your way through it.”
The Hawks now trail the Stars by six points in the standings with just eight games remaining, and the team's next four contests will take place away from the United Center.
Toews acknowledged the team has been struggling but said they aren’t concerned about their chances in the postseason.
“We know what we’re capable of this year and once we get to the postseason we’ll remind ourselves of that and look at the big picture and try to take it shift by shift and try to get out of this little funk that we’re in,” he said.
The Blackhawks will have a few days to collect themselves after some big struggles. They’ll look to rebound on the road Saturday when they take on the Calgary Flames in Alberta.