LOS ANGELES — The circus trip is over. Some games were ugly; some games were good. In the end, the Blackhawks finished with a .500 record on the six-game trip.
So what did the Hawks learn about themselves? Here they are in their own words:
Center Jonathan Toews: “We know how good we can be if we go out there and work. But without that work ethic and without sticking to our game plan and playing the way we expect each other to play, there’s not much there. We know teams will raise their games against us and we have to be ready for that. There’s not going to be any easy ones for us out there. We just have to work for it.”
Defenseman Duncan Keith: “We learned that every team in this league is good no matter what position they are in the standings. … It showed in Western Canada. Obviously, we weren’t happy with those games. But Edmonton is not the team they were last year or the year before.
“But at the same time, what we learned about ourselves is that we have a good team here. It’s a fight every night, but we’re a top team if we play a good team game and we play the right way where everybody is on the same page. When we play that way, it’s a lot easier to have success.”
Coach Joel Quenneville: “We went into Vegas in the worst possible mood. … It turned out that may have been a productive time. The guys got together, rallied and got focused going into San Jose and it was a good finish.”
Goalie Corey Crawford: “You should never give up. We’re never out of games. The offense is so good that we can’t give up in games. Nothing is out of reach. But we learned if we play good defense, it’s only going to help us.”