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Hawks stars agree with critics

Sunday, 04.17.2011 / 4:31 PM

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent / 2011 WCQF: Vancouver-Chicago Live Blog

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2011 WCQF: Vancouver-Chicago Live Blog
Hawks stars agree with critics
Chicago's four top scorers – Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa – have just one assist and a minus-6 rating between them after the first two games.

They're also taking a good amount of criticism because of the stark lack of production and Chicago's sticky situation against the rival Canucks – trailing by two games and almost needing to win Game 3 on Sunday night to keep a realistic shot of winning the series alive.

Is the criticism coming their way fair?

"Absolutely," Toews said. "I always think that when things are going well, your star players are going to get a lot of credit -- but when things aren't going so well, they're the ones who are going to take the heat, as well. That kind of … is the whole thing with being a star player. It's not easy when your team is not doing so well. You're the one who is going to take the blame, so yeah, that is absolutely fair."

Kane agreed.

"I think (it's fair)," he said. "I don't think our best players have been living up to par, that's for sure. We know we've got better in us. It's fun this time of year. It's fun to have that pressure on you and it's fun to make sure that we come out and lead the way for our team. I think for all of us, whether it's five of us, six of us or 20 of us, all of us know we have better."

Sharp also agreed, in his own way. Asked by a reporter if it was "too simplistic" to say the Canucks' stars are better than Chicago's stars, Sharp bristled.

"Uh, they're up 2-0 in the series, I guess is what I would say," Sharp said.
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What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp