Avalanche’s Toews calls out teammates’ effort after loss to Blackhawks

The Colorado Avalanche fell 3-2 to the basement-dwelling Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday and defenceman Devon Toews vented his frustrations after the game.

“It’s self-awareness. We need guys that know how to play in our system, how to play our game, and know what it takes. We’ve got some guys in here that think they’re playing well and I think they’re kidding themselves at this point,” Toews told Jesse Montano of Guerilla Sports.

“It’s frustrating to play out there when you’ve got guys that think they’re playing well and they’re doing things that, you have no idea what play they’re going to make or where they’re going to be on the ice.

“It’s tough to play in this league when you don’t know where your teammates are going to be. So that’s where a lot of the frustration stems from.”

The Avalanche let a 2-1 lead slip away against the Blackhawks and lost on a crisp passing play on the game-winning power-play goal late in the third period. Toews was one of four Avalanche penalty killers on the ice for the clinching goal.

“…You get guys that are going out against our structure and doing things that we don’t do as a team. And that’s what’s frustrating,” Toews said. “When you have 20 guys in here that are working toward the same goal and have the same goal in mind, it’s fun to play. That’s how you win games in this league. But when you have 14 guys that are playing in the structure and six that aren’t it’s really tough to win in this league.”

While the Avalanche remain a contender in the Central Division, their play has slipped in December and Tuesday’s loss dropped them to 4-5-1 on the month.

Colorado will have a chance to get back in the winning column when they host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

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