"That's out of our control," Toews said after Chicago fell, 5-3, to the Philadelphia Flyers at Wachovia Center Friday night. "Whether there are calls or not, it's going to happen. We just can't whack them back. The retaliation penalty is what stands out, especially for the officiating."
Usually, defenseman Chris Pronger -- maybe because he's 6-foot-6 and won't be considered for the Lady Byng anytime soon -- stands out as one of the most crafty offenders. But it was a couple Flyers forwards who baited the Blackhawks this time.
First, Danny Briere took a high-stick from Tomas Kopecky early in the first period. Five seconds into that power play, Philly had itself a 1-0 lead as Mike Richards scored his first goal of the series.
Richards later drew Patrick Sharp into a slashing call in the second period. While it didn't result in a goal, it did reaffirm that these Blackhawks could be rattled.
"We have to try our best to get under their skin and make sure they are whacking us back instead of taking stupid penalties," Toews said.
The Flyers, to be fair, did retaliate once, but it only cost them two minutes of power play time in the second period. Scott Hartnell took a hard slash from Chicago defenseman Nick Boynton, who was playing in his first postseason game, and tossed a cross-check back at him. Both went to the box.
Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel said it's in his team's best interest to keep their heads against a Flyers team that is now 5-for-16 (31.3 percent) on the power play this series.
Overall, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said his players didn't take whatever bait the 'Hawks threw in their direction.
"It shows discipline," Laviolette said. "The players are the ones getting whacked around. To not retaliate [is something we certainly talk about it as a group]. Where we're at in the season and how far we are down with the playoffs, discipline I think plays a really big factor in hockey games."