Monday, April 5, 2010

Around the UC: Lots of Articles!

-Jesse Rogers:
Defense coming around as well

Coach Q: “Defense wins first in our league. [We’ve] prioritized that as being a key to our team's a good foundation for winning and winning in the playoffs...Antti [Niemi] has really helped that number look special.”

Coach Q: “I like the matchup with Duncan and Byfuglien. There’s some puck possession there. There’s a threat off the rush, there’s a threat off the offensive point as well. There’s cleaner exits out of our zone and two pairs that can play against top lines is something we’ve been looking at.”

Buff: “It’s just going back there and being comfortable. Everyone has calmed down on D [defense]. Not gripping their sticks so tight. Having patience and doing the simple things. Good D [defense] turns into offense.”

"Adam Burish knows what it feels like to be a champion. He knows what it takes to become one, too."

"That’s why Burish, a former two-time captain of the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team, reached out to Blake Geoffrion, a current tri-Italiccaptain with the Badgers."

Burish: “If you approach the Frozen Four the same way that you approached the other games — and you were successful — you’ll be successful again.”

Burish: “It’s amazing how close I still am with all those guys that I won the championship with at Wisconsin. There’s probably not one guy on that team that I still don’t talk with.”

-The Hockey Writers: What if the Blackhawks hadn't drafted Jonathan Toews?

"For simplicity’s sake, we will focus our “what-if” goggles on the two players that were drafted immediately after Toews: what if the Chicago Blackhawks had skipped on drafting Toews and had instead drafted either Nicklas Backstrom or Phil Kessel? How much different would their teams be today, and how much different would the arcs of the players’ careers looked?"

-Jesse Rogers: Division title nice, but not the only goal

Buff: “It doesn’t matter what team you’re on. If you can put a banner up in your building, that’s a big honor.”

Buff: “I think it’s big. It’s a big step for this organization. It’s not just us in here [locker room]. It’s everything. And it’s something we had been working on and pushing for, for a while. We’re glad to take it.”

Coach Q: “It’s a good, major accomplishment for us. Detroit’s been on top for several years now, and I think that was a big hurdle for us organizationally to get over and achieve...It’s a step you have to take, but there are bigger things to accomplish.”

Duncs: “It’s definitely nice but to me, I don’t think it really matters. At the end of the day it’s nice to get home ice advantage and it shows we worked hard all year but we know that in [the] playoffs anything can happen. It’s not going to make it any easier in the playoffs, and we know that.”

-Daily Herald: Hawks' newest odd couple adjusting with good results 

Coach Q: "I think Buff has grown a little bit more and is getting a little more responsibility in his own end. He's more comfortable, and playing with Duncs should help you be comfortable knowing he's still got a dependable and reliable partner."

Buff: "We're kind of an odd couple, I think so. It's fun and I enjoy it. He keeps me on the happy side back there. I can always come off and smile and kind of forget about what happened and just wait for the next (shift)."

Duncs: "For me it's just getting used to Buff back there. He likes to move up a little more than Seabs did so I have to be aware of that. I like to join the rush and help create offense and so does he, so I think it's been an adjustment that way, just being smart, but it's been good for me, though."

-Jesse Rogers: Hawks move closer to No. 1 seed in the West

"The final week of the season is a busy one for the Hawks. On Monday, they will travel to Dallas for Tuesday’s game against the Stars, then its right back home for a Wednesday date with St. Louis. Thursday, it’s back on a plane for Denver and then right back home for Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Red Wings."

"That final game could determine whether the Hawks see the Wings in the opening round. The possibility exists that losing to them would enable the Hawks to miss Detroit in Round 1."

-Vote for Seabrook in NHL Fanhouse's poll of Best Defensive Defensemen Finalists. As of right now he is in second place:

Duncs: "He makes the game easier for me and everyone else on the team. We've gotten to know where the other is on the ice at all times. He's become such a smart, strong defenseman. In my view, he's one of the best all-around players in the game."

-Jesse Rogers: Hawks rise in power rankings 

I really only linked this one for the picture: Start of Something Big For Kane

Kane: "It's nice to get on the score sheet again and be part of the win. I think we play better when I play better. That's a big part of our team, my production. But at the same time a lot of guys have also stepped up when I haven't been playing good."

Kane: "I think it gives us a little bit more balance. At the same time, you look at that first line of (Sharp), Toews and Hossa -- they seem to be dominating. Now we've got two lines that are pretty dynamic -- and actually three or four the way the third and fourth lines are playing."

-Mailbag: Where's Adam Burish:

"Q: What's up with Adam Burish being out of the lineup? Is it just his turn, like everyone on the 4th line has taken a turn? Or did he try to come back too soon? Thanks, Jesse! -- Wendy (Naperville)"

"A: He’s not hurting. I think it started as his turn after a dip in his play and now that the fourth line is producing, he’s the odd man out. Coaches are loathe to switch the lineup when the team is winning and that’s even true if a certain line isn’t producing. In this case, they are, so I don’t see a change coming. He might get back in there in this back-to-back set coming up, though."

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