Saturday, May 15, 2010

Preview: Game one!

Blackhawks vs Sharks
2:00 pm

"All year … everyone has expected us not only to get back to this point, but to go beyond it," Toews said. "We've battled all that (pressure) to get where we are now. We're here to take advantage of this opportunity, nothing else."

This season:
Jan. 28 4-3 Hawks
Dec. 22 3-2 Sharks
Nov. 25 7-2 Hawks
Nov. 15 4-3 Hawks

"How rare is it to see San Jose playing on NBC? It's the first time the Sharks have played on the network since May 2007, and it will be the first time ever that NBC will broadcast a game from San Jose. But make no mistake -- the Western Conference Finals are certainly deserving of the attention that's coming."

Thornton on Toews: "I'll be hacking Johnny as much as I can. I loved him for two weeks in February, but, you know, that's different now."

Toews on Thornton: "He's a good guy. I'm looking forward to giving him a few whacks too."

Sharp: “The whole week has been a business like attitude. I know we’ve taken some time to relax but the game has been on our mind all week long. Now that it’s here you have to get ready. We’ll have some dinner then I’ll beat up on [Jonathan] Toews and [Niklas] Hjarmalsson on the Mario Cart Wii and get ready to play.”

Niemi: “It was a good few days to get the energy back. [I’m] way more comfortable but I don’t want to think about being comfortable. I just want to be ready when the puck drops on the ice.”

Seabs: “I don't think you can make a game plan for lines like that, [just] like the Sedins. You could never make a game plan for them. They did so many different things. You can't go out there thinking [the Thorton line is] going to do one thing, because they change. They're a creative group.”

Sopel: "I've been on some pretty good teams that didn't get the job done. If it's your first year or your last year, it doesn't matter; this opportunity doesn't come by very often. How many players played in the league for years and never won the Cup?"

Ladd: "We understand this is probably the last chance for this group. Everyone in here feels we have a really special group to win with. I can see a little more urgency to get things done."

"The Blackhawks have not won since 1961, a stretch six years longer than that of the playoff-challenged Toronto Maple Leafs."

"Antti Niemi may not be confused with Hall anytime soon but Patrick Kaneand Jonathan Toews represent the Hawks' best chance since Mikita and Hull to return the Stanley Cup to the shores of Lake Michigan."

Coach Q: "(Thornton, Heatley and Marleau) are big, they protect the puck well, they like to keep it in the offensive zone, they have quick sticks (and) they have great shots. Denying them time and space and keeping it tight on them is something we'll try to do."

Heatley on Seabs/Duncs: "They're two guys who can really skate and like to jump in on the rush. We have to be skating and get on them in their end."

"Chicago averaged 39.3 shots during the four-game season series to 24.5 for the Sharks. San Jose's penalty-killers kept Chicago scoreless on 13 power-play chances and scored a shorthanded goal, while the Hawks' PK unit surrendered three goals in 18 power-play chances -- but scored three shorthanded goals of their own."

Brouwer: "For us to beat them in the playoffs we're going to have to beat them here. It gives us a little bit of confidence if we have to face them in the playoffs."

"2. You must protect this house -- Both San Jose and Chicago amassed 62 points at home this season, tied for the third-most in the NHL. But this year, home-ice advantage has meant very little -- just ask the four teams to lose Game 7s at home this postseason or the Canucks, who had the best home record this year and lost three times at GM Place in the second round. The Sharks, 5-1 at home in the playoffs, have to defend HP Pavilion, the toughest place in the NHL to play according to a poll in Sports Illustrated. If the Blackhawks continue to be road warriors -- they are 5-1 in the postseason -- it could be trouble for the Sharks."

Niemi: ''They have a really strong offense and really skilled players. We're just going to focus on our checking in our own end and playing defense. That's the way to start. They're going to be shooting a lot -- good guys that shoot, too -- and they're going to go to the net hard. Their power play is going to be a really big challenge. They have many different [things] going on. It's going to be hard for us.''

Niemi: ''These guys go more to the net and don't try to create too many fancy plays. I feel really confident now [after defeating the Predators and Canucks]. I think I've been growing all the time in the postseason, too. I feel really good.''

"That man is Troy Brouwer. Yes, Captain Serious, Jonathan Toews, is a good role model but we need one with personality!"

"Troy Brouwer is a young man, who at 24, is a living saint. He sneezes out rainbows and rides a unicorn to practice."

-Kane and Toews Press Conference:

LETS GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

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