Proud American Hockey League Affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks

Our Town Or Team
Buy Tickets

IceHogs News

Hawks' Goal: Slow Down Red Wings

From (link)

A day after losing Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, the Chicago Blackhawks were back at work, now focusing on gaining a split of the opening games here at Joe Louis Arena.

The players also had another chance to analyze the video of what they did right and wrong in Game 1 Sunday afternoon and try to remedy the mistakes.

"They certainly have a lot of speed through the neutral zone and they always seem to be attacking with speed," center Patrick Sharp said. "We need to put our heads together and try to find a way to slow them up through the neutral zone. It seems like whenever they get rid of the puck they're putting it in position to get it back. They're a veteran team, lots of experience -- they know how to play well. It's going to take a big effort to beat them."

Part that effort includes hanging onto the puck longer and playing their style, rather than getting sucked into playing the way Detroit wants them to.

"The Wings are a fun team to watch," Sharp said. "They have such success with the way they play that maybe we changed our style of play throughout the game. (Sunday) I don't think we were skating as well as we could have and we got off our game plan. That's something we'll talk about and try to get better at for Game 2."

"I think we were trying to force things," added defenseman Brent Seabrook. "I think we were trying to force things from our own game. We're a young team and sometimes we get away from our game plan a little bit and we can't do that, especially now and especially against a team like Detroit. They're highly offensive and they feed off that stuff. We have to definitely shore that up and stick to our game plan."

Seabrook moving forward -- Brent Seabrook had a Game 1 he'd like to forget. While he had an assist on Kris Versteeg's goal early in the second that tied the game, 2-2, he also fumbled the puck at the Detroit blue line that led to Dan Cleary's breakaway goal in the first period, he took a hooking penalty that nearly led to another Detroit goal, and he collided with partner Duncan Keith early in the second in his own zone, which resulted in another Detroit chance. For the game, he was a minus-2 and was on the ice for three of Detroit's five goals.

"You try to forget about that one as quickly as you can," Seabrook said. "(Sunday) night I fought it a couple times. Bouncing pucks … you have to forget about it quick and move on."

Seabrook and Keith has been Chicago's top pairing all season, but collectively they were a minus-4 and each committed a penalty. Coach Joel Quenneville said he expects more out of the pair, especially Seabrook.

"That pair has been very effective for us all year, him and Dunks," said Quenneville. "They really work well together. We expect them to be a key force for us going forward. They get the top matchup. We're going to rely upon them as we go into each and every game. We expect them to do the job."

What we learned from Game 1 --
This year's Western Conference Finals is the third straight year the Red Wings have made the League's semifinal round -- been there, done that.

For the Blackhawks, one of the younger teams in the League, this is uncharted territory. It's the first time the team has been here since 1995.

It's a whole new experience, something the players learned the hard way in their 5-2 loss in Game 1.

"It's different from the first two (rounds)," defenseman Brent Seabrook said. "The intensity is up; everything is stepped up another level. It's the four best teams in the playoffs. It's hard to describe, just can't find the words to do it. It's definitely a different thing. Everybody is out there at the top of their game, at the top of their level. It's a fun game but at the same time it's one of those ones that you're worried about making mistakes sometimes and you can't do that."

Patrick Kane said the entire playoff run has been a learning experience, and this series will be another part of that.

"It's obviously a step up," he said. "You can go from regular season to playoffs to the second round to Game 5 of the second round to Game 6, and here you are playing the Wings in the conference final. It's a dream come true but it's a challenge at times. For me and Jonathan and lot of younger guys in here, it's a good thing, too, because you want to present yourself as learning and taking your experience from this type of situation. It's a fun situation, you want to be in it."

Kris Versteeg said it's great that his team has gotten this far, but he'll worry about that in the summer.

"You can't really get caught up in the moment," the Calder Trophy finalist told "It's more something you'll look back on after the season and be proud of the accomplishment of where you're at. Right now we're in the conference finals and the only thing we're thinking about is winning. We're not satisfied by being here. We have a lot of work to do and we have a long road ahead of us."

Author: Adam Kimelman | Staff Writer

Search Archive »

Browse by Month »

January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010

December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
December 0200