06/01/2010 5:35 PM
- From chicagoblackhawks.com: (link)
CHICAGO -- The Blackhawks carry a seven-game road winning streak into Philadelphia, and you'd have to think that at some point that will get brought up in their dressing room.
|The Blackhawks look to improve on their 2-0 series lead when they visit Philadelphia Wednesday.
You'd be wrong, says defenseman Brian Campbell.
"What does it mean now? It doesn't mean we're going to win Game 3," Campbell said about 30 minutes after the Hawks finished off a 2-1 victory in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at the United Center Monday night. "We're the last guys to talk about (the road streak) before the game or at any time. We never would talk about that and I bet you if it wasn't brought up by you guys most of us, it wouldn't even come into our heads. It's just Game 3 to us."
The Hawks might not want to talk about the streak, but it has to serve as a confidence-booster heading into Wachovia Center, a building that undoubtedly will be as loud and wild (perhaps even louder and wilder) than United Center was for Games 1 and 2.
"It's a good streak, but it doesn't mean much going into Game 3," said Patrick Sharp, who has five of his eight goals away from home. "Philly is a great atmosphere to play in. It's really tough for a road team to go in there and win games, but if we are able to play the way we have on the road we should be OK."
The Hawks haven't lost on the road since a 4-1 drubbing in Game 3 at Nashville in the opening round. That remains their only road loss in these playoffs.
Chicago won twice in Nashville, three times in Vancouver and twice in San Jose by a combined score of 31-13. Jonathan Toews and Dustin Byfuglien had their back-to-back hat tricks in Vancouver. Patrick Kane scored his last goal seven games ago in Vancouver. The seven consecutive road wins in one playoff year tied an NHL record.
There are, however, three major differences in this series against Philadelphia.
For one, the Blackhawks have not yet entered a road building with a 2-0 lead in the series -- so they haven't had to face a home team in what boils down to a must-win Game 3. They were tied with Nashville and Vancouver when the series shifted cities, and they opened the Western Conference Final in San Jose.
The Flyers, you would expect, will be out for vengeance Wednesday (8 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS) in front of their own rabid fans after losing a pair of one-goal games in Chicago.
"We've got to go home, take a look at some things and win a home game," Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said.
Secondly, the Flyers are 7-1 at the Wachovia Center, so clearly they are defending their home ice quite well. They won Game 4 against Boston there, and that might have been their most important win of the entire postseason because they're 8-3 since.
"They won their home games and that is what we have to do; we have to win our home games and we'll come back here and go again," Flyers goalie Michael Leighton said. "We have playing good at home, so hopefully that will give us a boost."
Lastly, this is the Stanley Cup Final. It's just different.
"We've got to go back to what made us so effective in the road trips in San Jose and Vancouver," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "Look to check our way into a very competitive type of team."
The Blackhawks have been in Chicago since May 19, which seems like forever for a team that loves to be together away from the Windy City. They bonded when they were out west, first in Vancouver and then in San Jose, for 10 days.
They went 3-0 and even mixed in a trip to Alcatraz on an off-day. Chicago hasn't lost a game since and even adopted a new ritual of staying in a downtown Chicago hotel on days of home games just so it can preserve a road mentality at United Center.
"It'll be nice to get back on the road and get around the guys a little bit more," Campbell said. "We like being together on the road and we spend a lot of time together. We end up in one area, hang, talk, relax, rest up and get food into us."
But, they won't talk about their road success. At least, that's if you believe Campbell.