Last hour we posted comments from a few Blackhawks players talking about Dustin Penner and the Kings. Now, here’s Chicago captain Jonathan Toews with some thoughts in advance of tonight’s Game 2 with the LA Kings…
Q. With Bryan Bickell playing with you and Hossa, looked like it went well for you?
“Yeah, we played games together against Detroit, too. He’s a big body and he knows where to go. He creates space. Made a nice play on Hossa’s goal. I think we’re working well right now. We kind of have the physical element with him running around and hitting guys. The three of us together, we’re getting some good scoring chances, as well.”
Q. What are you expecting from the Kings tonight? Talk about not having a day between games.
“It’s the same thing for both teams. The way Detroit came back in the last round, we know L.A. is going to do the same and they’re going to be much better than they were last night. We’ll be ready for that.”
Q. Back to Bryan Bickell, he says the biggest improvement he’s made in his game has been his consistency. What else have you noticed in his maturation?
“I think that’s certainly a huge part. I think just the way he thinks the game, he makes smart plays, he keeps things simple when he has to I think he realizes more and more. He’s got the confidence as a player to make some moves, make some nice passes. But more and more he’s understanding, especially in these playoffs, there’s some situations where less is more. You just have to keep it simple, get the puck deep. His work ethic is there every single night. You’re seeing with the ability he has, the physical presence that he has, a lot of ways that he’s noticeable as a player out there. He scored some big goals for us, laid some big hits. He’s contributing in a lot of little ways as well.”
Q. Why have you been successful in back-to-backs and how is this different?
“I don’t know. I think we’re just happy that we’re going to get into more of a routine in this series, we’re going to be playing more often. I’m sure they want to bounce back and be better than they were last night. I think we have room for improvement off of Game 1, as well. We’re excited to have a chance to get right back into it. Again, to make any comparisons to the regular season never really means a whole lot to us. We have to be ready to work and be better tonight.”
Q. You talk about the difference between Game 1 and 2 of the Detroit series. Do you think a team learns from past experiences?
“Like I said, a lot of it has to do with the other team improving their play. We got to know that having these first two games at home is an advantage. We have to use that. I think we played pretty good. We did some good things as a team last night. But we have to build off of it. We have to not be satisfied with being up 1-0. We want to keep control of the series. These home games are huge. We didn’t really do that in the last series. We kind of put ourselves in a tough spot. That’s something we can learn from.”
Q. Do you expect things to get nastier quicker?
“For sure. We know it’s going to be a physical series. That’s what we expect from them. They’re a team that wants to win. They’re willing to do whatever it takes. We have to be the same way. For the most part we want to be smart and stay out of the stuff after the whistle. That gets nothing done for us. We’ll continue doing that.”
Q. On that note, that hit late in the game [ed. note: including an alleged elbow to the throat], because it was so late by Dustin Brown, any other effects? Did you have any issues with that hit on you?
“I don’t really know how late it was.”
Q. Final minute.
“Yeah, yeah, but we know that he’s going to be looking for stuff like that. Just got to be aware of it. I think they were maybe a little frustrated we were moving the puck around the outside without even two minutes left to go in the game, just trying to kill time on the power-play. I kind of expect him to do something like that. We have to be aware of what they’re going to try and be physical on us.”
Q. You played with Doughty and Richards at the Olympics. Did you gain any knowledge now that you’re playing them in a playoff series?
“You know they’re competitors, there’s a reason why they’re leaders on their team. They’re a huge reason they’ve been successful this year in the playoffs. Obviously winning a Stanley Cup last year. There’s no coincidence there. They’re guys that want to win. They’re not going to be ripping up the stat sheet all year during the regular season. When it’s time to play those gritty, hard-nosed games in the playoffs, they’re there every single night. Those are guys you have to find a way to out-compete.”
Q. Hossa had the goal on the deflection. How good is he at that particular move?
“Not a whole lot he can’t do. He went to the front of the net, got his stick on one just like that. He can make things happen. Great shot by Dunks. Hossa’s stick is on the ice, you give him the puck, you never know what he can do with it. He’ll always come up with something. He goes to the front of the net, big body. Goalie can’t see it. He’s got a great stick. It’s going to go in.”
For additional pre-game comments from the Blackhawks, click here. You can also find lots of content from late yesterday at the links below.
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please include a link to www.MayorsManor.com