Morning Skate: Sutter’s thoughts before Game 4

Q. You say you want to treat every game like an elimination game. How do you create that mindset?

SUTTER: I think we probably do it in the preparation in terms of day before, putting emphasis on every shift. Keeps them in the moment instead of looking at series or anything that’s not to do with the game.

Q. The Blackhawks have scored first these last three games. Does that concern you?

SUTTER: It doesn’t really concern us. If that was the only concern, was who scored the first goal, then the game would be over. It’s not something you dwell on. Obviously you’re trying to score the first goal. We’re a team that we’ve had really good starts in this building, so we’ll try to do that again.

Q. When Toffoli and Pearson were drafted, the knock on those guys at that time was they needed to work on their speed. What have you noticed in terms of what they’ve done and developed in that area?

SUTTER: Actually I’ve never seen that as a problem. You’re probably getting that from outside. I’ve never seen that as a problem. Tyler has been an elevated player if you look at it. In juniors, penalty kill and power play, all that, there was never a skating issue. In fact, he was a big-time scorer all the way. I don’t think the problem was skating with Tanner either. He wasn’t drafted till he was 19. There was probably a catch-up stage somewhere in there for him I would bet. I haven’t seen that since they turned pro. Tyler went from being a big scorer in juniors to being the Rookie of the Year in the American League. Tanner scored 20 something last year as a first-year guy. Quite honestly, I haven’t seen that. I think, again, it goes back to something that was asked yesterday. I think strength and training would be more of an issue for those guys probably than skating would have been.

Q. Even if the Kopitar line didn’t get the puck in the back of the net in Game 3, did you like what they were doing?

SUTTER: They didn’t in Game 1 or 2 either.

Q. Did you like the situations they were developing?

SUTTER: Played a lot of minutes. If it’s just based on scoring, then we’re going a to have to win 7-6. That’s not the way it works. If Kopi can do a good job against Toews, it gives us a chance.

Q. You have shut down Patrick Kane and Bickell. They haven’t scored this series.

SUTTER: Kane is a scary guy. We talk about it all the time. You know what, the more you play him, the more you know it’s coming somewhere. We’re very familiar with him and we’re very respectful of what he brings to the team. You could say he’s been kept off. We’ve done a good job against him. He’s had some brilliant opportunities. Those guys like that, they only need those one or two. We have to be even more aware of him. As much as it’s a Kopitar/Toews thing, we really have to pay attention to him. Those guys, when they play together, they’re special players. We got our hands full, Kane and Sharp. We know that.

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