Hawks enjoy watching while waiting

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks will be tuned into Game 7 between the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night like most NHL diehard fans.

They’ll just be doing so a little more closely.

Sunday’s result will decide which team the Blackhawks play in their Western Conference semifinal. If the Red Wings win, they will face the Blackhawks. If the Ducks win, the Hawks will meet the San Jose Sharks.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he doesn’t care who his team plays, but he has enjoyed watching it all play out.

“Do I have a rooting interest? No,” Quenneville said after Saturday’s practice. “I just look forward to watching the game. [Friday] night’s games, those are great games to watch. Some very intense moments, some unbelievable games.

“Sometimes you watch from an entertainment type of thing. At the same time, when you get down to the nitty gritty of it, you watch it from the technical aspect, from a team aspect.”

Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw also said he simply enjoys sitting back and taking in games at this time of year.

“It’s just fun to watch playoff hockey,” Shaw said. “I always loved growing up watching with my family. I would watch just how intense it gets out there. I don’t really root for anyone. It doesn’t matter who we play. We got to better ourselves, better our game, move forward.”

The Blackhawks had success against both the Red Wings and Sharks during the regular season. The Blackhawks won all four games against the Red Wings and all three games against the Sharks.

Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp thinks it's important for him and his teammates not to care who they play in the next round.

“I don’t think it matters,” Sharp said. “As soon you start picking teams who you want to play, you get yourself in trouble. That means you’re not ready yourself to play. We’ve had our battles against both teams in the past. Both teams we could face are playing, in my opinion, their best hockey right now. It’s going to be tough any way you look at it.

“I dislike both teams equally. No matter who we play it’s going to be an intense series. Both teams skate well. They’re physical. They’re well-coached. It’s going to be a battle. Hopefully we can use this time off to heal up, to get focused and then play our best hockey.”