Canucks-Hawks skates: What we're hearing

May, 3, 2010

CHICAGO -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is notorious for his quick trigger-finger when it comes to changing forward lines after a loss. But they were the same as Game 1, at least at Monday morning's pregame skate.

"We'll see, we could make some changes," he said after the session.

Quenneville chose not to practice his players Sunday, so it was all hands on deck at the morning skate.

"I like the approach today, a very businesslike skate this morning," said the Hawks coach. "The focus is in the right areas and the guys have always responded to challenges."

Quenneville addressed his players late in the practice. A pep talk?

"He does that every day, nothing really new," said Hawks star Patrick Kane. "Just talked about the game tonight and make sure we come prepared and get this building going. That's what we want to do."

Getting to Luongo

The motto in the Hawks' dressing room going into Game 2 is Roberto Luongo's life must get miserable ... as in, let's bump the guy a little more.

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault has heard the talk, but knows the officials will be on top of it, as they have been all season.

"I think the refereeing has been fine throughout the season and the playoffs," said Vigneault. "There was an emphasis made on that prior to the season, that they were going to do the best they could to protect the goaltenders and we expect that to continue. Obviously, we have to do a good job in front of Roberto so that he can see the shots. Usually what he can see, he stops."

Got to have Hart

Let's be honest, Henrik Sedin would have never received a Hart Trophy nomination if it wasn't for brother Daniel getting injured early in the season and allowing his brother the chance to prove he can produce alone.

"Yeah, which is strange because [Nicklas] Backstrom in Washington, it's not the same questions [from the media] even though he has the same amount of points [as Alex Ovechkin]," Henrik said Monday. "That's the way it is. We're twins and we're treated that way. There are both pluses and minuses to it."

The fact people keep asking Henrik how he was able to produce without his brother has obviously touched a nerve.

"That wouldn't be a question if we weren't twins. If [Jonathan] Toews was out, I don't think you're asking Kane those questions."

You know what? That's a pretty good point by Sedin.

Samuelsson keeping tabs

Former Red Wings player Mikael Samuelsson is keeping a close eye on his former team. We asked him if he was surprised Detroit was down 2-0 to San Jose.

"They had a couple of bad breaks, I would say, with penalties and stuff like that," Samuelsson said Monday. "That can happen. But I think they will give the Sharks a good series."

Samuelsson said he likes to watch as much playoff hockey as possible, not just Detroit.

"It's always good to watch other teams. If we succeed here, you have to play those guys [San Jose or Detroit]. But I always watch other games. I like it. It's relaxing, actually, on a day off like yesterday."

Four lines

The Canucks, for the most part, rolled three forward lines in the first round against Los Angeles, but that's going to be a dangerous play in this series with the Blackhawks, who spread it out pretty evenly over four lines. The danger for Vancouver is seeing its top three lines fatigued by the end of the series.

"Because of [Chicago's] skill set and because of their tempo and their transition, we have to play four lines," said Vigneault. "They're such a high-paced team that if you want to follow that pace, you got to roll your six D'ss and roll your four lines, and we were able to do that fairly well in the first game and hopefully we'll be able to do that again tonight."

The UC crowd

There are few better crowds in hockey than at the United Center, and the Blackhawks hope to use that energy this time around tonight.

"You have to take advantage of the crowd and the enthusiasm, and at the same time, we have to be smart how we play," said Quenneville. "But we're looking for an energized start tonight."

Thing is, the Canucks' players get a kick out of the national anthem, as well.

"You have to treat it as yourself getting pumped up, too. It's a great crowd to play in front of," Henrik Sedin said. "The national anthem is great a feeling to be out there. That's the way you have to treat it; you can't let it bother you."

Added Canucks forward Kyle Wellwood regarding the anthem: "Certainly gets your blood flowing. I'm not American, but whenever the crowd gets going like that, you definitely feel an extra surge of energy, a buzz."

Pierre LeBrun

ESPN Senior Writer



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