“It was all attitude,” Quenneville said before boarding the team plane back to Vancouver Wednesday. “That’s the game. You’re down in a spot [three games to none]. You can measure your team. Are they going to go away quietly or are they going to come and play and compete for one another? They showed they battled for each other.”
And the emerging storyline from Tuesday night -- even more so than Dave Bolland’s dramatic return -- involved playing for a teammate who couldn’t. The Hawks wanted to let Brent Seabrook know they had his back.
Seabrook might be the toughest player in the dressing room. When Canucks’ forward Raffi Torres got off scot-free for his head shot on him in Game 3, it got the Hawks mad. And when the Hawks play mad they don’t do it with their fists, they do it with their style.
“We definitely are going to gather behind that and try to put something [together] for it, especially for Seabrook,” Patrick Kane said Wednesday. “You don’t see the guy get suspended, that’s a tough one to swallow.”
So ironically, thank the league for igniting the Hawks. For whatever reason they needed something to rally behind. Seabrook’s absence and Torres’ presence, was it.
Is it a series?
The Hawks won’t say that they are back in the series just yet publicly -- and it doesn't sound like they believe it privately. A win in Game 5 might change that though.
“If you win the next one you feel a lot stronger about yourselves and then you can bring it back home,” Brian Campbell said.
And the Hawks are playing the pressure card again. It didn’t quite work coming out of the regular season, claiming it was all on the Canucks. Vancouver promptly won the first three games.
“There’s still really no pressure on us,” Kane said. “The way we played put some confidence in our minds. If we play like this good things can happen.”
“If” is the key word. In the first three games of the series the Hawks played just well enough to come up short. They’ll need more of that Game 4 attitude to stay alive.
“The odds are definitely stacked against us [but] we’re playing loose, we’re playing to have fun out there,” Patrick Sharp said. “We’re playing for each other, that’s what makes it fun.”
If the players aren’t claiming it’s a series yet, there is no way Quenneville would make that proclamation. If ever there was a one game at a time mantra being used, now is it.
“We have some momentum on our side which is a good thing, it took a while to get it,” Quenneville said. “We really put ourselves in a tough spot.”
Give the Hawks credit for being realists. They wouldn’t bite when asked if they were squarely back in the Canucks’ heads.
“They’re probably the ones laughing right now because they’re still up 3-1,” Kane said with a smile.
So it’s nearly unanimous, one more win and the series becomes interesting. Until then, Tuesday was just a nice victory.