Blackhawks get their cuts in at Wrigley

CHICAGO -- It took a few days but the Chicago Blackhawks came out of hibernation to take some batting practice at Wrigley Field after their crushing Game 7 overtime defeat to the Los Angeles Kings last Sunday in the Western Conference Finals.

Patrick Sharp, Bryan Bickell, Michael Handzus and Sheldon Brookbank shagged fly balls during batting practice and took some swings themselves before the Cubs played the Miami Marlins on Friday.

"Hit a couple to the warning track," Sharp said. "Thought I could hit one out, wind must be blowing in."

The Hawks know they've raised the bar in the city -- something the Cubs are trying to do -- and getting to a conference final is no longer good enough. They're fine with those kinds of high expectations. Now they just have to keep meeting them.

"Mentally you're pretty down," Bickell said. "You want to go to the finals and win the Cup again."

Initially Sharp wasn't sure if he'd watch the finals between the Kings and New York Rangers, but he didn't miss Game 1 on Wednesday.

"It was tough to watch," he said. "It's painful to watch, but I love the game and I'll be watching for sure."

Sharp reiterated his intention to keep quiet about any injuries.

"I said at the end of the season everyone has something going on at this time of year," he said. "To bring that kind of stuff up sounds like I'm making excuses."

So for now the Hawks will lick their wounds coming off a long season, but they vow to return and finish business as they did in 2010 and 2013.

"For the team we had, we were expecting to win this year," Bickell said. "We just fell short against those Kings."