<
>

Blackhawks bring the drama

5/5/2010

Maybe this is how the Blackhawks like to do it.

With drama. And plenty of it.

For the second time in the 2010 playoffs, it took a third-period short-handed goal at home to give the Chicago Blackhawks a chance at a win. And for the second time they delivered, earning a 4-2 win to even their series with the Vancouver Canucks, 1-1.

“We’ve managed to respond after tough games all playoffs and all season long, really,” said Patrick Sharp, whose shorty tied the game. “Anytime you can have a big win like this -- at home with the energy in the building -- hopefully it can carry over.”

The Hawks weren’t just responding to Game 1, they needed a response to the first five minutes of Game 2. Late-arriving fans were lucky to miss an awful start that found the Hawks down 2-0 and outshot 10-1.

“We had a day and a half to regroup after Game 1, to think about what we wanted to do better,” Sharp said. “It looks like whatever we were doing didn’t work. I think we got a little too fired up early but figured it out halfway through [the first period].”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said they were “scrambling” in those opening minutes but were able to settle down and find their pace. But why did it have to come so late?

“When there’s more pressure I guess we respond and realize what has to be done,” Jonathan Toews said, more as a question than a statement.

The last two postseasons would attest to that. Numerous times the Hawks have needed wake-up calls to find their groove. Against Nashville they trailed in the series 1-0 and 2-1, and were 14 seconds away from trailing 3-1 before they found it. Against Vancouver, it took a game and five minutes before the momentum slowly came back their way.

“It’s certainly not the way we want to approach it, always fighting from behind,” Quenneville said. “It’s not the recipe for success. But you also like the character we do have, that the fight will always be there.”

And therein lies the Catch-22. Does a team with fight and character continuously need wake-up calls? Apparently they do. The beauty is they keep responding.

“We’ve come back this year from some deficits,” Brent Seabrook said. “We know we can score goals and we’re not out of any game. The mindset was to keep working.”

There is a certain confidence to it that borders on cockiness. A team that knows it’s good and knows when it needs its best. If nothing else, there will always be the drama. Lots of it.