Hawks notebook: Red Wings deserve credit

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp doesn't believe it's fair to pin Saturday’s 4-1 loss in Game 2 all on what he and his teammates didn’t do in it.

He thinks the Red Wings also deserved recognition for what they did do.

“I just think it’s a good team over there,” Sharp said after Sunday’s practice. “They don’t get the credit they deserve, probably because they were the seventh seed. It’s two playoff teams going at it.

“Regards to what they did [in Saturday’s win,] they played at a higher pace, they played at a higher compete level and executed better than us. If we’re going to win this series and Game 3, we’re going to have to raise our level. ... If anyone thought anyone was going to cruise through this series, they were wrong. Just look at the talent they have over there and how well they play their team game. We know it’s going to be a great series.”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville thinks his team is giving the Red Wings the proper amount of respect, but wants to see them focus on improving their own game to regain the series momentum.

“I’m not worried about them,” Quenneville said. “I know we have a lot of respect for what they’re capable of. They just beat a very good Anaheim team. We know how good they can be. But we know we have to be better. If you advance in the playoffs, you have to earn everything you get here. Forget about what was accomplished before; we have to accomplish everything on our own here.”

Tougher on Detroit: The Blackhawks are planning to make the game more difficult on the Red Wings’ top players in Game 3 just like Detroit did to them in Game 2.

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews expressed a frustration in how the Red Wings handled him in Game 2.

“We can’t give them any space,” Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland said. “When you give [Pavel] Datsyuk, [Henrik] Zetterberg, [Johan] Franzen and all those guys space, they’re going to do something with it. They’re great players obviously. They’re some of the top players in the world.

“If you give them an advantage of not getting hit, not being around them and laying the body or doing something, they’re going to be creative. I think you’ve seen that last game with what happened.”

Cleaner neutral zone: Quenneville pointed to the neutral zone, where he feels his team struggled the most in its offensive game in Saturday’s loss.

“The neutral zone, we talk about predictability and expectations out there, and I think we got slowed down in that area,” Quenneville said. “I thought the neutral zone was where we were too sloppy.

“The predictability wasn’t in place. We got stalled making extra plays. You know they cut off dumps and they broke up plays. I think getting a cleaner neutral zone, I think everybody would like to have.”

Trust in Crawford: Quenneville quickly dismissed any talk of a goalie controversy Sunday when he was asked whether he would consider using Ray Emery going forward over Corey Crawford.

“We’re fine with Corey right now,” Quenneville said. “I like the way he’s played. He’s played very strong for us all year. Excellent first round and real good start to the series.”

Crawford is 5-2 with a 1.64 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in the playoffs this season.