Hawks turning to 2011 playoff experience

Jonathan Toews and the Hawks are drawing on their experience from erasing a 3-0 deficit against the Canucks in 2011. Rich Lam/Getty Images

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks don't have to look too far back to recall a time they faced an uphill battle in a playoff series like they are now.

In 2011, the Blackhawks dropped their first three games to the Vancouver Canucks in a Western Conference quarterfinal series. The Blackhawks rallied to win the next three games and ultimately fell in the series when they lost 2-1 in overtime in Game 7.

Now down 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings in their Western Conference semifinal series, the Blackhawks said Friday they hope to draw from that 2011 experience to assist them this season.

"Everybody's counting us out now except for us in here," Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said. "That's the only thing you can really do is look back at past experiences and go from there. There are a few guys in this room who have come back from 3-0 and given them a chance to win and stuff like that. We look back at the Vancouver series and being down 3-0. We gave ourselves a chance and a hard fought game in Game 7 and just missed out by one goal."

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews believes having been in a similar situation gives them confidence that it can be done.

"It just goes to show things like that are possible," Toews said. "We were very, very close to winning that series. I'm sure Detroit knows, and we know that this series is long from being over. [Saturday] night is going to be the toughest game for both teams. We can keep that in our hip pocket."

Seabrook and Toews said it is vital for the Blackhawks to take the series one game at a time. That's how they handled their 2011 deficit. After dropping the first three games, the Blackhawks won 7-2 in Game 4, 5-0 in Game 5 and 4-3 in overtime in Game 6.

"We're just focusing on the game [Saturday,]" Seabrook said. "The guys came in [Friday]; I think we're being as upbeat as we can be. We just try to focus on [Saturday's] game and we talked about past experiences and what we can do as a group. We've just got to come out with a strong start."

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was also around for the 2011 and knows what one win can do to a series.

"Things happen," Quenneville said. "Momentum, we talk about how important it is come playoff time. They've obviously got it right now. One game can turn everything around. I think that's what we're looking for. The big picture looks bleak, but at the same time we've got two home games here and one at a time. And getting off to a big start is what we're looking for and simplify it and going shift by shift."