Monday, April 23, 2012
Hawks look to maintain pressure on Smith
By Jesse Rogers
Patience yields to pressure for the Blackhawks again in Game 6.
CHICAGO -- The Blackhawks don't want to change much as they head into Game 6 on Monday night.
They beat the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 in Game 5 on Saturday and did it by sending everything they could at goalie Mike Smith. The Hawks attempted 84 shots, 38 got to the goalie and two went in.
Skating and puck handling are not the keys to winning. Shooting is.
"It's a different series," Patrick Kane said after practice Monday morning. "Usually when you get the puck you don't see three guys coming at you. Sometimes that can be good. We can use it to our advantage."
Kane hasn't yet used it to his advantage, at least in the last few games. He had just four shots in Games 4 and 5 after firing off seven in Game 1, to go along with four assists in the first three games.
He didn't disagree with the notion he's been frustrated.
"I'm used to holding onto the puck and being patient with it," he said "Against this team I have to move it quicker."
If there was anyone who had a particular vested interest in the Hawks staving off elimination in Game 5 it was winger Andrew Shaw. Suspended for three games after hitting goalie Mike Smith in the helmet in Game 2, he knew a loss on Saturday would have ended the season without him getting a chance to redeem himself.
"Obviously I'm excited," Shaw said. "Thankful the boys pulled it out. Winning these next two would be huge ... I was more nervous than anyone on the ice, watching every game go to overtime."
Joel Quenneville had a short conversation with Shaw on the ice before the end of practice.
"[He said] glad you're back," Shaw related. "Bring the energy you always bring."
Mayers Out Again
Jamal Mayers will sit out his third consecutive game as a healthy scratch after playing in 81 of 82 regular-season games. He said he has no one to blame but himself.
"It certainly is disappointing," he stated. "Just got to play better. It's not about me it's about the team."
Andrew Shaw will replace Brandon Saad in the lineup for Game 6. Unless there is a last minute change everyone else from Game 5 will suit up, which means Sami Lepisto is the sixth defenseman and Jimmy Hayes will play a second consecutive game, Brendan Morrison a third.
Quenneville wasn't showing his line combinations at practice Monday morning, running them the same as last game which meant Shaw wasn't part of the group. He will be Monday night.