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Friday, January 18, 2013
Hawks hope Kings' ceremony will be motivation

By Scott Powers



EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane can remember the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup championship banner ceremony as if it were yesterday.

It's a memory Kane will forever have, but it's not the only one of that kind he hopes for in his career.

On Saturday, Kane and the Blackhawks will experience another team raising its Stanley Cup banner as the Los Angeles Kings will celebrate their 2011-2012 championship before facing the Blackhawks in the season opener. Kane said Friday he hoped watching the ceremony would be an added push for the Blackhawks as they target another Stanley Cup this season.

"It's going to be weird to be seeing another team do it," Kane said after Friday’s practice at the Toyota Sports Center. "It's definitely going to be a motivation factor because you saw how successful they were and the way they played in the playoffs. They were a pretty dominant team. We feel like if we can get off to a strong start against a team like that we can get some confidence going forward with the season.

"It's going to be an intense game to start with especially with what they have going on tomorrow with the banner raising. We went through that once before. It seems like we want to get that feeling back in here."

Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa was easily able to recall the Blackhawks' ceremony that took place Oct. 9, 2010.

"It was huge obviously, bringing back that memory," Hossa said. "The whole crowd was into it. The film on the JumboTron, just great memories of it."

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville remembered it similarly.

"It was a great moment," Quenneville said. "The crowd couldn't have been more perfect. It was a great night. It's something you'll always remember. You get the parade and you got that moment there, signature moments."

What also occurred on that day was the Detroit Red Wings ruining the Blackhawks' celebration by defeating them 3-2 at the United Center.

"As soon as the puck drops, we tried to be ready, but all of the emotions, everything went a little bit into it," Hossa said of the loss.

The Blackhawks wouldn't mind playing the spoilers this time. In the past 10 years, Stanley Cup champions have gone 4-5-1 in their season opener the following year.

"Maybe it gives you a little extra [motivation]," Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford said of seeing the Kings raise their banner. "Right off the bat, you want to win. You want to be that team at the end. It's a little bit harder when you see someone else raising that at the beginning of the year."