Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Hawks waiting on second-round opponent
By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks could be home in Game 1 of the second round. They could be on the road.
They could be playing the Minnesota Wild where open ice will be harder to come by, or they could be playing against the Colorado Avalanche where the game’s pace will be much faster.
The Blackhawks were still dealing with a lot of unknowns when they returned to practice on Wednesday after taking two days off following their first-round series against the St. Louis Blues.
The Blackhawks will learn their second-round opponent after the Wild and Avalanche decide their series in Game 7 on Wednesday night.
"It's going to be intense," Quenneville said of playing either team. “If it's Minnesota, not a lot of room. Colorado, you know, they've got a great attack. So, there's a little different with any team you play. It's more so how we play that we focus on and we make some adaptations to what the opponents are going to do."
The Blackhawks went 2-3-0 against the Wild in the regular season and 1-3-1 against the Avalanche. The Avalanche would have home-ice advantage over the Blackhawks, and the Blackhawks would have it over the Wild.
If the Blackhawks had a preference for one of the two teams, they weren’t revealing it to the media.
“No, they’re both great teams,” Blackhawks forward Michal Handzus said. “Just let it play out and we’re going to get what we’re going to get.
“Colorado is great offensively. They have a lot of skill guys, a lot of speed. ... Minnesota has more of a team game. They play with more structure and more defensively. Both great teams. We have to be better than we were in the first round, for sure.”
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford thought having two days off was good for the team.
“It’s nice to rest,” Crawford said. “The most important thing is the mental break. We can’t control that. It’s just a matter of controlling what you can. We had two days of rest, so we did that and now we’re getting back into a practice and back into the swing of things.”