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Blackhawks need stars to align quickly

4/15/2014

CHICAGO -- It's playoff time, Chicago. Do you know where your superstars are?

Why, there they are at Johnny's IceHouse West, the newish practice facility hard by a railroad line, due west of the United Center and the sprawl of the West Side renovation.

For the people who fetishize "Chicago toughness," Johnny's sits in such a stretch of Madison St., a veritable hockey factory in factory country.

Along with a couple of teammates, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane punched the clock on Monday afternoon, attempting to sharpen more than their skates with no time to lose.

Their playoffs begin Thursday in St. Louis. The Blues are a reeling team meeting a first-round underdog, if only by seed, that just happens to be the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Two rivals that have provided plenty of regular-season intrigue, it should be a doozy of a first-round series.

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