Hawks relaxed heading into key Game 4

May, 23, 2013
5/23/13
1:35
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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DETROIT -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews walked up to teammate Patrick Kane and NBC color commentator Eddie Olczyk while they were talking in the locker room following Thursday's morning skate.

Toews stepped in between the two of them and said, “No more interviews," and all three broke out into laughter.

The interaction was reflective of the mood of the Blackhawks entering Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. While the Blackhawks understand what's at stake being down 2-1 in the series, they've stayed away from putting too much pressure on themselves.

“I think it's pretty light in here," Kane said after the skate at Joe Louis Arena. “Everyone is excited about the game obviously, but still no difference than any other day in here, which I think is good. I think we're ready to play. Just watching us in pregame skate, seeing everyone out here just thinking and worrying about hockey. It's a good sign. Not too much has changed, but definitely a sense of urgency."

Kane admitted he considered the Blackhawks' current situation their first real adversity of the season, but he also didn't think that was a bad thing.

“I think a lot of people have said [this is our first adversity] the past few days," Kane said. “We all know that. But still think the mood is pretty good in here. We're excited about the game tonight and excited about proving what this group can do. It seems like maybe some people are counting us out right now, but I still think we have a great team that can come back in the series. It's exciting for us to even have the chance to be able to prove that."

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville also made reference to his team being in an unfamiliar spot. But like Kane, Quenneville has liked how his team has responded in recent days.

“We know we haven't been in this position all year," Quenneville said. “I think we've quietly gone about our business, and I think we've gotten our attention over the last couple of games. I think the focus is got to be in the right place. We're looking to play our best game of the year tonight, and we're going to need it."

Kane thought it was important Thursday not to get too wrapped up in the big picture.

“I don't think you can worry too much about making it 2-2 or being 3-1," Kane said. “I think we got to go out, play the game, play like we want to win, play like we did in the third period the other night. Just worry about the game in itself, don't worry about what the score is going to be afterwards. Worry about the process, more than the end result."
Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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