Hawks abuzz over Wings' early exit

May, 9, 2010

CHICAGO -- There was quite the buzz in the Blackhawks' dressing room Sunday morning revolving around Detroit's second-round departure in the playoffs.

Somehow, the boys from Chicago always figured they'd have to eventually get past Detroit if they wanted to reach the Stanley Cup finals.

Not so.

"I just thought it was kind of a destiny thing that we would eventually play them again," Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said after Sunday's morning skate. "I mean, we've still got lots of work left here, starting with a big game tonight. This series is far from over. But it's weird to see the Wings go down. I think [Sharks coach Todd] McLellan said it best, it's not necessarily a changing of the guard yet. But it's exciting to see someone else have some success."

Andrew Ladd said he's got tremendous respect for the Wings' accomplishments, but "I'm not going to say it's sad to see them lose," he said with a smile.

Ladd said the Sharks, in his mind, have brought their game to another level they haven't been in the past.

"I don't know if it's a surprise, everyone always knew they had the talent to do it," said Ladd. "They just needed to take that next step and watching last night, I think they've done that."

Playoff hair

As we were standing around talking to Toews on Sunday morning, we couldn't help but notice a unique beard that's filling out on the bottom of his chin from ear to ear, but not above. It's some sort of underneath beard.

"The Wolverine," Toews clarified, referencing the Marvel comic character.

"It's better than last year, that's for sure," fellow star linemate Patrick Kane said of Toews' facial hair. "Last year, he just had the [lamb] chops."

Toews said it beat that trashy mullet sported by Kane.

"He's jealous," Kane said, looking over at Toews and shaking his head. "That's like [Kris] Versteeg. He had his beard and he saw my mullet, so he wanted more attention and started putting 'Just For Men' in his beard. He still can't get any attention, so he's mad at me, too."

So, just how does a young man like Kane go into a hair dressers' shop and ask for an '80s-style mullet?

"I asked him for the Billy Ray Cyrus with a touch of Vanilla Ice on the sides," laughed Kane. "I might grow it into a full-blown [Jaromir] Jagr."

Pierre LeBrun

ESPN Senior Writer



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