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posted: 3/24/2012 9:56 PM

Hawks' Kane will be amped up

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  • Patrick Kane, here checking Washington's Troy Brouwer, didn't like the negative comments that came from Nashville coach Barry Trotz after the Hawks played the Predators last month.

      Patrick Kane, here checking Washington's Troy Brouwer, didn't like the negative comments that came from Nashville coach Barry Trotz after the Hawks played the Predators last month.
    Associated Press

 
 

Neither Joel Quenneville nor Patrick Kane will soon forget that mid-February night in Music City.

The Blackhawks, in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, were playing well against Nashville, tied 2-2 in the third. Then, midway through the period, a failed clearing attempt led to a blast from the point by rookie Ryan Ellis, and just like that the streak had reached nine.

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"It was a brutal loss," Quenneville said. "I thought that game, you lose nine in a row -- to give up that type of goal at that time of the game ... I think it was the only (scoring) chance they had in the third period.

"Eventually things had to change and eventually they did, but you didn't know it at the time. It was an excruciating loss, one of those kinds where you're sitting there thinking, 'Oh my God, hopefully this is the end of it.'"

It was.

The Hawks followed up by winning four straight, and after a couple of starts and stops, have been rolling of late, heading into Sunday's rematch with the Preds sporting an 9-1-1 mark in their last 11 games.

But for Kane, there's a little revenge yet to be had.

That's because a few days after that loss in Nashville, Preds coach Barry Trotz told reporters he thought a big part of the Hawks' struggles was the fact that their forwards were "cheating" too much in order to create offense and not playing a complete 200-foot game.

"Kane had no speed, and thank God because when he gets rolling he's hard to stop," Trotz said at the time. "I was actually happy that he was cheating (against us). Marian Hossa was the one guy who was sort of playing a complete game and he ended up being the most dangerous guy all night.

"And (Jonathan Toews) was the real deal. He was really trying to will that team that night. Some of the other guys were cheating too much -- trying to do the right thing, but doing the wrong thing, if you know what I mean."

Kane wasn't digging it.

At all.

"It can be motivation for sure," Kane said following practice Saturday at Johnny's Ice House. "You hear those things and I think ever since an article like that came out, our team has turned it around big time.

"When it first comes out, you're taken aback by it a little bit because of the success we've had as a team the couple of years and how successful Joel's been as a coach. It was almost like he was telling us how to play the game.

"Hopefully we'll prove him wrong tomorrow and show him his words weren't true."

mspellman@dailyherald.com

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