Memories from 2010 are certain to flood the minds of the Blackhawks when they watch the Kings raise their Stanley Cup banner from last season to the Staples Center rafters prior to today’s opener (2 p.m., NBC).
The Hawks raised their banner two seasons ago, then went out and lost to Detroit.
“That was amazing,” said Hawks captain Jonathan Toews. “It was a great memory to have the Cup again on the ice. We didn’t have it on the ice in our home building (they won the Cup in Philadelphia), so to have it in front of our fans was a pretty cool thing and to raise that banner was awesome.
“You look up there and to think you were part of that team, whether it’s the Bulls or the Blackhawks, knowing we were one of those teams is a cool thing. Detroit played the spoiler that night and that’s what we’re hoping to do.”
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said it was amazing the way the Kings won the Cup, finishing eighth in the Western Conference then losing just twice en route to the Finals.
“I’m sure it will be a special time for all them,” Quenneville said. “We have some guys here who got to experience it themselves and know how special and magical it can be. But it’s the first game of a season we’ve all anticipated, so once the puck drops we’ll all be thinking about hockey.”
Last season, Duncan Keith finished tied with former teammate Brian Campbell for the league lead in ice time at 26:53.
Joel Quenneville would like to shave at least a few minutes off that total to have his No. 1 defenseman fresh for the playoffs.
“This year we’ll have to keep an eye on that,” Quenneville said. “Let’s see how things go. If we can manage everybody’s ice time on the back end where everybody is absorbing some more minutes and get him down a few minutes a game in some way, shape or form that would be nice.”
Let’s see how long Joel Quenneville keeps his line together today.
So far in training camp he has had Daniel Carcillo at left wing on the first line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa; Dave Bolland centering the second line for Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp; and Andrew Shaw on the third line at center between Viktor Stalberg and Bryan Bickell.
“I think guys like familiarity with one another,” Quenneville said. “The only reason to change lines is because we don’t like the way it’s working. Being productive and having some success, I think we’ll be status quo for a long time. You make alterations based on performance and results and sometimes injuries. Hopefully we don’t have to make too many changes on the lines or the matchups on defense.”
Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are paired again on defense, with a second pairing of Niklas Hjalmersson and Johnny Oduya. Nick Leddy will anchor the third pairing with either Sheldon Brookbank or Michal Rozsival.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.