Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN and TSN all had reporters at the Blackhawks’ morning skate on Tuesday.
The Hawks and their NHL record 22-game point streak to start the season had become a national story heading into Tuesday night’s game with Minnesota.
“It’s gaining some momentum here,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “We don’t like to focus too much on that, but you’ve got to commend the guys and how diligent they’ve been in focusing on our next game and not getting distracted or getting excited about things they can’t control.”
The attention was similar to what the Hawks experienced in 2010 when they won the Stanley Cup.
“Something like this can help you in the playoffs, knowing that the games and the attention picks up as you go along,” Quenneville said.
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were surrounded by a media mob after they came off the ice.
“It’s huge,” Kane said. “For me, personally, I’m a guy that has watched ESPN since I’ve been growing up and now you turn it on and it’s one of the first stories, the Blackhawks and hockey, which you don’t really see on that station.
“It’s cool to see. Anything to get the game out there and see how we view it; we view it as the best game in the world, and hopefully other people will start seeing it that way too.”
Dave Bolland admits that as much as the Hawks have tried to downplay the streak, it had become too big to ignore.
“You can’t ignore it,” Bolland said. “It’s something that’s always going to be with us as long as we keep winning. It is a streak that’s done wonderful things and to keep it going is the main thing.
“I think it’s great that it has become a national story. It’s always great when hockey is getting in the national spotlight or is big news. The game of hockey has really grown, and for this to help it in any way, it’s always great for it.”
The entire city of Chicago has caught Hawks fever, almost to the point it was in the Cup year of 2010.
“This is one of the best hockey cities in North America,” Bolland said. “When the team’s alive and everything is going well this city just gets up and going. I think for the city it’s great to see. It’s always great to see 20,000 people in this building every night.”
The Hawks still would rather be doing this, however, at the end of the season,
“When we’re in the room I don’t want to say we don’t talk about it, but we kind of just try to concentrate on the game at hand,” Bolland said. “We try not to think about what’s going on with the streak or anything. We just play that game and think about the opponent, not the streak.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.