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updated: 4/27/2013 12:04 AM

First-round foe doesn't matter to Hawks

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  • Calgary Flames' Mark Giordano, right, tackles Chicago Blackhawks' Viktor Stalberg of Sweden during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, April 26, 2013 in Chicago. The Blackhawks won 3-1.

      Calgary Flames' Mark Giordano, right, tackles Chicago Blackhawks' Viktor Stalberg of Sweden during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, April 26, 2013 in Chicago. The Blackhawks won 3-1.
    Associated Press

  • Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews, left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Calgary Flames, Friday, April 26, 2013, in Chicago.

      Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews, left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Calgary Flames, Friday, April 26, 2013, in Chicago.
    Associated Press

 
 

Detroit, Minnesota or Columbus -- the Blackhawks don't care who they get in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

All three teams remained a possible opponent as of Friday.

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"We'll see what happens," Hawks winger Patrick Kane said. "Sometimes you start thinking about matchups and they always seem to go against you and not in your favor. We'll just watch and whoever we play, we play. We know it'll be a tough series no matter who we play.

"We've put ourselves in a good position. The main thing was trying to secure a playoff spot and we obviously did that. It's nice not having to worry about it, we'll just watch and see how it plays out."

The only thing the Hawks know is they'll be the first seed in the Western Conference and play the eighth seed, which historically has been a tough out.

Last season the Kings won the Stanley Cup out of the eighth seed in the West. Two years ago the eighth-seeded Hawks took the Canucks to overtime in the seventh game in the first round before losing.

"The eight seed always seems to have nothing to lose," Kane said. "Especially with a team like Detroit, where you've seen time and time again them play good. Whoever matches against us we'll take and be ready for.

"Last year we thought Phoenix would be a good matchup for us, a lot of people did, and they end up beating us."

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville has been watching closely the race for the final two playoff spots in the West.

"There's still a lot to be determined on our side from four, five, six, seven and eight," Quenneville said. "Everybody has been jockeying so we'll see."

Kane told reporters he heard the Hawks would start the playoffs next Wednesday regardless of who they play.

Bolland will be ready:

Center Dave Bolland, one of the Hawks' most important playoff performers, will be ready for the postseason despite missing the last two games with a lower body injury, according to Joel Quenneville.

Bolland sat out Friday's home finale against Calgary as well and also won't play Saturday in St. Louis.

"He should be fine," Quenneville said when asked about Bolland's availability for the playoffs.

Quenneville hinted that Bolland could be centering the third line when he returns since Michal Handzus has played so well on the second line with Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp.

"Sometimes those decisions are made for us based on their play whether we need changes or not," Quenneville said.

Goalie update:

Goalie Ray Emery is also "fine," said Joel Quenneville, but won't play this weekend either.

Quenneville said that while Corey Crawford started against the Flames, Carter Hutton should play Saturday at St. Louis in what would be his NHL debut.

I-90 shuttle:

Joel Quenneville said the team would look at recalling a few more players from Rockford for Saturday's game against the Blues.

On Friday the Hawks recalled nine players from Rockford in forwards Jimmy Hayes, Jeremy Morin, Brandon Pirri and Ben Smith, defensemen Ryan Stanton, Adam Clendening, Shawn Lalonde and Steve Montador, and goaltender Henrik Karlsson.

"We're going to play our group (Friday) and (Saturday) we might look at resting some guys," Quenneville said.

The Blues are one of the more physical teams in the league, a club that plays on the edge of the rule book, so to speak, so keeping Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp out of the game and away from guys like David Backes and Barret Jackman makes sense.

Stanton was the lone recall from Rockford who took part in Friday's morning skate. Quenneville said Stanton would play Saturday.

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