Toews, Saad both held scoreless before Game 4
DETROIT -- Jonathan Toews wasn't the Blackhawks' only player looking for his first goal of the playoffs in Game 4 on Thursday.
Rookie Brandon Saad hadn't found the back of the net in the first seven playoff games either.
"I guess the two of us are kind of in the same boat right now," Toews said after the morning skate. "We're working as hard as we can, trying to make things happen just waiting for that one break to kind of open the flood gates.
"He's a good player. He's still out there doing good things. He's killing penalties and contributing. He's very mature for his age, and he understands that eventually it's going to go in for him."
The 20-year-old Saad is still dealing with the increase in intensity from the regular season to the playoffs.
"Everything picks up," Saad said. "Obviously matchups and things like that factor in, but every game is ramped up and it's intense. There's a lot of passion out there. It's been a lot of fun to be part of. It helped last year getting a taste of it and seeing what it was all about."
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville started Saad on the second line in Game 4 on Thursday with Dave Bolland and Patrick Kane.
"He's a good kid with an even disposition and a consistent approach game in and game out," Quenneville said. "We equate it to exactly how he began the season when his production didn't reflect his play. We stuck with it, playing with top guys, and eventually he ended up breaking through. He didn't really change the way he had to play. We're at that same place now. We don't want to change the way he's been playing."
More from Seabrook:
Joel Quenneville said before Game 4 the team needed more from defenseman Brent Seabrook, who played less than 18 minutes in the Hawks' Game 3 loss and was minus-1. He let Gustav Nyquist go around him on Detroit's first goal.
"We're looking for more," Quenneville said after the morning skate.
"Whether it's a matchup or the way the game is being played, how we're playing, how he's playing, I think reflects that," Quenneville said of Seabrook's reduced ice time in Game 3. "Our defense has been pretty solid throughout most of the season, but we need everybody to be strong and we have to be comfortable with everybody against anybody."
Only Nick Leddy (14:37) played fewer minutes than Seabrook (17:57) in Game 3. Seabrook averaged 21:59 on the ice during the regular season.
Red Wings way:
Many of Detroit's young players are getting their first taste of what it's like to play in the playoffs for a team with the history of the Red Wings.
"When you put on our sweater, there's an obligation to Mr. Howe and Mr. Lindsay and the people that came before you to compete like a Red Wing," coach Mike Babcock said. "I don't think there's an obligation to win like a Red Wing. I think there's an obligation to prepare for the opportunity you've been given and to maximize your potential.
"That's what life's about, maximizing what you've been given. That doesn't guarantee winning. You need a certain amount of players and depth and breaks to win. The pressure comes to prepare well, to work hard, to compete hard to make sure you're doing what you should do in respect of the uniform and to one another."
Bad blood brewing:
The hate only grows in a long playoff series.
"When you play a team six or seven times there's some bad blood between each other," Detroit's Justin Abdelkader said. "It's just part of a playoff series and the intensity rises as each game passes.
"It's all about playing on edge and playing hard."
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