DETROIT — Two days ago, it was the Blackhawks having to deal with adversity.
Now let’s see how the Red Wings handle a little pressure.
After staying alive in the Western Conference semifinals with a 4-1 win in Game 5 on Saturday at the United Center, the Hawks would like nothing more than to force a Game 7 on Wednesday with another victory Monday night at Joe Louis Arena.
“The pressure is on them to eliminate us,” Andrew Shaw said Sunday. “They kind of have our backs against the wall, and we’re pushing back. It makes us a dangerous team.
“Everyone thinks that Detroit is going to take the series. The pressure is kind of off of us.”
Don’t kid yourself, the Hawks still have a lot of work to do if they are going to pull this off and win the series.
Not only must they play a perfect road game at the Joe on Monday, they would still need to beat the Red Wings in a seventh game.
The Red Wings expected the Hawks to play a desperate game Saturday.
“Well, we’d be foolish to think that they were just going to give us the fourth game,” Detroit defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo said.
The Hawks finally got the power play clicking with goals from Shaw and Jonathan Toews, his first of the playoffs. A rejuvenated Toews could make the difference in the rest of the series.
“I think at the end of the day, they’re trying to close us out and we’re trying to win a hockey game and tie up the series,” Duncan Keith said. “I don’t really look at it as any more than that. I think we’re just trying to win one hockey game in Joe Louis.”
The Hawks have had success at the Joe before, and they’re confident they can win there again.
“I don’t think there’s any difference other than the crowd’s cheering for them,” Keith said. “It’s just like any other building. It’s a fun place to play. Good atmosphere. They’re a good team. They play hard, and we need to be ready like we were the last game.
“There are so many different ways to look at it. At the end of the day for me, we have to go in there and play our best game. It’s nothing more than that. We could go in there and think we have the momentum and we don’t show up to play, we’re not going to win.
“We need to show up, have that do-or-die mentality with everybody going for it.”
Bryan Bickell, who certainly showed up for Game 5 with a goal and several huge hits, thinks the win Saturday restored the Hawks’ confidence that was lost in Games 2, 3 and 4 defeats.
“I think we’re a little bit more confident than we were,” Bickell said. “To get that win at home and to push it to Game 6 was important for us, but we need to have the same mindset as we had last game. It’s do or die for us.”
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville tinkered with his forward lines and defense pairings in Game 5, and they worked. He put Keith and Brent Seabrook back together, and Seabrook responded with his best game of the playoffs.
Quenneville also put Toews back with Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp, which he has been known to do in desperate times.
“I think we’re going to have the same mentality we did going into (Saturday) night’s game,” Quenneville said. “Let’s be ready to play. Let’s have some energy. Let’s get off to a great start. Let’s be physical. Let’s have a purpose and don’t change much.”
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was asked Sunday if he might consider putting Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk back on the same line.
“We tried that late (in Game 5) and it didn’t work,” Babcock said. “They were much more competitive than us, much quicker than us, way more desperate. We were poor.”
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