Wearing a blazer and dress shirt with no tie, an unshaved Jonathan Toews looked a little Hollywood-ish when he stepped off a plane after arriving at O'Hare Airport with his team from Los Angeles on Friday.
"It was a good plane ride," the Blackhawks captain said. "We're happy to be back in Chicago with at least one win on the road and put ourselves in a good spot for (Game 5)."
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Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson looked equally "L.A. cool" with his beret. But the truth is, sunny California is a destination the Blackhawks would rather not visit again this season.
Up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series after splitting a pair of games on the Kings' home ice, the Blackhawks can wrap up the Western Conference finals tonight with a win at the United Center.
"We were on the other end, so we know what (Los Angeles) is thinking," defenseman Johnny Oduya said of the Blackhawks rallying from a 3-1 series deficit against Detroit in Round 2. "We know this is not over. It's a really, really good team. We said it (Thursday) night: We don't want to go back to L.A. It's a tough place to play and to win games. We got to bring our best performance and best effort to win the game."
The Eastern Conference finals between Boston and Pittsburgh is required viewing for coach Joel Quenneville, but not so much for Niklas Hjalmarsson.
"I haven't really been looking that much at the other series," Hjalmarsson said. "But if I got nothing else to do (Friday night) I might watch it then."
Quenneville planned to park his body in front of a TV.
"We watch every game," Quenneville said, "and we watch them very closely."
Bickell strikes again:
Left-winger Brian Bickell scored his eighth goal, tying him with Patrick Sharp for the team lead, in 16 playoff games Thursday night. The 6-foot-4, 233-pound Bickell had 9 goals in 48 regular-season games.
"I think he's probably a little more comfortable with the puck," Joel Quenneville said. "It seems to be finding him. ... He's dangerous off the rush. He seems to be finding pucks at the net."
The 27-year-old Bickell, who scored a career-high 17 goals two seasons ago, is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
"He's bringing speed to our lineup and playing with a purpose," Quenneville said. "You talk about all the ingredients that make up a power forward. He's putting it all together."