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updated: 6/7/2013 8:15 PM

Hawks thriving thanks in large part to Bickell, Crawford

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  • Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, right, blocks a shot by Los Angeles Kings center Trevor Lewis during the third period in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference finals, in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 6, 2013. the Chicago Blackhawks won 3-2.

      Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, right, blocks a shot by Los Angeles Kings center Trevor Lewis during the third period in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference finals, in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 6, 2013. the Chicago Blackhawks won 3-2.

  • Video: Bickell breaks down Game 4 win

 
 

Q. Where would the Blackhawks be without the play of Bryan Bickell and Corey Crawford?

A. Boy, both of them are playing really well right now. You need players to step up and sometimes overachieve, and I'm not saying they're overachieving, but at least play to their utmost potential and you're getting that out of both of those guys right now.

What Bryan Bickell is doing right now is incredible. He's a tough force to deal with -- a big body who can score. He's playing with a lot of confidence.

The same goes for Corey Crawford. I don't think there's going to be a lot of critics of Corey Crawford anymore.

Q. Talk about the way the defense, particularly Michael Rosival, stepped up in the absence of Duncan Keith.

A. I thought Rosival was great in that game. He absorbed some huge minutes. That pairing -- Johnny Oduya and Rosival -- I thought they were a critical pairing; it was a comfortable pairing for those guys.

Joel Quenneville really relied on four guys and then spread it out among the rest of them.

Rosival really stepped it up and I thought Oduya and Niklas Hjarmalsson played tremendous and Brent Seabrook logged a lot of ice time as well. Those guys really beared down and dug deep to put together a performance like that.

Q. How important was it that Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa notched goals in Game 4?

A. Really important. It's easier said than done to play their game. A lot of it has to do with how L.A. is playing and how they're competing. It's not easy. This is the semifinals of the Stanley Cup.

The Blackhawks did what they needed to do as a team on Thursday, and anytime you have your top scorers scoring in a game, it gives them a lot of confidence. That's important for Kane and Hossa moving forward.

Q. How important is it for the Hawks to come out Saturday and try to take the Kings' hearts out of it early?

A. I always believe that you have to keep your foot on the pedal when you have a team on the ropes.

At some point, if you just keep working and keep working, you're going to lose one or two of those players on the opposition team -- at some point their will kind of starts to drift away a little bit.

When you do that, you can't let up -- just make sure you continue putting the pressure on.

Troy Murray is in his 13th year as a member of the Blackhawks broadcast team and his eighth year as the color analyst for the team's radio broadcasts. The Selke Award winner was a five-time 20-goal scorer and a veteran of 15 years in the NHL, playing in 915 career games.

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