For a Blackhawks team that had a record-setting regular season which included winning the Presidents' Trophy, it's only fitting that they've met expectations and are going to the Stanley Cup Finals.
But the Hawks still aren't satisfied.
They left the Campbell Conference championship trophy sitting on the table when it was presented to them on Saturday night following their win in double overtime over Los Angeles that wrapped up the conference title.
After two first-round playoff exits, the Hawks are back where they feel they belong and there's only one trophy that matters.
"I think it's a very fine line," captain Jonathan Toews said. "Coming into the playoffs, being the Presidents' Trophy winner, I think that puts a lot of pressure on your team. Everyone expects you to cruise all the way there.
"There's no such thing as just cruising to the Stanley Cup Final. The guys in this room that were there in 2010 and have been there since understand that. We know what it takes. Everyone else is following suit."
Like in 2010, when Nashville pushed the Hawks to the limit in the first round, this trip has not been without its bumps. The Hawks had to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the last round to get past Detroit.
"We know what we have to do to win these important games," Toews said. "Everyone's setting aside their personal agenda for that. There's no other way to do it.
"We have the ability, the talent, but most of all we're hungry to get back to where we were in 2010. We have a great opportunity to do it. In the meantime we definitely went through some tough times and some trials. That's all part of it. Not everything is going to go your way whenever you want it to. Like Dunks (Keith) said, this opportunity doesn't come too often. I think we all realize that this time around. We're ready to take advantage of it."
The Finals start Wednesday at the United Center with Game 2 set for Saturday night.
The Hawks also had home ice in 2010 when they beat the Flyers in six games for the Cup.
"Obviously, we're excited to get there," Keith said. "We know that Boston is going to be real tough. We've seen some of their games, especially the last series there. Sweeping Pittsburgh, I think says it all right there with the amount of firepower Pittsburgh had, what they were able to do to a team like that.
"We know that we're going to have to be at our best and we're going to have to play a good team game to beat these guys. I just saw that (Jaromir) Jagr hasn't been to the Finals in 21 years. These opportunities don't come back all the time. I think we want to make the best of it."
Hawks goalie Corey Crawford said this is an opportunity he has been waiting for all his life.
Crawford was sensational again Saturday in the Game 5 double OT win over Los Angeles.
"I think he certainly deserves all the credit in the world and then some," Toews said. "I mean, he's doing it all. He's one of the huge reasons we're still here and we're still playing.
"Personally, he's had to battle and he's had to go through some tough times, like anybody else. He's persevered. Here you see him playing his best hockey of his career, helps his team compete for a Stanley Cup. Any credit that he gets, it's much deserved. We know he's probably the most important player on our team right now."
Crawford remains humbled by the experience.
"It's going to be fun," he said of going to the Finals. "We have a chance to achieve our goal and it's going to be a blast, man."
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