Support staff pulls out all the stops
- Photos (1)
Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford blocks a shot by Milan Lucic of the Bruins late in the third period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at the United Center.
John Starks | Staff Photographer
The Blackhawks' dressing room was no place for the faint of heart during the intermissions before the three overtime periods Wednesday.
There were exhausted players, frantic trainers trying to get them whatever they needed to eat or drink and drying equipment — and a coaching staff that was doing its best to stay out of everyone's way.
"It's a long game," Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said Thursday, the day after the Hawks' dramatic 4-3 win over Boston in triple overtime at the United Center. "I think guys were really focused on getting drinks in their system. Guys were eating stuff. Guys were changing out of wet equipment and all that.
"We've got a great equipment staff, great trainers that give us every opportunity to get good things in our body, taking care of drying equipment out, drying skates and stuff like that. It was a big job by them last night. It was good to help us get on the ice and play the way we could."
It all paid off when Andrew Shaw camped in front of Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and had the puck go in off his shin pad, the second deflection of a point shot by Michal Rozsival, at 12:08 of the third overtime.
Shaw's goal ended the third-longest game in Hawks history after 112 minutes and eight seconds, and gave them a 1-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final.
"We got a great staff," Marian Hossa said. "Everybody in overtime was running for us whatever we needed. It was unbelievable. It seemed like we had more trainers than the players in the dressing room at that time. Basically, anything we asked for we got."
Shaw was so excited that he dropped an f-bomb on national TV during an interview with NBC's Pierre McGuire.
Hossa got to bed at 3 a.m. and was up early thanks to a noisy neighbor.
"To tell you the truth, I fall asleep around 3 and woke up early," Hossa said. "I think my neighbor decide he going to drill in the morning. That was unpleasant. You know, hopefully, he is going to get his message for next time; he won't drill.
"Feel a little tired today. We are lucky, like Brent said, we got extra day, you know, to recharge the batteries and get back on Game 2."
Fortunately for both teams there's an extra day off before Game 2 on Saturday at the United Center.
"I think having the two-day break between Game 1 and 2 is huge," Seabrook said. "It's the same as last night: get a lot of rest, stay hydrated, getting as much healthy, good food in your system as you can. Just get ready and focus for the next one."
Added Nick Leddy: "You just kind of know how your body feels at this point, what you need to do to make yourself feel better and recover. I think you just try to stick to those things."
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said there wasn't much to say between the overtimes.
"I always leave them alone between the periods anyway," Quenneville said. "Last night, you know, you could just see the guys; I usually go see them before we go out, but they seemed to be fresh when we went out there for the next one and the next one and the next one.
"You could see sometimes there might have been a little fatigue, where you're ready to go on a shift, you look at the guys, felt like he might need another blow."
The Hawks didn't practice Thursday. There was a brief media session and then home for more rest.
"The guys are fine," Quenneville said. "On the playing days, you have to make sure you prepare yourself, drink lots of fluids, maybe don't try to extend your shifts, because that can really ruin you for the next couple. You want to make sure you go short. That's something we tried to reinforce on the bench and in between periods."
•Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.
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