BOSTON — Zdeno Chara be damned.
The way Patrick Kane saw it, the Blackhawks needed to stop worrying about the 6-foot-9 Bruins defenseman and start playing to their strengths in Game 4 on Wednesday.
“The way they’ve been playing in the playoffs it’s been (Jonathan) Toews’ line vs. (David) Krejci’s line and a lot of the times Chara’s been out there, too,” Kane said. “Sometimes if you’re worried too much about who you’re playing against — ‘Hey, I’m going out against Chara this shift so I’ve got to worry about him,’ — I’ve learned from the past that it doesn’t really bode well for the way that you play yourself.
“You just have to go out and play and do what you do best, and I think that’s what our team needs to do,” Kane said. “Just go out and play the way we have all year and try to take it to them and play the way we know how.
“We’ve had a great season and we feel we’re a great team that can compete with anyone, so why not lay it all out there?”
Kane said Chara is a tough matchup for anybody.
“He’s a great defenseman,” Kane said. “You’ve got to give him credit for the way he plays. He’s big and has a long reach.
“The shifts I’ve been out there against him he’s made it tough for you to get chances, but I think especially at this point in time, in the Stanley Cup Final, you’ve got to worry about what the team does best and what we do best as a group.”
Toews and Kane were back together for Game 4, with Bryan Bickell at left wing. Each had a goal with Bickell picking up 2 assists in the Hawks’ 6-5 overtime victory.
“Sometimes you switch things up and kind of balance out the lines a little bit,” Kane said. “That’s what the coaches were doing for three games and we won one of those games and lost two. It’s exciting to play with Johnny.”
Coach Joel Quenneville basically wasted Jonathan Toews on Monday in Game 3 by playing him with fourth liners Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger well into the second period in an attempt to keep him away from Chara.
“I don’t know if we’re giving him (Chara) attention, respect or whatever,” Quenneville said. “Certainly he’s playing meaningful minutes. He’s going to be out there against top guys. It’s not like we’re keeping guys off the ice.
“I think the guys out there against him, they like to play their game. But certainly it’s a challenge getting through him to the net, whether it’s him or everybody.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.