Red Wings-Blackhawks blog Tuesday, 05.19.2009 / 1:11 PM / Conference Finals: Detroit vs. Chicago By NHL.com Staff Hawks used to seeing Wings
05.19.2009 1:05 P.M. et
The Blackhawks may be the new kids on the Stanley Cup Playoff block, making their first appearance since 2002, but they are not in awe of the Red Wings. Chalk that up to playing them six times during the regular season.
Chicago right wing Kris Versteeg, a Calder Trophy finalist admitted to feeling a little overwhelmed the first time he played Detroit. But after playing them six times in the regular season and once so far in the playoffs, Versteeg and the young Hawks are used to playing the mighty 'Wings.
"Maybe during the season, the first time you play them it's tough to get by it," Versteeg told the Chicago Tribune. "But now you've played them so many times you don't really think about it anymore. We have one goal and that's to win the Stanley Cup. When you're going through a team like the Red Wings, it's pretty tough."
Chicago, which played two six-game series, had a tougher cumulative route to the Western Conference Final than Detroit, which swept the Blue Jackets in four games, but was pushed to the limit in a seven-game series against the Ducks in the last round.
Patrick Kane, who was last season's Calder Trophy winner and leads the team with 8 goals in 11 playoff games, knows that playing Detroit is different than going against Vancouver or Calgary. Kane was held to no points, no shots and a minus-3 rating in Game 1 of this series while matched up against Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.
"It's a little different against Detroit than it was against Vancouver and Calgary," Kane told the Chicago Sun Times. "They played a real physical game, but I don't think I got chirped at once. Maybe we'll have to play defense first and get our chances out of transition."
Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook agrees that this series is going to be Chicago's toughest test yet.
"They're the Stanley Cup champions for a reason," Seabrook told the Chicago Sun Times. "They're a good team. And (this series) is different from the first two. The intensity's up. Everything's stepped up. It's the best four teams in the playoffs."
-- Adam Schwartz