DETROIT - Spent a lot of time Monday around the Red Wings and you come away so impressed with how these guys handle themselves.
They are pros, through and through, and it starts with Nicklas Lidstrom, the best leader in the game.
Then you walk down the hall to the Hawks' dressing room and you get the same feeling. These guys are mostly kids, but they handle themselves in the same professional manner as the Red Wings. That's why this is a special team, folks. These kids get it and it starts with Jonathan Toews, who already had a Lidstrom-like presence in his room.
Toews is there every day, as captain and spokesman, answering wave after wave of questions from reporters like he's been doing it 10 years.
In the end, the Hawks might get more out of this series, even if they lose, than they did from beating Calgary and Vancouver. The Hawks want to be the Wings, and they're going to be someday with a few tweaks here and there. Mark my words.
Chris Chelios, now 47, will be an unrestricted free agent after the season and he was asked by a radio guy Monday if he had thought about returning to the Hawks should they want him back.
Nice try, but there's no way the Hawks would attempt to sign Chelios. This defense is set for years with Keith, Seabrook, Barker, Campbell and Hjalmarsson. Plus, Sopel is signed for two more years.
If the Hawks do go out and try to find a defenseman this off-season, it will be a physical stay-at-home guy.
One last thing: My goodness is this a bad downtown. The series can't get back to Chicago soon enough.