First-round dangers are very real

First-round dangers are very real

Posted by TimS on Fri, 04/16/2010 - 12:40
Colorado beats San Jose in Game 1. Montreal upsets Washington and holds Alex Ovechkin without a shot on goal in that opener. Ottawa knocks off Pittsburgh. That's the beauty of the Stanley Cup playoffs, where the top seeds cannot waltz through the first round. The Blackhawks have seen the insanity of the first two days of the playoffs and will take that knowledge into their postseason opener tonight against Nashville at the United Center. “It’s crazy, man,” Patrick Kane said following Friday’s morning skate. “It’s unbelievable the teams that are winning. It seems almost every game is an upset except for a couple. You’ve got to be aware of that. It probably gives Nashville a little bit more hope. It makes us, I wouldn’t say more scared, but more aware that these kind of things can happen.” There was a lot of nervous energy around the Hawks at their skate. “It happens every year, whether it’s the first game of the year or first playoff game,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “It’s kind of a common thing that you’ve got the jitters, you’re anxious, you’re nervous, you can’t wait to get going. I think that’s a good thing. Being nervous keeps your head in the right areas.” Predators coach Barry Trotz said the key to beating the Hawks starts in the minds of his players. “Number one, we have to make sure we’re ready and not intimidated by the skill and speed of the Chicago Blackhawks,” Trotz said. “To me, it starts with a mindset.” The Hawks cannot underestimate the Predators by any means because this is a very good hockey club. “You look at their team up and down the lineup they’ve got a lot of skill, but at the same time it seems they don't have too many big-name players,” Kane said. “Sometimes those teams can underestimate, so that's one thing we can’t do. They've had a great year.”
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