Hawks veterans help keep rookies' nerves in check

Hawks veterans help keep rookies' nerves in check

June 24, 2013, 12:15 pm
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BOSTON – Game 6, the first chance to claim the Stanley Cup of the series: the nerves would be understandably, jittery, especially for those playing in this type of game for the first time.

So the advice of the Chicago Blackhawks who have played in this type of game before? Act like it’s just another game.

The Blackhawks get their chance to claim the Stanley Cup tonight against the Boston Bruins. Some of them have been here before, not that long ago. And for the other half of the roster that hasn’t, the Cup veterans have articulated the right words to calm those burgeoning nerves.

“It’s part of playing in big games,” Jonathan Toews said. “Hockey’s a game where you play with a lot of emotion and excitement. But there’s also that side where you have to stay calm, stay in control and play with confidence as a team. That’s what we’re looking to do tonight. We have a lot of guys in the room that want this; we worked hard to get here. But we have to treat it like it’s another game.”

[MORE: Toews '100 percent' for Game 6]

Michael Frolik talked to a few players about it, including Marian Hossa, who is playing in his fourth Stanley Cup Final.

“That’s the guy you want to ask,” Frolik said. “We talked a little yesterday and he said, ‘Don’t try to think about it. Just do your preparation, leave everything on the ice and play this game like the games before.’”

Coach Joel Quenneville said those talks can be “very beneficial.”

“We look back, back in 2010, we were in the same situation. Johnny Madden had been there and Hossa had been there and it was nice listening to those guys that had been in that situation. I think it prepares the guys with the right frame of mind,” Quenneville said. “Basically it's about the approach. You want to make sure you have confidence going into today's game, but let's make sure the energy is going to be in the right place. Let's make sure there's a purpose with it. At the end of the day, we all dream about this challenge and this opportunity, and let's go take advantage of it.”

It’s Game 6 and the Blackhawks have a chance to win the Cup, just like they did in 2010. The nerves will be there. The Blackhawks just hope strong play trumps them.

“Obviously it feels good (to be here) but we know it’s not going to be easy,” Frolik said. “The last step is the hardest one. You want to make sure we put the best effort of our lives out there tonight. We have to prepare and do the job.”