Down three games to one in the best-of-seven series, Joel Quenneville said heading into Game 5 that he felt the pressure wasn't on the Blackhawks to stave off elimination — it was on the Los Angeles Kings to get the job done against the defending champions.
Now here we are a few days later, the Blackhawks and Kings preparing for a Game 7 on Sunday night inside the United Center.
But even those few days ago, the Kings didn't feel the pressure was on them; they, too, have won a Stanley Cup recently and know what it takes to get the job done. Fast-forward to today, and despite dropping the last two games, they still feel the pressure isn't on one team more than the other.
"Well there really was a lot of talk about that," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said when asked if his team is facing more pressure going into Game 7. "To be quite honest, that was a bunch of BS."
The Kings don't look at themselves as the underdog in this series. They've faced all sorts of adversity this postseason alone, including a 3-0 series deficit against the San Jose Sharks before completing a "reverse sweep."
Dropping the last two games hasn't put them in an ideal situation, but they're still confident they can close out the series on Sunday.
"I think I'd rather be playing with the lead than chasing it," Anze Kopitar said. "You know, now it's Game 7. We're coming into a rink that is pretty loud. We really have nothing to lose. We're going to go out, we're going to play hard, throw everything out on the line."
The Kings did just that in their first two series, winning both in seven games. Now they hope to do it again, as it's win or go home for both the Blackhawks and Kings.
But as they arrived back in Chicago, both teams said they weren't nervous heading into Sunday's game; a game that will allow both squads to put it all out there for a chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
"I think Game 7 is what hockey's all about," Willie Mitchell said. "As a hockey player, that's the game you want to play, is Game 7 with everything on the line. It's kind of the essence of the game.
"We've had some success in that and we look to continue that. We feel if we do the things we're capable of doing, the style of play we need against the Blackhawks, we're going to get the result we want."