Hawks hope to continue success at home vs Ducks
Corey Crawford will get the start and the Blackhawks will reacquaint themselves with Chicago after a long road trip when they face the Anaheim Ducks tonight at the United Center.
The Blackhawks are coming off a very successful road trip, one on which they went 4-0-2. Crawford is coming off his first shutout in nearly two years, a 17-stop, 3-0 victory over the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.
There’s always a danger of getting too fancy, too excited for that first game back after a long time away from home. But coach Joel Quenneville said he doesn’t want the Blackhawks to change a thing.
“Being in Nashville for a few days, maybe we can look at the end of the trip as kind of being home,” Quenneville said. “I like the momentum of our team game right now. It’s always a tough game, the first game off a long trip. But I’m sure guys are excited about being at home.”
Defenseman Johnny Oduya said it’s about keeping the mindset where it needs to be.
“It’s easy to say, especially after being on the road a long time, that the mindset switches a little. But that’s what you don’t want to happen,” he said. “You want to keep going, and we’re pushing for that. We talked about that, not trying to make it too fancy and feel that we have to perform in a different way or put expectations there that don’t have to be. We’re here to win games, and we’ve been fortunate to do that so far.”
The Ducks have been winning, too, as they enter tonight 8-2-1. They’re in the midst of their own road odyssey, a six-game trip that goes to Detroit and Nashville after tonight. Coach Bruce Boudreau said the Blackhawks should provide a “measuring stick” for the Ducks.
“You always want to beat a team that’s undefeated. You always think of it as a challenge,” said Boudreau of the Blackhawks, who are still unblemished in regulation. “They’re the best in the league it’s a test for our team, which is still trying to find a measuring stick. Nobody picked us to be anywhere. Our record’s fairly good, but are we playing good? Are we meeting teams on bad nights? You see a team that didn’t play last night that’s home for the first time in a while, so it should be a good measuring stick.”