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Hawks 'excited' at morning skate

(Paul Sancya)
Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (left) celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings with Andrew Shaw, Duncan Keith (2) and Jonathan Toews (19) during the first period in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals against Detroit on Monday. The Hawks and Red Wings meet in Game 7 at 7 p.m. tonight at the United Center.

If demeanor is worth anything, the Blackhawks seemed relaxed and ready heading into Game 7 against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Hawks participated in their morning skate Wednesday at the United Center, where players and coaches reported no problems with the ice surface one day after the Rolling Stones' first of three concerts at the building.

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said he liked what he saw from his players, who erased a 3-1 series deficit against the Wings to force the 11th Game 7 in franchise history.

"Just watching our group out here today and yesterday, I think we haven’t changed at all over the last four or five days here," Quenneville said. "I think it’s been consistent.

"We’re excited. I think we’re looking forward to it. You’ve got to commend them on their approach."

As for which players might shine in Game 7, Quenneville said, members of both teams' third and fourth lines could make the difference.

"Sometimes, it’s the guys that maybe fly under the radar," Quenneville said. "When you get a little less freedom – top guys get a lot of scrutiny and a lot of tight coverage – sometimes those guys seem to come through and break through.

"But every game is different. Scoring is going to be hard to come by, and there’s not many scoring chances in games, but usually you get the unexpected guys that jump up."

-Tom Musick



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