CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews was smiling Tuesday morning, even cracking a small laugh at one point.
You'd think being in a 0-3 hole against the Canucks and facing elimination in Game 4 Tuesday night at United Center would have the Blackhawks leader, known in these circles as 'Captain Serious' in a sour mood -- but that clearly was not the case.
He was as loose as I've seen him in the series, maybe as loose as I've seen him since spending two summer days with him in his hometown of Winnipeg during his Stanley Cup celebration.
"You've gotta be (loose), I guess," Toews told NHL.com. "What are you going to do? Just go out there and play your best hockey tonight and you've got nothing to lose. Just do your best, nothing more to say."
Toews expects the Blackhawks to follow his lead and play a pressure-free game.
"That's what we're going to do," he said. "We can play loose. We're not feeling sorry for ourselves. We're going to go out there and play. We're men. We're professionals in here and we care about each other in the locker room. From Day One every guy, we've all gotten along, we all like each other, and when you think about it that way it makes you want to go play harder for each other. We've got a lot of pride in this locker room and we know that's a good team across the way there. We've just got to find a way to win one."
Toews compared the Blackhawks situation to the predicament Philadelphia was in down 0-3 against Boston last season. The Flyers came back to win the series, becoming just the third team in NHL history to do it.
"The way they got into the playoffs, they're kind of like us with the last day of the year," Toews said. "That's our dream right now, is to win tonight and we'll go from there."
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl