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Chicago not taking anything for granted

Tuesday, 05.05.2009 / 3:53 PM / Conference Semifinals: Vancouver vs. Chicago

By Brett Ballantini - NHL.com Correspondent

"It's a daunting task getting pucks past him. We're not taking anything for granted. We have to maximize the effect of every goal we get from here out."
-- Blackhawks Brian Campbell

CHICAGO -- Confidence is running high here among the Blackhawks, but the team is sounding a more cautious note heading into Tuesday night's Western Conference Semifinal Game 3 at the United Center.
 
After Monday's practice, there was some talk about Chicago having "solved" one of the top and hottest goaltenders in the game, Vancouver's Roberto Luongo. Patrick Kane, in particular, seemed to have pushed past any "awe" factor regarding the Canucks netminder, suggesting that the Blackhawks had broken the veteran's confidence with a barrage of second- and third-period goals in their Game 2 victory.
 
After the morning skate Tuesday, however, cooler heads prevailed as the puck drop for Game 3 ticked closer for this young bunch.
 
"It's a daunting task getting pucks past him," said Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell. "We're not taking anything for granted. We have to maximize the effect of every goal we get from here out."
 
"It's a numbers game," said Chicago forward Dave Bolland. "We've put a ton of shots (68) on him in two games, and it's going to be tough for anybody to fend that off. We've been getting in his way and putting pucks on his pads. To win this series, that's what we have to continue to do."
 
The seeming secret to Chicago's Game 2 breakout was a mashup of season-long lines by coach Joel Quenneville, creating successful combinations on the fly after another lackluster start to a playoff game. The mentor wasn't tipping his hand as to Tuesday night's approach, but acknowledged that Game 2's success makes him more willing to improvise on the bench.
 
"(The team) reacted as well as I could have hoped (to the line changes)," Quenneville said. "That's something we may bring out again, as needed. The flow of the game will determine (changes), as always."
 
One major advantage beyond the home ice that the Blackhawks possess at this juncture is health. Vancouver has lost defender Sami Salo for Game 3, while center Pavol Demitra should skate tonight, but is badly hurt. Chicago is not only fully healthy, but has shown on the series' first leg it boasts speed and strength that's hard for the Canucks to match. Don't expect a sympathy card from the Blackhawks' dressing room, however.
 
"We saw it against Calgary, where some (of its) injuries took root as the games went on," said winger Adam Burish. "They have a key guy out and we just have to focus on the next guy down the line, go after and take it to him."
Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp