CHICAGO -- The Vancouver Canucks aren't resorting to clichés about being sharks smelling blood in the water or not letting the rival Chicago Blackhawks off the mat.
In fact, despite leading this Western Conference Quarterfinal series 2-0 heading into Sunday night's Game 3 at the United Center, the Canucks are going out of their way to choose their words carefully regarding the series lead.
If Vancouver can win Game 3, it will put the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks in a precarious position that is rarely overcome -- down by three games.
"Yeah, but we're not really looking at it that way too much," Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa said after Vancouver's morning skate on Sunday. "We've said before we have a lot of respect for these guys. They've been down to us before and they've come back, so we don't take anything for granted. We're up two games, but we're going to approach this like it's 0-0 in the series."
Business as usual, then?
"That's the mindset we've had all year," forward Alexandre Burrows said. "We're taking that one game-at-a-time businesslike approach of coming to the rink and putting your work boots on -- making sure you're going to outwork the other team. That's the mindset we've had all year and we're not going to change it just because it's the playoffs."
Still, the Canucks are getting back forwards Mikael Samuelsson and Raffi Torres and have a chance to put a hated rival -- who's knocked Vancouver out of the playoffs two straight years – into a virtual chokehold.
That plus Chicago possibly inserting 6-foot-8, 258-pound John Scott into the role former mammoth forward Dustin Byfuglien played has to be part of the motivation for game 3.
"We could, but we can't be thinking about that," Canucks center Ryan Kesler said of going up 3-0 on the Hawks' home ice. "We've got to think about this game, each shift and focusing on our game. It's their home ice. They're going to want to make a statement right off the bat, so we're going to come with the same game and worry about ourselves."