-- Before Sunday night's Game 5 against Vancouver in this Western Conference Semifinal series, the Blackhawks talked a lot about ending it with a win and not letting the Canucks up off the mat.
Then they came out in front of a rocking United Center crowd and looked eerily similar to the way they looked in a 5-1 home loss to Vancouver in the series opener. Once again, the Hawks were a step slow and struggled to move the puck.
Now it's back on the team charter for the four-hour flight to Vancouver for Tuesday's Game 6 at GM Place. Hawks defenseman Brian Campbell was hoping that flight wouldn't be necessary, but instead found himself talking with reporters about why it is after the Canucks' 4-1 win. Q:
They really tried to slow down the tempo. Why does that seem to frustrate you guys at times? Campbell:
I don't know. They came at us pretty good in some areas. We just didn't skate near as well as we could have. We can control a lot of how we play and how we skate, and we didn't move the puck. They're a great team, but we made them better in some areas because we didn't come through in how we were supposed to play. Q:
How do you end this series now? Campbell:
Win a hockey game. Q:
How do you win it? Campbell:
Playing the way we played in Games 3 and 4. Moving our feet. Moving the puck. Discipline. Special teams. All those situations are how you win a series and how you win games. Q:
Just like in Game 1, you guys seemed to be a step slow again after playing great on the road. How did you sort of regress back to the start of this series? Campbell:
You can get a little bit of complacency, but we knew what was at stake and how important it was. That was the biggest thing for us. We just didn't move our feet. We didn't move the puck quick enough. We just were a step behind in all areas. Q:
You guys seem to play better on the road or when your backs are against the ball. Why is that? Campbell:
We've had a great home record all season. We just tried to press a little too much in some areas. We weren't skating together as linemates and as five-man units tonight. Q:
Even though you're still ahead in the series, are you looking at Tuesday night like it's a Game 7? Campbell:
Yeah, I think tonight (we) looked at it like that. We knew how important this game was tonight and we didn't come through, so we move forward and regroup. Q:
What has happened to home-ice advantage in the playoffs?Campbell:
Well, right now we own it so I don't know if I can answer that. It's the same sheet of ice, the same dimensions out there. Maybe you're a little grittier on the road and maybe not as fancy, which we need to correct going forward. Q:
It seemed like one of the differences in tonight's game is that (Roberto Luongo) didn't seem to give as many rebounds in front of him. Is that the way you look at it as well? Campbell:
No I don't look at it like that. He played great. He's a great goaltender, but we didn't get in front of him as much and get in front of shots as much. We kind of got out of the way there or (were) hoping that the pucks were going to bounce to us. How we scored a lot of goals (in Vancouver) is we had a lot of screens in front and then the second or third forwards or our D-men would be coming in to find those rebounds.
Author: Brian Hedger | NHL.com Correspondent