05.04.2009 2:15 p.m
A recent report in the Toronto Globe & Mail stated that Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews
not only was recovering from the flu, but was dealing with a shoulder injury so bad that he could barely raise on of his arms.
Following Monday's morning skate at United Center, Toews denied those rumors by raising both arms and stating, "I feel fine."
He admits his recovery from the flu has certainly taken its toll but that he is feeling much better than he did at the start of the series.
"Obviously, you still have to battle and eat and sleep and do your best to recover as fast as you can but the last two games have been a battle," Toews told me. "Unfortunately we came up short in Game 1 but in the last couple games I feel that guys stepped up and, really, didn't necessarily even need me out there. Hopefully, I'll be able to contribute a little more on Tuesday."
Toews saw 14:21 of ice time in Game 2 victory on Saturday and chipped in with an assist in a 6-3 triumph. He also won 64 percent of his face-offs.
"That's a rumor (about Toews' arm)," Blackhawks rookie Kris Versteeg told NHL.com. "(Joel) Quenneville said it nicely when he told the media he had an upper body flu and that's about it. He's been fine and he's been working hard and it's tough sometimes when you have those little things like the flu."--Mike G. Morreale
Taking the momentum
05.04.2009 1:17 p.m. ET
When a team that doesn't have the home-ice advantage opens a series, they usually look at the schedule and try to split the first two games in the other team's arena. That's exactly what the Blackhawks accomplished with their 6-3 win Saturday night in Game 2 in Vancouver after losing Game 1, 5-3.
Now the series is set to shift back to Chicago, where the Blackhawks had a 3-0 record in the first round against the Flames. During the regular season, the 'Hawks were pretty impressive at the United Center as well, losing just nine home games in regulation.
Chicago center Dave Bolland
, who scored a shorthanded goal which gave the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead in the second period of Game 2, thinks that with a win in the most recent game that Chicago now has the momentum coming home.
"Taking this momentum now and bringing it into our rink is huge for us," Bolland told the Chicago Tribune. "These are two tremendous teams going at it hard. Everybody wants to win, so it's looking to be a long series."
Now the Blackhawks have home-ice advantage with three of a possible five games to be played in Chicago.
The Canucks, however, won both of their road games in the first round against St. Louis proving that they can win on the road as well and coach Alain Vigneault knew his team would encounter more adversity in this round after sweeping the Blues in four games last round.
"This is our first loss in the playoffs," Vigneault told the Vancouver Province. "You have to be realistic. We didn't think we'd win this series four straight. We've faced adversity before and bounced back. We're going to go to Chicago and play our hearts out."-- Adam Schwartz