-- Patrick Sharp
tried to wear a look of confusion on his face and hunched his shoulders.
He'd just been asked whether potential roster turnover after the season to keep the Blackhawks under the salary cap was a motivator for them to win it all this season -- while they're still together.
Sharp's name has come up as one who might be playing elsewhere next season, along with forwards Kris Versteeg
and Dustin Byfuglien
-- the latter of whom may cement his spot in Chicago with a huge postseason thus far.
"Buff and I don't even know what you're talking about," Sharp said, drawing laughter. "That's the first we've heard about the salary cap."
Then, he answered more honestly.
"It's been talked about, but we can worry about that weeks from now," said Sharp, who has seven goals and 16 points in the playoffs. "You look at guys that have been in the League for a long time that have played for this opportunity, and we realize that it's right there for us. So we don't want to start thinking about where players will be next year. We got to take advantage of what we have."
Defenseman Duncan Keith
"We like our teammates and we love playing together," the Norris Trophy finalist said. "There will be changes next year, as there will be with every team. But the focus right now is just understanding we have what we have right now, the opportunity that's there, (and) giving it everything we have with the team we have right now."
Over in the San Jose locker room, the same question was posed to the Sharks -- who've had a number of quality players come and go recently. Defenseman Douglas Murray
said this is the first postseason he can recall that the Sharks haven't really talked about potential departures.
"That's a good thing, because it's nothing you can control," he said. "This shouldn't be about that. It should be about whoever you have next to you right now. You fight for him and put your best effort out there."
Veteran Sharks defenseman Rob Blake
, however, said he's used the team's current make-up as a motivator since training camp. Now that the Sharks find themselves down 3-0 in the series, it's even more of a factor to him.
"Take a look at our roster," Blake said. "We lost eight guys off of last year's team, so we want to accomplish as much as possible. We have gotten to this point, but we're not done yet. So, we're going to show up tomorrow (for Game 4)."