BLACKHAWKS PATRICK KANE
Q. (Questions regarding the lines and addressing Chara.)
PATRICK KANE: Yeah, maybe. You still have Toews, Sharp and Hossa on one line. I’m with Handzus and Bickell who have been playing well. A few lineup changes, you don’t know if they’ll stick or stay. They’re looking at their options now. It’s probably a question better directed at Q.
We’ll see what happens.
Q. Have you faced anybody this season like Chara?
PATRICK KANE: Yeah, I think the best example is probably Suter in the first round. There were times Johnny’s line would go out. He’d play the full shift. Then myself, Handzus and Sharp would come out. Suter would stay on for that, as well.
I don’t think we’ve played anyone with his reach yet. So you have to be careful with the way he uses his sticks, deflects pucks on the power play. For us, we don’t want to think too much about it, use our speed to our advantage on him, try to just play hockey, not worry so much about playing against Chara.
Q. On starting the season overseas during the lockout
PATRICK KANE: It was a good experience for me to go over and play. I was happy I did it. Thought I got off to a good start here because I went over.
Looking back, I thought it was a good idea that I went over and played.
Q. (Question regarding 2010.)
PATRICK KANE: Everyone on our team was probably rooting for it at the time to be Vancouver. You know, at the same time when they’re lifting it up a year after you did, from the time we spent with it, whether it was in the summer, our days with the Cup, banner raising, things like that, the Cup kind of felt like it was yours. The other team gets it the next year, we weren’t the defending champs anymore. It was tough to see, for sure.
Q. Stanley Cup experience, is it the same type of experience for you now as you approach Game 1?
PATRICK KANE: Yeah, I mean, like I said before, I think you try to soak it in a little bit more now. You certainly get a lot of messages and requests for tickets at a time like this. That’s cool because everybody wants to be a part of it, to see two special teams go up against one another, in a series that should be great.
To compete for the Stanley Cup says it all right there.
Q. (No microphone.)
PATRICK KANE: Yeah, I mean, to give up two goals in four games against a team like Pittsburgh is crazy numbers. At the same time you look a little bit deeper. They had a couple bad breaks. I think Malkin one night had 20 or so attempted shots at net. So they were getting chances. Obviously Rask played great. They played a great defensive team game against them.
I think you can look at other series, too, where Toronto had some success on them. Obviously the Rangers not too much. They’re playing good right now, so they’ve figured out how to play defensively and as a team, too. It’s going to be a tough challenge.
Like I said, we have a lot of depth on our team, are going to need everybody to step up.
Q. Can you compare the Cup winning team to this years version of the Blackhawks.
PATRICK KANE: I think a lot of us that were here in 2010, we consider we’re better players now. I myself feel that I’m a well?rounded player, got a lot better defensively and without the puck as time has gone on.
I feel like I’m more focused about hockey now. Like I said, I’m going to soak it all in, but at the same time take advantage of the opportunity.
Q.(Question regarding private life, public reaction.)
PATRICK KANE: It’s funny. You know, whether it’s just walking down the street to try to go to a movie, go to dinner, something like that, there’s always a few people that recognize you. You kind of learn to wear the hat down low by your eyes, keep the head down and keep walking.
There’s great fans in Chicago. I think you’d rather have them recognize than not recognize you. Just to show how great of a hockey city it is, that’s how excited they are now.
Q. (No microphone.)
PATRICK KANE: I don’t think you have a choice, to be honest with you. That’s just the way the coaches, you know, put it on, whether it’s the wingers or the center, whoever is back?checking, the first guy back.
Guys like myself, you see Hossa, Hossa is probably the hardest back?checker on the team, you see guys like him doing it, it makes everyone around the team say, If he’s doing it, I can do it, too.
Q. You had some struggles in the Western Conference Finals. Can you tell us what was said to you or what triggered you and turned things around for you?
PATRICK KANE: You know, I think for me, I’m a player that wants the puck and I’m a better player when I have it.
I think whether it was teammates, coaches, coaches from the past, my parents, just saying that, You got to want the puck. That’s what I tried to do in the last two games. Felt like I had more success when I did that.
Try to have that same mindset going into the finals here. Just try to get the puck and make plays, not so much worry about scoring or getting an assist or points, just try to get it and make plays. That should take care of itself.