But, after three straight wins, the Chicago Blackhawks are past the Detroit Red Wings in a hard-fought seven-game series and there are certainly lessons to be learned heading into the Western Conference final against the L.A. Kings.
Adversity was something people may think the Blackhawks didn’t face in the regular season, on their way to a Presidents’ Trophy.
But the Red Wings gave them everything they can handle.
Jonathan Toews, an Olympic gold medalist, Stanley Cup champion and World Junior champion, admitted his club didn’t always have the most positive of vibes, when facing elimination, against the Red Wings.
“You have certain negative thoughts that kind of creep in. You try not to think about them, that you’re up against a tough team and the odds are against you. But we stayed positive. We stuck with it,” Toews told reporters.
“We just had that attitude that you take it one shift at the same time, you win one game at a time, anything can happen.
“I think we’re taking a lot of confidence out of that experience. So just goes to show, any situation we may come into in this next series, we’ll welcome the challenge.”
The challenge is the defending Stanley Cup champions, the L.A. Kings.
WATCH LIVE: Wild at Blackhawks; Penguins at Sharks
The Los Angeles Kings lost one of their most veteran defensemen on Tuesday, as the club announced Matt Greene would be out indefinitely following shoulder surgery.
Greene, 32, had only appeared in three games this season, missing extensive time with the ailment. He had recently resumed skating with teammates and looked to be on the way back to a return, but never got to the point where he was participating in drills, or taking contact.
If Greene misses extensive time, L.A. could be in the market for a defenseman come trade deadline day, like they were last year before acquiring Andrej Sekera from Carolina. Greene is one of the most playoff-tested players on the L.A. roster, with 79 games and two Stanley Cups on his resume (and another Stanley Cup Final, with Edmonton in 2006).
Looks like the Canucks will have an interesting lineup tonight
But hold on, that doesn’t necessarily mean Pedan will make his NHL debut tonight. This morning, the Canucks announced they’d called up d-man Alex Biega from AHL Utica. Theoretically, inserting Biega could allow the offensively inclined Yannick Weber to move up to forward. Biega and Weber both shoot right. Pedan shoots left.
But wait, there exists another possibility — that both Pedan and Biega could play. That will depend on Chris Tanev‘s status. He got banged up yesterday as well, though he was able to skate this morning.
Weber likely to skate as a forward tonight. Biega may play instead of Pedan. If Tanev can't go, both will play. #Canucks