The series between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues has been the closest of the first round matchups. Three of the four contests have gone to overtime, but the home team has won every game.
Given that the Blues have home ice advantage in this series, the onus is on Chicago to snap that trend.
“It’s (about) closing it out,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told CSN Chicago. “You look at all the games we’ve had here, it looks like we’re getting something out of the game (but it was) definitely disappointing the two prior games. For the most part, I’ve liked how we’ve played in all the games this year but we need to play our best game tonight.”
It remains to be seen if St. Louis will have forward David Backes tonight. He has been out since Saturday due to a high hit from Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook.
He didn’t participate in the Blues’ morning skate, so it would be surprising to see him in the game. However, given that this is the playoffs, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock decided to be non-committal about Backes’ availability.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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