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This trade deadline no sweat
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 2/15/2009 12:01 AM

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For most of the last decade, the approaching trade deadline has meant apprehension in the Blackhawks' dressing room.

The Hawks have long been sellers and not buyers, but that likely won't be the case this year. The Hawks are in fourth place in the Western Conference and looking to make some noise in the playoffs.

"It's nice to see the team in a different spot this year," Patrick Sharp said. "Instead of selling for the future we're trying to add someone, perhaps, to make our team better.

"The past couple years in late January and February you kind if look around the room and see who's still going to be here towards the end of the season.

"This year it's just been worrying about that next game. Discussions about trades haven't come up at all in here.

"We're a confident group with the team that we have. If the organization decides to make some trades then we'll go from there, but it's really not on our minds right now."

General manager Dale Tallon remains coy about what he might or might not do before the March 4 deadline. A center and defenseman have been on Tallon's radar, and there's no reason to believe anything has changed.

One player Hawks fans probably can scratch off their wish list is Islanders center Doug Weight, who is out 4-6 weeks with a sprained knee.

Five for the road: The Hawks were treating Saturday's game against Dallas at the United Center as a road game in Chicago.

The Hawks just completed an eight-game road trip, going 5-3, and now head out of town for three more games starting Tuesday at Tampa Bay.

Adam Burish said emotion helped make the eight-game trip successful.

"I think coming off the last game against St. Louis (a 2-0 loss) before the all-star break, to get spanked like that was a wake-up call for this group that maybe we're not as good as everybody says we are," Burish said.

"It was a determined group going into the start of the road trip. We started with a lot of energy, and we built off that energy."

Tough matchup: Fortunately for the Hawks, there's only one more game against St. Louis on the schedule. The Blues' win Friday was their fourth against the Hawks in five games.

"They've been playing like that against everybody," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "They play hard and are in every hockey game."

Tip-ins: With Dustin Byfuglien and James Wisniewski returning to the lineup, Aaron Johnson and Craig Adams were healthy scratches. - Nikolai Khabibulin, nursing a minor lower-body injury, might return to practice Monday.