DETROIT - Red Wings defenseman Brett Lebda, the Buffalo Grove native, has noticed some of his friends and family members acting differently this season because of the resurgence of the Blackhawks.
"I think that's the way it al-ways goes," Lebda said Tuesday morn- ing at Joe Louis Arena. "One summer they're at your Stanley Cup party and they're your best friends and the next year they're rooting against you for some reason.
"It's kind of annoying, but at the same time you've got to understand it and take it in stride. It's good for the city of Chicago.
"I grew up a Blackhawks fan, so, deep down, I like to see Chicago hockey back on the map."
That's not to mean Lebda doesn't want to help send the Hawks packing for the summer.
Lebda is in his fourth season playing defense for the Red Wings and now has more than 200 NHL games under his belt, plus 50 more in the playoffs.
He has the confidence of coach Mike Babcock, averages 13 minutes of ice time a night and was plus-5 with 3 assists in 12 playoff games heading into Game 2 on Tuesday.
Lebda wants all his buddies to know he has no tickets to Games 3 and 4 at the United Center on Friday and Sunday in case any of them were wondering.
Who does? The Hawks are the hottest ticket in town.
"I'm not taking any (requests), just the immediate family, mom, dad, brother and sister," Lebda said. "Everyone else is on their own to get tickets.
"When you get a chance to go against the team that you grew up rooting for it's always a good thing. But at the same time comes distractions with it."
It's difficult to imagine it being any better for a kid from the Northwest suburbs of Chicago getting to play on the best hockey team in the world and having his name etched on the Stanley Cup from 2008 alongside the names of Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.