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Pressure? Blackhawks say they're too loose to lose
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 5/26/2009 5:30 PM

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Go ahead and write off the Blackhawks.

They understand, because it happened all during the regular season and even in the second round of the playoffs against Vancouver. Yet the Hawks always seemed to find ways to bounce back, which is why they still don't believe they're out of the Western Conference finals even through they're down 3 games to 1 to the Red Wings with Game 5 tonight at Joe Louis Arena.

"If people are counting us out, that's kind of the way it's been the whole year," Patrick Kane said Tuesday. "Maybe it's for a reason we had all those games when we were down and came back, to know how to come back now and win some games. Who knows what we can do here? We have a good group in here, and maybe we can put something special together."

This is the first time in the playoffs the Hawks have faced elimination, but they were on the other side of the coin against Calgary and Vancouver and know how difficult it is to put a team away.

"The pressure is on them," Jonathan Toews said. "We can come out flying and have fun and play our best hockey we have in a while, try to make things happen and put the pressure on them."

"This is something that could be good for us," Adam Burish said. "The pressure on us is gone now because everybody has written us off and nobody expects we're going to find a way to get back in the series.

"If we win a game here, things can turn."

The Hawks lost Games 1 and 2 at Joe Louis Arena but were in both of them late with Game 2 going to overtime.

"It's what we believe in the dressing room," Brian Campbell said. "We know what we're capable of doing. We know we can play better than we have in this series.

"We're excited to go in there. We should be loose and ready to go. We're going to lay it all out there, give it our all. I think that's what we've done all year and sometimes you get rewarded for it and sometimes you don't. We're gong to go try to play our best game of the series."

The Hawks certainly can't play any worse than they did in Sunday's 6-1 loss in Game 4 at the United Center. They were sloppy defensively, undisciplined and out of whack offensively.

"Our focus is we have to play our best game going forward," coach Joel Quenneville said. "We've had good stretches against them, but at the start of the series we were talking about how we had to play perfect hockey and be at our best. I think all elements of our game have to be in order and be effective.

"We're looking at the small picture, the one game as our approach. After the last game, it's easy to get excited about the next game because not much happened that was good in our favor."