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Toews: Hawks ready to embrace the challenge

Sunday, 06.06.2010 / 5:20 PM / Features
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Toews: Hawks ready to embrace the challenge
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews says his teammates are in a positive frame of mind for Sunday\'s Game 5 vs. Philadelphia.
CHICAGO -- It took him a while to come out of the little dressing room located off the Blackhawks' main room at United Center, but Chicago captain Jonathan Toews emerged with several interesting thoughts that are rumbling through his head prior to Sunday's Game 5 (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).

Here is some of what Toews had to say:

Q: Can you talk about the emotions going into a pretty important game tonight.

Toews: "We have great emotions. We're as optimistic as we can be. I know it's easy to look back and say what we could have done in one of those two games and think about our situation and how different it would be, but we're excited about being back at home, playing in front of our own crowd. We're going to learn from those mistakes we made, try to feed off our crowd and just try to come off to a good start to play as well as we have in a long time."

Q: All the teams have been good on the road in the playoffs, so why all of a sudden in the Final has home ice mattered so much?

Toews: "I'm not sure. I'm not going to lie, it was tough to play in that building (Wachovia Center), especially when you're taking penalties and you get down a couple of goals in the first period. We'll deal with that problem when we go back there, but for now we know we have to take full advantage of being back here."

Q: Patrick Kane spoke yesterday about how you've come a long way and you don't want to let this slip out of your hands, especially after starting the series so well. Can you touch on that?

Toews: "We don't want to sit here and think we've got everything to lose and that we're letting it slip away. That's a tough team and they worked hard to even this series up. We knew it wasn't going to be a tap-in from Game 1 up until this point. We have to believe it's ours and it truly is, we just have to find a way to go take it. It's a best of three series here and no better way to start that than being at home. You don't play into June for nothing, so we can all look at each other and see that we can dig a little deeper and find that extra something there because we know as a team how good we are and we haven't reached the limit yet. We've only got three more games to do that, so no more time to waste."

Q: The Flyers have not lost in Games 4-7.Does that matter now?

Toews: "To us all the statistics and all the history goes out the window now. I think they know that, too. Anything can happen at this point so whatever has happened in the past for both teams means nothing. It's in our control and if we want it bad enough we'll get it.

Q: As captain, can you say enough is enough with the bad penalties, or is that easier said than done?

Toews: "Apparently it is easier said than done. Again, it was our focus going into Game 4 and we still didn't do it well enough so we have to find a way to do it tonight. That's one little detail to our game that we know has made a huge difference. We know we have to clean that up, but there are a lot of things that we want to be better at as well that we're going to focus on."

Q: Do you feel the pressure?

Toews: "Yeah, more and more every game, but it is what it is. I understand how simple this game is sometimes. I look back to some previous series where maybe I didn't play as well as I played in the last couple of games, but I scored goals and gotten on the score sheet and no one really questions your performance afterward. Yeah, it's tough when things aren't going in for you and you're working so hard in the offensive zone and they're playing so smart and so well defensively. It's not only that. There are some defensive issues I want to work on and make sure I'm more responsible in that regard too. Like I said, no more time to waste. It's time to bring everything we've got."

Q: Do you expect to start with Kane and Byfuglien or will the lines be jumbled right at the beginning?

Toews: "Changes can be made throughout the game and you never know what is going to happen. The three of us need to bring more to the table whether we're together or not. If we are together I think we understand what we need to do together and what has made us successful as a line as well."

Q: Does your confidence ever waver when you're not scoring goals?

Toews: "No. I think you're confidence at this time of the year goes through the roof when things are going well for you, but you have to simplify your game and just go out there and work as hard as you can. If you think of it, the game and little details might overwhelm you, so I just want to go out there, work hard and try my best to make things happen."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl



Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Columnist