Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews was nicknamed “Captain Serious” for a reason. He rarely jokes around, and he said Saturday he wasn’t kidding when he said he and his teammates felt a need to redeem themselves Saturday in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final even though they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1.
Their morning skate Saturday at Amalie Arena was fairly loose but it wasn’t sloppy, and Toews said it was an ideal preparation for Saturday night’s game.
“We definitely have energy. We have excitement. We’re eager to redeem ourselves and play better in Game 2,” he said. “I think we’re kind of embracing the pressure now, whereas in Game 1 there’s always that sense of not knowing what to expect from another team, a team that you haven’t seen much. So I think for us, it’s just knowing that we’re mentally prepared; we’re also keeping it loose and making sure that we’ll be ready.
“At the end of the day we got the result we wanted, but that doesn’t mean we can be satisfied with the performance that we had. We know it’s going to take much more than that to continue to win and have success in the series, and that’s what we’re focused on.”
Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville, who will coach his 200th NHL playoff game Saturday and will join Scotty Bowman (353) and Al Arbour (209) as the only coaches to reach that milestone, said his players had been very businesslike in their last on-ice sessions.
“I don’t think we’re satisfied,” Quenneville said. “Certainly we liked the fact that we won the game, but we know we have to be better if we want to move forward …. That consistency of getting off to a big start is what we’re looking for tonight.”
Two final notes:
--Toews came close to making a joke after he was told that Tampa Bay center Cedric Paquette planned to trash-talk him Saturday in an effort to get Toews off his game. "He'd have big shoes to fill following Ryan Kesler," Toews said, referring to the Ducks' bristly center. "I'm looking forward to hearing some of that."
How bad was Kesler? "Not that bad," Toews said, "but he definitely knows how to push buttons, you know?"
--And Finnish rookie forward Teuvo Teravainen, who has showed enormous promise on the ice, has also shown promise as an interesting personality. Teravainen excelled alongside Antoine Vermette and Patrick Sharp in Game 1, scoring a goal and an assist, but he said afterward that he wasn’t comfortable getting media attention. On Saturday he said he had figured out a way to avoid future interview requests. “I think I might not score today. I’ll let the other guys score today so I don’t have to be in the spotlight for the next couple days,” he said jokingly.