Blackhawks don’t want another first-round exit
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org April 29, 2013 10:27PM
Jamal Mayers, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Daymond Langkow, Michal Rozsival, Taylor Pyatt, Keith Yandle
Updated: June 1, 2013 6:38AM
First-round losses the past two seasons following the 2010 Stanley Cup championship still haunt — and motivate — the Blackhawks.
‘‘I don’t think anyone was happy with the way things ended last year,’’ said forward Patrick Sharp, referring to a 4-2 series loss to the Phoenix Coyotes in which Marian Hossa was knocked out on a vicious hit by Raffi Torres. ‘‘We’ve waited a long time to get back to this time of the year. We’re excited about it. Can’t wait to get on the ice.’’
‘‘Even after the Vancouver series two years ago we were frustrated with the way things ended up,’’ defenseman Duncan Keith said. ‘‘Now, two years removed, I don’t think we can be any hungrier to have success and we just need to show that in our game.’’
No. 1 seeds are only 5-3 in the first round in the last four years. And two of the top seeds were taken to seven games, including the Blackhawks’ near-upset of Vancouver in 2011.
Bolland, Emery out
Center Dave Bolland (groin) and goaltender Ray Emery (lower body) will miss Tuesday night’s opener against the Minnesota Wild, coach Joel Quenneville said.
Bolland missed the last three games of the season after suffering the injury against Vancouver on April 22. Emery missed the last two games after suffering his injury against Edmonton last Wednesday.
‘‘We’re hopeful that they’re both going to be on the ice real soon,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘We expect them on the ice real soon.’’
With Emery injured, the Blackhawks can’t afford to lose Corey Crawford. So it was a little scary to see Crawford fall hard to the ice after getting hit in the face with a puck in practice. Crawford shook it off and had no further problems.
‘‘I”m a goalie. I take those shots once in a while,’’ Crawford said.
Henrik Karlsson, who played in 26 games for the Calgary Flames in 2010-12, will be the backup goaltender in Game 1.
Contributing: Mark Lazerus