Hawks coach Joel Quenneville didn’t see any negatives in the playoffs starting Friday against the Nashville Predators, especially with his team playing five games in eight days to close the season.
“It didn’t give us the luxury of taking a break with certain guys getting rested [for the playoffs],” Quenneville said.
The team was off Monday and Duncan Keith was given a “maintenance day” Tuesday. No player has played more than Keith this season. Keith, who will practice Wednesday, saw 2,180 minutes, 34 seconds of ice time this year and averaged the most playing time for Canada in the Olympics.
“We should use this time to refresh ourselves and get excited about starting,” Quenneville said. “The schedule is the way it is and we have to deal with it. Once you get into that series, it’s like you expected, every other day. We’ll be busy. Hopefully, we can take advantage of the rest and get enthused.”
With the extra time, Quenneville said the Hawks will hold meetings on different days that address various things.
“We’ll touch on all aspects of our game,” he said. “You can spread them out over the course of the week, maybe one different type of meeting each day. We’ll spread it out.
“We always know the focus is on special teams going into the series and the little things that can lead you to taking advantage of the other team. Going into it, we know that being a patient and a hard to team to play against is something we want to stress. We’ll touch on all areas.”
Patrick Kane had trouble a playoff beard last year. So this season — at least for the time being — the star winger opted for mullet. Yes, a mullet.
“It was pretty embarrassing last year,” Kane said Tuesday after practice. “I’ve got the playoff mullet going now. We’ll try to keep that for a bit.”
“It’s funny,” Andrew Ladd said of Kane’s look.
FUN AND GAMES
An EA Sports video game simulation of NHL 10 concluded the Hawks will win the Stanley Cup over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
* According to this week’s Sports Illustrated Players poll, in which 272 players were asked “Which team will win the Stanley Cup?” most players picked the Washington Capitals (31 percent), followed by the Hawks (27 percent).
* The Hawks couldn’t host the Predators Thursday with the Harlem Globetrotters booked at the United Center.