The Blackhawks said goodbye to the press on Wednesday after locker cleanout, so after spending Tuesday recovering from the game, I watched their livestream of exit interviews. If wanting to give them all a hug as they left the podium is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.
Here are some highlights:
Stan Bowman: I swear, this man has the dullest voice on the planet. I feel bad that I tuned him out for the most part, except when he praised Patrick Kane for his performance this season in the absence of Jonathan Toews and mentioned that they’re talking to Johnny Oduya about staying with the team.
Coach Quenneville: He took the blame for the abomination called the power play. He also said that he was pleased with how Marcus Kruger had progressed over the season and that he’d rather look internally to fill in the space of second-line center. He then implied that because Kaner had done so well at center, that he’d rather go with him than go outside the team for another center.
Andrew Brunette: This was the most depressing player interview I saw, hands down. He’d been playing with an injured foot during the playoffs and sounded like he was pretty much done with hockey in general. The basic tone of his interview was “I don’t know if I’ll be back at all, let alone with the Blackhawks.”
Jonathan Toews: Captain Cylon made it clear that he wouldn’t be participating in World Championships in Sweden and Finland. Instead, he’ll spend the offseason training and healing after his concussion. Wait, does that mean he wasn’t 100% in the playoffs? This is me, sitting here with anger-induced steam coming out of my ears.
Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith: They’ll be with Team Canada at Worlds, and Duncs revealed that he didn’t go last year because of a broken finger and minor elbow surgery. Sharpie said that the wrist issues he’d had during the season won’t need surgery after all. Later, it was stated that Duncs would wear #2 at Worlds, while Sharpie would wear #81. Some suggested it was for his birth year, but I’d bet that it’s for Marian Hossa.
Patrick Kane: He also passed up Worlds in favor of offseason training, mainly because at this time last year he was dealing with wrist issues and had training cut short because of surgery (he’s admitted that it was giving him problems during the season with stiffness and range of motion). But now that he’s healthy this summer, he’ll focus on training again.
Corey Crawford: While he acknowledged that he didn’t have the best season, he was upbeat about his growth as a goalie from last year and plans on taking everything he’s learned – positive and negative – and using it to be better next season.
Also, the consensus from the team in general is that the power play was crap and there needs to be a consistent net presence, aka someone’s butt parked in the crease, on said power play. Names mentioned were Brian Campbell and Dustin Byfuglien with regards to the holes they left on defense. Hearing “We really miss Campbell/Buff out there” made me sad.
Also mentioned later by beat reporters: Krugs will be going to Worlds for Sweden, while Oduya will not. We’ll probably hear about more guys in the next few days.
So the Blackhawks are officially done for the season. As of April 28, there are 83 days left till the Blackhawks Convention opens on July 20th. Let’s hope they pass by quickly, because I miss the boys already.