1. "Confidence," said the veteran defenseman, and he's right.
The Blackhawks are coming off a four-game sweep of San Jose in the Western Conference Final, with key power-play goals throughout. They are an okay 14-for-62 for the playoffs (22.6 percent), but their first line has come through in clutch moments. Jonathan Toews leads Chicago with five power-play goals in the postseason.
"The key for us is that we've got skilled guys all over the ice," said Chicago forward Patrick Sharp. "We've got talented players with specific jobs to do, and they do them well."
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2. "They've got a lot of different options," said Pronger. "They can work it high. They can work it low. They work it high to low and take it to the net. They've got a guy (Dustin Byfuglien) who is very good at screening the goalie. They've got a very quick half-wall guy (Patrick Kane) who can make plays cross-ice, make plays down low and has a very sneaky shot off the half-wall. And Toews comes out of the corner. He's very good around the net making plays and putting pucks in the net."
Byfuglien has been a nightmare for opposing defensemen and goaltenders throughout the playoffs. He may have just three goals on the power play in the postseason, but his mammoth net presence makes the whole enterprise work.
3. Finally, Pronger talked about Chicago's dangerous options at the point or in non-traditional areas.
"You've got [Patrick] Sharp, backdoor, kind of roaming around over there, looking for seams in loose areas. Duncan [Keith] up top with a great shot, who seems to be getting everything through. We need to do a good job of getting in shooting lanes and blocking shots."
Blackhawks Notes: As expected, Tomas Kopecky will replace the injured Andrew Ladd for at least Game 1 and likely beyond. Ladd, out with an undisclosed injury, still has not practiced and Kopecky has worked out on the line with Dave Bolland and Kris Versteeg. "No matter who's out," said Versteeg, "we have full trust of whoever comes in. Kopey's a very good player with experience in a Cup Final (with Detroit). He'll fit right in."
Starting goalie Antti Niemi took a pair of shots off his helmet at the Blackhawks' morning skate at United Center on Saturday. Sharp said those were proof the Blackhawks are their usual loose selves. "Two shots off the head of our starting goalie," said Sharp. "Normally, you keep the shots low at the morning skate. You'd think that would change on the morning of the Stanley Cup Final. Nope!"
Blackhawks forward Adam Burish reported that his phone rang a lot on Friday night. "My sister called to knock me down to size," said Burish. She said, "You're not that cool."