Blackhawks vs. Predators blog

Pre-game notes

4.16.2010 / 3:05 p.m. ET

Happy return -- Steve Sullivan of the Predators played for Chicago from 1999 to 2004 and helped the Hawks make the 2002 playoffs.

His time spent with Chicago, however, was largely in a losing effort. That's why he had kind words about what the Hawks have accomplished since being dealt away in 2004.

"What a great turnaround," said Sullivan, the Preds' co-leader in points with 51. "This city needed it. It's such a great city. It's such a great organization. It's got such a great history, that it deserves it. I'm very happy for both the organization and the city that they have a great hockey club."

Parity rules -- Nashville's Ryan Suter thinks this week's plentiful "upsets" prove only how far the talent is spread throughout the League.

The Predators are the No.7 seed in the Western Conference, yet finished with 100 points.

"Every team is good," Suter said. "Every team brings something different. That's very important when it comes to the playoffs. Any team can win. It doesn't matter whether you're (seeded) first or last."

Just kidding -- Patrick Kane has now added something to his "Joe Dirt" Playoffs mullet to send a message to those who think he's completely lost his mind.

"People were looking at me like, ‘Is he serious with that haircut or is that just a joke?' " Kane said. "So, I just tried to add the steps in there to solidify that it is a joke."

Regardless, his mother and sisters were not pleased when they saw it.

"They were like, ‘Oh, shave it off!' " he said.

-- Brian Hedger

04.15.2010 / 5:01 PM ET

Legendary coach Scotty Bowman made an appearance in the Hawks' dressing room after practice Thursday and said he was intrigued by Wednesday's games.

The one thing that he took from the upsets is that home ice might not be as important as it used to be.

"It doesn't seem to be the same as when I first started," said Bowman, who won nine Cups with three separate teams. "More times than not, you'd hold serve and win your first two and then go on the road and they'd win two. There (weren't) many breakthroughs. (Now), the home team can still have an edge, but I don't think it's quite the same edge as it was."

Bowman is in his second season as a senior advisor of hockey operations for the Hawks, who many are picking to end Chicago's 49-year Cup drought this year. Bowman cautioned against thinking too far ahead.

"They had 52 wins during the season … but Nashville won 47 games," said Bowman, whose son Stan Bowman is the Hawks' general manager. "It's a lot closer than you might envision. When you win two rounds and you lose in the third round (like last year), it's a lot to even get back to that."

-- Brian Hedger

Membership denied

04.15.2010 / 5:01 PM ET

The Hawks have been asked a version of the same thing all week regarding young Finnish goalie Antti Niemi: "Is he always this quiet?"

Their answer is yes, he is. Quenneville likes Niemi's quiet personality, but admitted that it isn't like many other goalies that he's ever been around.

"As a guy he is as zero or no maintenance as any guy I've been around … especially for goalies," Quenneville said. "You know, they've got their own union. I don't know if he'd be accepted."

-- Brian Hedger

Getting started

04.15.2010 / 5:01 PM ET

The United Center should be raucous when the Hawks and Preds face off Friday, and Quenneville hopes the energy lifts his team to an early lead.

The Hawks finished the season with an impressive 30-7-5 record when leading after the first period and hope to extend the trend into the Playoffs.

"We want to emphasize the enthusiasm in the building," Quenneville said. "Let's translate that into a strong start."

-- Brian Hedger

Campbell back on the ice

04.14.2010 / 4:48 PM ET

Brian Campbell is back at practice with the Blackhawks and it's possible he could play in Round 1 vs. Nashville.

NHL.com Correspondent Brian Hedger has the full story.