Kane: We have the advantage

Chicago Blackhawks' Brian Campbell celebrates his goal against Vancouver Canucks with Patrick Sharp...

Chicago Blackhawks' Brian Campbell celebrates his goal against Vancouver Canucks with Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews. (REUTERS/John Gress)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:26 PM ET

CHICAGO - Where are we, Bizarro World?

When did this series shift to a place where up is down, black is white and where an eighth place team that backed into playoffs on the last day of the season, trailing 3-2 in a series to a President’s Trophy winner that finished 20 points ahead of it in the standings, has to guard against taking the other guys lightly?

Where the rookie goalie from Chicago, coming off a shutout, is assuring everyone that Roberto Luongo, coming off back-to-back hooks, can stomach the post-season pressure?

Where the Vancouver Canucks are now the underdogs?

“I’m sure we have them thinking,” said Chicago winger Patrick Kane, not about to downplay the psychological impact those jaw-dropping 7-2 and 5-0 victories in Games 4 and 5 had on this drama.

“I’m sure being down 3-0 they didn’t expect us to come back into this position. Now we’re on home ice; we have the advantage. It should be a fun game. I’m sure they’re going to be thinking for sure.”

Sixty minutes away from elimination, the Hawks are almost speaking in condescending tones now.

“They’re still up 3-2, we have to remember that,” said Kane. “They’re a great team and I’m sure they’ll come out with a better effort.”

“We can’t take them lightly,” added Dave Bolland.

Can’t take them lightly? Sure they’ll have a better effort?

Bizarre.

“I went home after Game 5 and flew out the next day so I’m not sure what everyone’s talking about (in Vancouver),” said Alex Burows, when asked about the feeling of doom emanating from the west coast. “But we feel like we’re a comfortable group. We’ve done a lot of good things all year and we’ve been good on the road. If we play the way we can we’ll be all right.”

It’s remarkable how quickly the hockey world has turned on a team that boasts the last two Art Ross winners, a gold medal goalie, a series lead and the best road record in the NHL.

“Our group doesn’t really read into what other people are saying, or what the media are saying,” said Henrik Sedin. “But we know until we win it’s going to be there, that’s part of the business.”

Inside the room, the Canucks, who’ve beaten Chicago at the United Centre, twice, in this series, say everyone needs to be reminded who’s winning this thing, and why.

“If we would have put our A game on the ice, maybe (their confidence would be shot), but we haven’t been close to our B game,” said Henrik, adding the Canucks are tired of being told how fragile they are and plan on making a statement on Sunday.

“Sunday is game 7 for us.”

Same goes for the Blackhawks, who remain 60 minutes away from elimination.

They know about Vancouver’s reputation, but they haven’t seen this year’s version of the Canucks truly backed into a corner yet.

They’re about to.

So before Chicago moves this thing back to that theatre of nervousness and apprehension known as Rogers Arena, there is still the little matter of Game 6.

“We’ve made it a little bit of a series now,” said Brian Campbell, adding the kind of comebacks that happen about once every 30 years aren’t something to be taken for granted when you’re only halfway there.

“It’s a huge challenge to come back from 3-0. They just need one.

“Mathematically, if you look at it over the years, it doesn’t happen a whole lot. But we’ll give it a good shot and see where it goes.”


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