Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard makes a save on Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp during regular season action in Chicago on April 12, 2013. The Wings face the 'Hawks in the second round of the NHL playoffs. (Jim Young/Reuters)
ANAHEIM - During his post-game press conference, Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock noted the benefits of a series against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Among the highlights Babcock listed was the excellent restaurants and great sights in the Windy City.
But when Babcock spoke Sunday night following the Wings' win over the Anaheim Ducks in the seventh game of their first-round series, he pretty much avoided the topic of playing the Blackhawks. You know, the NHL's top regular-season team from Chicago, which won the Presidents' Trophy, the Western Conference and the Central Division titles by a landslide.
His players, though, made no bones about the strength of the Blackhawks, their Original Six rivals who took out the Minnesota Wild in five games in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
"It's going to be tough and it's going to be a very tall task for us," Wings goalie Jimmy Howard said. "They're a good team and a very deep team at every position."