2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog - Conference Quarter-finals
Asked after the morning skate whether Phaneuf would play, Flames head coach Mike Keenan replied: “No he will not. He’s not available. And his status is day-to-day.”
Keenan wouldn’t disclose Phaneuf’s ailment, or whether he’s expected to return if they force a seventh game, although it’s suspected to be a head injury.
Phaneuf left in the middle of the third period of Saturday’s 5-1 loss, which gave Chicago a three-games-to-two lead in the best-of-seven affair. He took a hard hit to the head from Troy Brouwer after shooting a puck. A few minutes earlier, Brouwer hit the Flames defenceman late after chasing down an icing call.
Anders Eriksson is expected to dress in Phaneuf's place.
“I’m not going to be Dion Phaneuf out there. I’m not going to chew up his minutes on the power play,” Eriksson said. “I’ve played enough hockey to know what it takes. I’ve been around long enough to know to play my game, not do too much or too little.”
Eriksson played the first game of the series after spending the whole season in the AHL.
“Who doesn’t want to play a game like this,” he said. “This is when character really comes out, and we have a lot of that in this room. Guys just have to step up to the plate.”
Calgary is also without defencemen Robyn Regehr (knee), Mark Giordano (shoulder) and Rhett Warrener (shoulder).
Brouwer said the hit was head-on-head.
“I’m surprised it didn’t do more to me. Maybe he just wasn’t ready for it,” the winger said. “He’s a good player and a big part of their team, but they’ve got a lot of weapons on that team and we can’t be satisfied and content."
Trying to go the distance
The Flames spent a full day being reminded of how bad they were in their Game 5 loss.
You can bet they’re itching to make what amends they can by forcing a seventh game with a win on Monday.
“Look at Carolina, they did it. Washington. They did it. We can,” said centre Craig Conroy. “We had a bad game, but now we have to regroup and have our best game.
“You're so disappointed and had a day or two to think about it, and now you have to have your best game. You’re upset about that game, but there’s nothing we can do about it.
“Tonight is in our building, at home where we feel comfortable, and the crowd’s going to be great, so we get that extra boost. We just have to go out there, do what we have to get this win and send it back to Chicago.”
For the past couple of days, the character of the Flames has come into question, which bristled Keenan.
“I don’t know why our character would be questioned,” he said. “If you’re questioning the character of our top players, everybody knows who our top player is, it’s Jarome Iginla. And those who are questioning his character don’t know much about Jarome and don’t know much about hockey.
“That doesn’t have any substance to it, at all.”
Going for the kill
This spring has brought all kinds of new experiences to the young Blackhawks.
Tonight is their chance to win a game on the road and close out a series.
“It’s a dangerous game, a tough game, and I think it’s part of our learning curve, being a young team, finding ways to win on the road and win a series,” said Hawks coach Joel Quenneville. “It’s going to be a good test. I think we’ve learned valuable lessons our last games in this building.”
One concern among the Hawks is reminding themselves a loss isn’t the end of the world, since all it would mean is a return home for the seventh and deciding game.
“I think there’s an awareness of the importance of tonight’s game,” Quenneville said. “You've got a mulligan in your pocket, but I don’t think you can look at it like that. This is a must-win for us. You’ve got to win on the road as you go along here, so let’s apply that. We feel we have some momentum and want to keep it as long as we can.
“I don’t think we want that approach, feeling comfortable.”
The players have been reminded of it.
“They’re in their home building and we struggled here in this series,” said winger Patrick Sharp. “So we want to make sure we play our game, give our best effort and try not to worry too much about what they’re doing.
“We know we’ve got to steal games on the road, so this will be a huge one for us.”
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- Saturday, June 13, 2009
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- Friday, June 12, 2009
- Babcock low-key all the way for Game 7
- Friday, June 12, 2009
- Rafalski shares Game 7 Stanley Cup wisdom
- Thursday, June 11, 2009
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