Blackhawks Ready to Claim Hockey's Biggest Prize

With visions of Lord Stanley dancing in their heads

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Kids are told all the time that it's OK to dream. But is it OK for the Blackhawks to admit to dreaming about winning the Stanley Cup before it actually happens?

    The Chicago Blackhawks are perfectly fine with ending the Stanley Cup Finals in Philadelphia and winning their first championship since 1961.

    Young captain Jonathon Toews, 22, will hoist the Stanley Cup Trophy just about anywhere.

    "That's the dream," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said Tuesday. "That's the one thing you keep telling yourself, in your heart you know you're going to do it some day."

    Many of Toews' teammates already know the feeling.

    Tomas Kopecky realized the dream winning the Cup in Detroit.

    "It's the memories  that stay with you for the rest of your life.  That feeling is unbelievable," he said.

    Andrew Ladd did it his rookie year in Carolina.

    "It's what we play the game for," he said.  "The group that we have and the players that we have in the room and the personalities, you know, it just makes the whole ride fun."

    Veteran John Madden has two Stanley Cup rings.  This is his 4th trip to the Finals.

    "There's no better feeling in hockey, that's for sure.  The look on your teammates' face when you've all come together to accomplish your goals. It's a real nice feeling to have," said Madden.

    And the man in charge of keeping those dreams in check is Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville.  After 13 years playing in the NHL, the defenseman-turned-coach won the cup as an assistant with the Avalanche.
     
    "Practices have been great.  Our game preparation has been great. I think he's handled it like he's been here a few times.  It's very reassuring knowing your coach feels that calm.  It's easy to play when you have faith in him," Madden said.
     
    Despite the leadership, its not going to be easy to snatch a victory in Philadelphia. The home team has won every game in this series so far.
     
    After the Blackhawks slammed the Flyers 7-4 in Game 5, there will be a measure of revenge. And don't rule out a big game from Chris Pronger, who has been ridiculed by Chicago media.
     
    But if the 'Hawks play their game, they should be heading home with a trophy.