CHICAGO (WSCR) – Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell says the team needs to prepare better and get more bodies in front of the opposing goal to put an end to a slump in which they’ve lost two in a row overall and four in a row at home.
“We’ve got to prepare ourselves better and up the ante a little bit and keep it going,” Campbell said in an interview Thursday on “The Danny Mac Show” on 670 The Score.
LISTEN: Brian Campbell on “The Danny Mac Show”
The Blackhawks were booed after Wednesday night’s 2-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, but Campbell said the players don’t let booing bother them.
“Losing four in a row at home, to me that’s unacceptable, so we have to find ways to win these games at home and take advantage of having our home ice and our home crowd,” Campbell said. “They’re probably not as frustrated as us, but they’re probably pretty frustrated, so, you know, that’s kind of up to them.”
Campbell said the team needs to do a better job of getting players to the front of the opponent’s goal to take advantage of rebounds.
“If you look at around the league every night and watch every goal, there’s probably 75, 80 percent of them arent’ very pretty. It’s just going to the net,” Campbell said. “Sometimes we’re doing it and other times we’re not. We need to find ways to get all four lines adapted to that and going to the net and stay away from perimeter hockey.”
Campbell also disputed criticism that coach Joel Quenneville has been making too many changes to his lineups, noting that Quenneville regularly switched up his lines during their Stanley Cup run last year.
“I think every coach does it around the league and it’s not just with Q. He’s not the only one, so if things aren’t going well, then you’ve got to try different options to try and push some buttons on guys and get us going a bit more,” Campbell said. “I think he’s doing a great job in that aspect. … If we were winning every game and he was mixing and matching, nobody would be saying anything, but obviously that’s not the case.”
Campbell said he’s not worried about fellow defenseman Duncan Keith’s recent slump.
“He’s so consistent all the time and such an important piece that he’s gonna have it back in no time,” Campbell said. “You just gotta keep going to the rink and working hard, so I’m not worried about Duncan Keith and I don’t think very many people should be worried about him.”
After winning the Stanley Cup last season, teams might be preparing differently for the Blackhawks than they did in the ’09-’10 season, Campbell said.
“I think when you play as deep as you do in the playoffs … all other 28 teams can concentrate and look at what you’re doing and look into how they would defend or how they would control the game,” Campbell said.
Campbell is looking forward to the upcoming “Circus Trip” when the Blackhawks will play six straight road games while the Barnum & Bailey Circus takes over the United Center.
“It is nice to get away on the road and get with everybody and bond. It’s been really rewarding for us the past couple years. But we do have some business to take care of before we leave for that and we’ve got two very important games this weekend,” Campbell said. “We’ve got to find ways to win these games and, if not, at least get some points out of them.”
Campbell is hosting a charity poker tournament in January at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind. The annual Texas Hold ‘Em tournament benefits the Autism Speaks charity for families with children that have been diagnosed with autism.