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Olczyk: Facing Adversity, Blackhawks ‘Gut It Out’

Jonathan Toews is hit by Brendan Smith. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Jonathan Toews is hit by Brendan Smith. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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(WSCR) Throughout the 48-game regular season, the Blackhawks lost just seven games in regulation.

Their regular-season hot streak did little to prepare the team for rough waters, but facing a 3-1 hole in the Western Conference Semifinals, the Blackhawks found a way to win.

“There’s no doubt – for the first time all season, they had major adversity at the pinnacle time and they found a way to gut it out,” Blackhawks legend Eddie Olczyk told The Mully and Hanley Show.

Olczyk added that since the Hawks faced three straight elimination games, they’ll be better prepared for the LA Kings in the Western Conference Finals.

“It has to,” he said. “I believe it does. When you look at this season and you look at what’s happened in the playoffs, I think they found their game in Game 3 in Detroit. They lost. I think they found their game in Game 4. They lost. They created chances, they were skating. Even though they lost those games, I think they found their playoff game. I don’t think they had it in round one against Minnesota consistently. … They needed to pick up their game. They did that. Even though they weren’t rewarded in those games, they played pretty well.”

Defeating the defending Stanley Cup champions won’t be easy,  but the aggressive Kings are struggling with injuries at the wrong time of the season.

“Just prepare for the first period against an LA team that, besides being the defending Stanley Cup champions, they’re big, they’re heavy and they’re banged up a little big,” Olczyk said. “They’re a banged up hockey club right now.”