There's no doubt that immediately before, during and immediately after the national anthem tonight, the United Center is going to be rocking.
The trick for the Blackhawks is keeping it loud.
With tensions high as the Hawks face elimination in tonight's Game 5 with the Detroit Red Wings, an early Hawks goal could blow the roof off the United Center. An early Red Wings goal, however, could silence it.
"It'd certainly be nice to start with a lead and get the crowd right into the game right off the bat," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "It could go both ways, but certainly that'd be the perfect start. It's been very tight and [if you] look at all the games, scoring early in the game's been hard to do. Make sure that we put some pressure [early] and get that crowd into it and take home ice and use that to our advantage."
Detroit, of course, has other ideas.
"I think the first goal is important," winger Daniel Cleary said. "I think both teams like to play with a lead. Saying that, it'd be important for us to get it, quiet it down a little bit."
Any goal would be huge for the Hawks at this point. They've scored just two in the last three games combined.
"It's huge," Patrick Kane said of getting the first goal. "It'd be nice to play with the lead -- we haven't done that in the last couple of games. It'd be nice to do that and maybe get in [Jimmy] Howard's head a little bit, at least -- he's playing great right now. Seems like they've had a lot of breaks as far as posts, and he's made some big saves for them. Just try to control the tempo of the game, try to get that first one and play with a lead."
The desperation factor could play in the Hawks' favor. The Red Wings know it well, having climbed out of a 3-2 hole against the Anaheim Ducks in the first round.
"I don't know if it's that easy to match it," Cleary said. "You can say you want to, but they've got a lot of character on their team, these guys have won before, they've trailed before, just like we have. We know [how] an elimination game is at the beginning, how determined the other team is. You've got to focus on your own game and you've got to make sure that you're skating, match their intensity. And it's going to be loud early. The start, the first 10 minutes, will be important."
Detroit coach Mike Babcock said his team will be every bit as desperate to close out the series as the Hawks are to extend it
"I don't know how they can be any more desperate, or any more scared than we are," Babcock said. "A little fear is a wonderful thing to help you prepare to do your job and life."