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The Rolling Stones play a role in Kings-Blackhawks series

June 02, 2013|By David Wharton
  • The Rolling Stones perform at the United Center on Friday.
The Rolling Stones perform at the United Center on Friday. (Barry Brecheisen / Associated…)

CHICAGO — The Rolling Stones effect on the Kings-Blackhawks playoff series might be extending past schedule conflicts.

The Western Conference finals, which continue with Game 2 Sunday night, are beginning with back-to-back games because the United Center must shoehorn hockey in the middle of a weeklong series of concerts by the seminal English rock band.

When the arena pulled a quick change from rock and roll to rink for the Blackhawks' Game 7 against Detroit last week, players complained of poor ice quality. There was similar talk after Saturday night's Game 1 against the Kings.

"It's the same for both teams," Chicago forward Marian Hossa said. "But it's hard to handle the puck sometimes."

Of course, right now hockey facilities everywhere are dealing with a force far greater than the Stones and their "50 & Counting" tour.

"This time of year, it's warmer outside, too," said Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya. "It's always a little bit tougher when you have 85, 90 degrees outside maybe."

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