Blackhawks

Olczyk: 'Mental game' will be Blackhawks' hardest challenge

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Olczyk: 'Mental game' will be Blackhawks' hardest challenge

It's pretty easy for the Blackhawks to get distracted in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night. 

It's the first time the Blackhawks have an opportunity to clinch the Stanley Cup on home ice since 1938. The Cup is in the building, which is why Eddie Olczyk believes the team's biggest challenge might be in their heads.

"It's hard not to look at what might happen if you win," said Olczyk on Kap and Haugh on Monday. "It's not hard to think about what's going to happen down the road if you win, and the psychological part for these players and coaches tonight will be the hardest thing that they'll have to deal with. I really believe that because of everything that's going around.

[MORE: A look at all NHL, Blackhawks jerseys during Stanley Cup wins]

"I don't care how much they've won, I don't care how much experience that they've had in winning two Cups in the last five years, the mental part of this game will be a great challenge."

The Lightning are here for a reason and they won't go away without a fight. With their backs against the wall, they're going to give it their all, and the Blackhawks have to be ready for that.

"Tampa isn't going anywhere," said Olczyk. "They're going to give them their best punch. ...It's going to be a great test."

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Regardless if you're a Blackhawks fan or Lightning fan, Game 6 should be one for the ages.

"I can't wait to get inside the building," said Olczyk, "because I think it's going to be as electric as we've ever seen a hockey game in anticipation for Game 6 tonight."

See what else Eddie O had to say on Kap and Haugh in the video above.

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

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AP

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

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AP

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: