"I think they're pretty relaxed, says Dent. "It's a fun time of the year. They have to rise to the occasion."
The IceHogs are tied with Charlotte for the seventh playoff spot in the West (8 teams get in). It's the two teams that are behind them that they have to watch out for. Oklahoma City is only two points back. Rochester is three back.
"We're going to keep thinking the way we've been thinking, like we've got to make a playoff push," says Hogs center Alex Broadhurst. "We're just neck and neck with these guys. It's the way we've got to think."
"We can't focus on eight games from now. We've got to focus on our next game which is Friday in Abbotsford, and we've got to focus on the first shift of the first period and take if from there," says Blackhawks GM of minor leagues Mark Bernard.
A pair of wins last weekend over Chicago and Grand Rapids, two of the best teams in the AHL, was encouraging.
"Our compete level is at an all-time high, and that's what it needs to be at," says Dent. "Are we the best highly skilled team in the league, no, but that doesn't mean you can't win everything."
"I really like our chances (of getting into the playoffs)," says Bernard. "They've got it in their heads we know what they want to accomplish here, and they're working extremely hard towards it."
The IceHogs will play back-to-back games in Abbotsford Friday night and Saturday night.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.