Blackhawks End Kings Home Streak, Win 3-2

With Duncan Keith watching while suspended, the rest of the Chicago Blackhawks played a superb defensive game – especially in the third period – and ended the LA Kings’ home winning streak with a dramatic 3-2 victory.

Bickell

Sheldon Brookbank stepped into the lineup for Keith, and was minus-two in only 12 shifts and 6:50 on the ice. Nick Leddy only skated 11:12 in the game as coach Joel Quenneville relied heavily on his top four defensemen.

And they were fantastic.

After taking a shot to the “lower-body” in Game Three, Niklas Hjalmarsson stepped up and played a magnificent game. He skated 24:57 in the game, and was credited with two assists and two blocked shots. But his activity around the Hawks’ net and hard work all over the defensive zone led a stellar effort from the defensemen for Chicago.

Michal Rozsival, who had been on the Hawks’ bottom pair in the first three games, was asked to fill the void left by Keith and played his best postseason game in a Hawks’ sweater. He skated 25:28 in the game and was only credited with two hits, but his effort was huge in the victory.

Brent Seabrook led all Blackhawks with 26:20 in the game, and also led the team with three hits. Johnny Oduya was on the ice for 22:54 and was credited with the secondary assist on Marian Hossa’s game-winner.

Hossa had a strong performance, as did Patrick Kane. Kane broke out of his scoring drought, tipping home the Hawks’ second goal of the game, and his confidence exploded. In the third period, Kane was flying all over the ice and was pulling the trigger regularly. He led the Hawks with seven shots on net in the game.

For the Hawks, getting strong contributions from Kane, Hossa and Jonathan Toews was desperately needed to emerge from Los Angeles one win away from the Stanley Cup Final. And they got that effort on Thursday night. Toews was plus-two in the game while winning seven of 18 faceoffs.

After the Kings’ Slava Voynov put LA on the board early with his sixth goal of the postseason, Bryan Bickell answered with his eighth playoff goal. The assists on Bickell’s goal went to Hjalmarsson and Michael Frolik, who continued his hard work killing penalties.

In the game, the Blackhawks allowed only one shot during three Kings’ powerplay opportunities. Marcus Kruger led Chicago forwards with 3:41 of short-handed ice time, while Frolik added 2:49 (he was in the box for the third penalty kill). Frolik was credited with two blocked shots in the game, while Kruger blocked one.

For the Kings, Dustin Penner scored the second goal and was credited with a game-high five hits. Anze Kopitar won 10 of 17 faceoffs and had two hits, but was minus-two on the night. Justin Williams, who has been arguably the Kings’ best forward at home in the postseason, was credited with only two shots on net in 19:06 and was minus-two as well.

Corey Crawford stopped 19 of 21 shots, many of which came in traffic early in the game; nearly half of the Kings shots (ten) came in the first period, but Crawford held the net well. His counterpart, Jonathan Quick, allowed three goals against 28 shots.

The Hawks will try to clinch the Western Conference at home on Saturday night.

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79 Responses to Blackhawks End Kings Home Streak, Win 3-2

  1. SalPerez says:

    Looks like Q will have to decide whether or not to dress Duncan keith for game 5 since the Hawks won without him tonight…?

  2. wall says:

    Tab, can you please forward my Posts to Coach Q a little sooner… He obviously didn’t read my Line change suggestion of

    29/19/88
    and
    10/26/81

    until the middle of the 2nd period!!!!

    Brookbank was awful… just another reason Hawks should have skated Stanton or Clendening a couple of games during the season…

    Good news is Hawks can take the money Leddy is leaving on the table and put it towards 29.

  3. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Great team effort by the Hawks tonight. I wasnt able to comment on the last game but I thought the Hawks played a strong road game and game up just short thanks to Quick bailing the Kings out as usual. As for tonights game I really felt this was a team effort on the blueline. I thought Hammer had his best game of the season. He’s had a very strong playoffs against LA. Seabrook was equally as impressive and continues to shine on both ends. He really awoken from his season long funk and contributed at the right time. I like 29-19-88 line I like dynamic among those three with Bickell doing the dirty work in the corners and in front of the net. Its ashame with every game he is pricing himself out of Chicago(BigBuff2.0).

    I wasnt aware the Zus and Hoss had a slovakia national team connection, but they played a excellent game. What can you say about Hossa shot other then its a text book shot placement on where and how you beat Quick. Zus continues to prove this doubter wrong time after time, and Sharp continues to be a playoff gamer!

    Negatives out of tonights game, Brookbank (-2) Stalberg MIA(my “highflying Hawks going into this series) and David Bolland,…limited minutes and limited impact! Although atleast Bolland can give a solid d effort on the PK.

  4. Tails says:

    Hammer is the man. He’s crazy tough, rarely makes mistakes, and is just a rock defensively.

    Kane was noticeably active tonight, and created a lot of offensive pressure.

    The Hawks’ penalty kill is just plain ridiculous.

    And obviously you play Keith lol. I’m assuming that’s just a joke.

  5. Dickie Dunn says:

    Thank you, Tab.

    I thought this was overall a really good game (entertainment-wise) and a really good effort by the Hawks. The third period was “text book”…? The officiating was a little inconsistent(-to-it SUCKED…Penner hits Kane in the face with his stick = NO penalty, but Frolik does pretty much the same thing to (Dickhead…uh, Dustin) Brown and it’s called. Also, it seems Bolland took an elbow to the head — evidenced by this a little biased broadcast team bothering to mention it).

    Pre-game there was all the expected talk about NO Keith = “step-up”, etc. – and the Hawks did. Brookbank — obviously (in my opinion), he figured-into (LARGE) the two LA goals, but, I’m a little “split” about this…first, there is NO way he can possibly contribute (compensate for) what Keith brings to the game, and, (unfortunately for S.B.) he hasn’t played in weeks — *impossible* assignment(?). I choose to focus on the result.

    Full speed ahead — GO HAWKS!!!

  6. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    I fucking hate that stupid Cartman voice holy crap is that irratating! Hopefully I dont need to hear it again anytime soon!!!

  7. Dickie Dunn says:

    Wall – pretty critical of Leddy, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. He and Bickell are #1 & #2, OR #2 & #1 as far as signing/retain services priorities. (“The BIG Picture.”)

  8. Pete says:

    Great game for the Hawks. Even though he didn’t score, that play where Kane held the puck forever and then took the shot with Quick on the ice making the glove save was an awesome play. Two unsung hereos were Kruger and Frolik. I thought they played great. Anyone notice Kruger skating fast and aggresssive. And with Bickell playing the way he is I am finally over Big Buff leaving. GO HAWKS.

  9. auggie1955 says:

    Yeah, I was really upset when the Hawks had the 2 man advantage and Leddy was at the left point. The puck kept coming back to him and he was hesitant and indecisive about what to do with it. A 2 man advantage and the Hawks don’t even get a single shot on goal. Have not been impressed with Leddy’s play this series. I thought for sure the Hawks would lose when they did not score on that power play.

  10. ratboy36 says:

    Yes we won.Yes we showed up on defense.BUT Crawford let’s in another softy.HOW do multiple? MULTIPLE 20 GOAL scorers not score on a Power play 5 on 3 no less.I don’t even believe they got a shot off? Boston is not screwing around.LA is missing a key player in Mike Richards no less.So we should be shooting over 30 a night.Raask faced 54 last night and one went in.I’m past LA,IMO when Quick got pulled in Chicago LA turned in to “a little brother who didn’t have his bigger brother to watch his back” We just didn’t skate hard on Tuesday.We got this one in the bag,but if Kane etc dont get their A game were all gonna be disappointed when the Cup goes to Boston.Lanes “tap in” big deal it was going in anyway.Yes he had a heart beat tonight finally but him and Stalberg need to shoot.AND yes let Leddy go.Keep the money for Bickell and Krueger.

  11. RyanDale says:

    Has Penner been suspended yet?!

  12. 'hawks58 says:

    Just a few things. Kane and Toews were great tonight (just like they’ve been all playoffs) and Kane finally got one to go in, even if he stole it from Bickell. Crawford has gone 8 straight now with 2 goals or less. Hjalmarsson! When will Jelly get a jersey?

    Also, if Penner is not suspended at least 1 game, Duncan Keith should get 2 minutes alone with all members of the DoPS. Seriously?! Kane barely touching a King’s foot (not even taking him off stride) and Frolik’s phantom high sticking are penalties but Stoll cross-checking Toews to the ice after the play, Penner’s flying elbow, and Penner’s high stick to Kane are perfectly legal plays?

  13. That was an impressive win.

    Give up the first goal – LA has an amazing record when the score first this year.
    Don’t score on a 5 on 3 – Q always says that turns a game one way or the other. We didn’t score.
    Fall behind twice in LA with Quick in the net.

    Good solid game. Lets wrap it up in Game 5.

  14. JS says:

    Amazing what happens when you give Kane a little space. What a difference.

    Handzus again with the soft saucer pass in the perfect spot for Hossa to rip. Seriously, Bowman has gotten more value out of 4th and 5th round picks than I thought was possible.

    Oduya was absolutely awesome. Once again, amazing what a difference a game can make. He was confident and making all of the right plays last night. Wonderful to see.

    I thought Quick was supposed to be the greatest goalie ever that doesn’t let in soft goals?

    I think Crawford would have liked to have both of those goals back. He short arms a lot of shots to his blocker side and it always looks awkward. Definitely needs to fix this or Boston will tear him apart.

    Greatest tweet of last night, “Some GM is going to lose his job over Bryan Bickell” and I completely agree. He’s having an amazing post season (Kane stealing his goal was so mean), but I feel like someone is going to overpay based on this performance. No way he can stay in the Indian Head sweater unless he takes a massive discount.

    While the D men played great, the defensive effort from the forwards was absolutely unbelievable. You don’t hold a home team to 2 shots in a third period without contributions from every player on every shift. Outstanding Stanley Cup rewarding effort.

    I thought Leddy had a decent game and suffered in minutes because Brookbank was so awful. SO AWFUL. WTF was he thinking on that first goal?

    Not sure if Penner will get a call from the league. Pretty dangerous play.

    Wrap it up on Saturday!

  15. Mike says:

    Thanks Tab…….I am sure no one on the Hawks feels worse this morning than Brookbank. I agree that the Hawks could have played a couple of Hogs during the season, but that is past history. Hawk fans…..this is it. Any D injury puts Brookbank back in the game. However, if we need him again he will do better.

    I am a Leddy fan and have said, considering his age, size and lack of AHL hardening is at a disadvantage in the physical play of the playoffs. But I am glad he is a Hawk. He will get better and stronger. He is the guy who could have used the night off.

    My hats off to Rosy. I did not think he could be competitive skating more than 15-18 minutes a game. He stepped up big time. As did Oduya and Seabs. Hammer is an animal. Remember when the Hawks matched his offer sheet? The nay sayers thought it was the beginning of the end. Now he is a bargain.

    I am gonna say one thing here. The Hawks, win or lose this series or the SC finals, Stan Bowman has done a fantastic job. The preseason polls had the Hawks 5 or 6 in the WC. They over achieved and won the President’s Trophy. And they have run this far in great part to SB players. Stalberg, Saad, Oduya, Rosy, Zues, Frolik and resigned several core players to long term deals like Hammer, Sharp, Toews, Kane etc. This is truely SB’s team and I think we all need to give him credit.

  16. wall says:

    I am a little concerned that Sharp is hurt again (after the Hit a game or two ago- went to locker room)… I thought he played soft…
    AND
    why wasn’t he on the 5 on 3 PP???

    I think Q’s PP game plan was to NOT shoot the Puck- Evident by placing Rosey and Seabs on the PP- AT the same time- any blocked shot would have led to an embarrassing 2 on 0 shorthanded breakout for Kings…

    Really hoping for Pens to win 2 in a row- I know 10, 26, and Rosey looked a little tired last nite… I think they could use 3-4 days off before the Nasty Bruins come to town!

  17. JS says:

    Good catch wall, he only played 16 minutes. I understand why he wasn’t on the first PP unit since they probably wanted to keep both units as close to what they were as possible. No idea why he wouldn’t have been on the 5 on 3 though.

    After he went to the locker room (I think it was a leg/groin issue and not shoulder since he was flexing his legs on the bench), he skated pretty hard in the third and threw a couple body checks. He might be a little hurt, but I don’t think it’s anything serious.

  18. Tre says:

    Where’s Bickell been all season?

    He’s got some great talent at times showing off his skating, size, toughness and mean-ass wrister, but most games he was hardly a factor. He obviously has the talent to be much more than the 23 points he put up this shortened season.

    As the Hawks traded away Byfuglien, I was really hoping Bick could step up and be a more consistent version of him. Turns out he is pretty much the same, and like Buff, I’m sorry to see him go but he’s not going to be worth what a team ends up giving up for him for his current playoff performance because he’ll likely go back to his lazy ways.

    I hope I’m wrong. I like the guy and want to see him succeed. At least let’s hope he finishes the playoffs strong.

  19. IceHogst says:

    Thanks Tab. Just a terrific game. Hawks stepped up in every aspect. Can’t say enough about the D, especially after hoss’ goal. They would not be beaten. Hammer in particular was unbelievable. Kane toews Hossa are back to their dominating ways.

    Not many more superlatives needed. Huge being 3-1. If hawks can finish Saturday that’s one less trip to the Coast and more rest for what looks like a short bruins series.

  20. MJT says:

    Tre has it right…..You people are all kidding yourselves if you think a guy who throughout his career has been relatively lazy and totally underachieved with his skill set, who has now had the lightbulb come on during a playoff run and will be massively over offered by the market is going to get brought back over a 21 year old D Man who not only is already a top two on most NHL teams, but could easily develop into a perennial All Star. Ain’t happening. Waive goodbye to Bickell after the playoffs, and expect to see an awful lot of Leddy over the next five plus years.

  21. John Wangsauce says:

    Too bad Stan didn’t sign Rozsíval for 2 years instead of Brookbank…

  22. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    My opinion and respect level for Crawford and Hjalmarsson is sky high. They are both having an unbelievable playoff run.

    I know that Crawford gave up a lousy goal, but he wasn’t helped by Leddy and Brookbank flailing away on the development of that play. Bottom line is that we are into the 3rd round of the playoffs LARGELY because of Crawford. He’s my MVP of the playoffs so far.

    Hjalmarsson has been off the charts exceptional in every phases of his game. And he’s self-less. Balls of steel too.

    The Kings are defeated. They know they can’t score enough, especially without Richards. Its incumbent on the Hawks to finish off the kill Saturday night. There is no need for this series to go back to Los Angeles for a game 6. And I’m sure Quenneville will emphasize that the kill needs to be completed Saturday night at the UC. The victim is down…finish them.

  23. Peter says:

    JS and SSHM mentioned Zus already, but what he did on the Hossa goal was incredible. He knew exactly where 81 was and what he was going to do the whole time. Zus knew he wasn’t going to shoot at all and brought the defenders to him before giving Hossa a chance to unload that ridiculous shot. Zus has proven incredibly valuable and him and Rosy to an extent are great at the end of their careers because they know what they can and can’t do. I have been really impressed with him.

    Rosival played fantastic last night. I don’t think I had seen that from him since the regular season. Great game by him and 4, 7, and 27.

    Bickell keeps playing himself into a bigger contract. I think the Blackhawks are going to have to go to a fourth year if they have any chance to keep him. 4 yrs, 2.75 mil. Some team is going to come in way higher than that on a 3 year deal. I don’t know if the 4th year will mean much to him or not.

    Finally, that Penner crap was ridiculous. How do the officials not get that? That is the exact play the NHL wants to stop. I fully believe he should get a game, but don’t know that Shanny will get him since the Kings face elimination (it shouldn’t matter, but we will see).

  24. Peter says:

    Sorry, one more thing. On the PP just shoot the damn puck at 10-15 seconds intervals. I don’t care where it ends up as long as 2 players are back for a deflected breakaway. It has to get dirty, because the Hawks aren’t doing themselves any favors with the crap I’m seeing now.

  25. Mike says:

    The other GMs know Bickell’s regular season performance. A great playoffs is worth more interest due to potential but not necessarily a ton more money. Anyone who would offer Bicks big bucks (has cap space) is probably on the outside looking in. Their acquisitions must accomplish the first goal of making the playoffs. Has Bick showed that he can carry the team in the 82 game regular season? Not quite. Of course Bickell’s agent will argue that he can carry a team in the regular season….he is maturing as a hockey player. I think his agent will go for $2.5 to 3MM for two years, prove his worth, big bucks when he is in his prime.

  26. Mike says:

    PS….I think the Hawks can do that deal.

  27. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    It’s going to be very difficult to sign Bickell. With the cap going down $5 M and with Leddy due for a substantial raise I don’t see how the Hawks make Bickell fit. It’s assumed Stalberg, Rosival, Emery, Handzus and Mayers will be off the books. But that doesn’t creat a lot of room. Dumping Bolland doesn’t open up that much salary space either.

    There are going to be multiple teams with serious interest in Bickell. Teams with a lot of cap room, and some of those teams also needing to get to the new salary cap floor. And as we learned in the summer of 2010, NHL players of Bickell’s general description rarely take hometown discounts. I can’t blame Bickell on that. His window of opportunity to make his money in the NHL is limited. He owes it to himself to take the payday.

    But lets no worry about that right now.

  28. JS says:

    There is going to be a GM in the league that offers him a ridiculous contract. It’s what happens when players have a great post season. This is why I pointed out the tweet from last night.

    “Bryan Bickell is going to get a GM fired.”

    Someone is going to give him way too damn much money, for too many years. All it takes is one GM to make a mistake. Remember guys, there was a GM in the NHL that gave Tomas Kopecky a 4 year, 12 million dollar deal. Tomas…. Kopecky. WHAT AN IDIOT THAT GM IS!!!!

    Something to think about. I know we all think Rusty and Monty are the obvious choices for the amnesty. If the Hawks absolutely can’t move Bolland, does it make sense to drop him instead of Rusty? My guess is they will be able to find a team to take him if they eat some of his contract though.

  29. Tom Jaremka says:

    Hey boys…….let’s worry about winning this series and then the Cup, before we worry about UFA’s and next year……LOL.

    What a great win, last night!! I thought everyone played well and executed the game plan, perfectly. Sure, we had some bad reads and bad plays, but overall we did a great job and the players and the coaching staff should all be commended. But let’s win Saturday and wrap this series up.

    Brookbank made 2 bad reads, but in the third period he played well and ate up some minutes. Asking a player to take the place of a Norris trophy winner is very tough, especially since the player hasn’t played in 2 months. Give the guy his props, he did a good job and we won.

    To me, it just seems that when Crawford let’s in a soft goal, this team buckles down and protects him better. If that’s what it takes to win a series, God bless those boys!! If the “bunker mentality” works……..use it. I mean, they only let up 2 shots in the third period to a “desperate” team that knew we didn’t have our most mobile defenseman. That was a “team” victory, last night.

    NOW LET”S CLOSE IT OUT TOMORROW!!!!!

  30. RyanDale says:

    Last night was the game we had to have and we got it from the entire roster. I was pretty worried pregame, being w/out Keith. We go down early but nothing seems to bother this team. We’ve totally sent Quick back to mid Feb form and he is finished. Our speed is making them look so pedestrian its unreal. DD has been absent the whole series and their captain is nowhere to be seen.

    Our guys continue to shine at every challenge. Great efforts up and down the bench. Clamping down in the 3rd was huge. Thought Q was great addressing media after the game. VERY classy in dealing with the Brookbank situation. A good barometer of how the team sticks up for each other.

    Funny that Sutter laments the loss of Richards yet thinks that Keith being out “doesn’t really hurt them at all to be honest” haha.

    Need to win G5 , imperative we stay healthy and relatively rested moving forward. Lets hope Pitt can extend that series out for a bit.

  31. wall says:

    Guys- My statement re: Leddy — I am not suggesting we don’t sign him… I am suggesting he was going to get around 2.75 M prior to Playoffs… that # may have dropped around 1/2 Mill. Hawks can put that 1/2 Mill toward 29

    I am in the camp of 29 NOT getting overpaid by other GM’s! But who knows?
    I had him around 2-2.5 M before playoffs… I’d say the stock has gone up to 3-3.75M…
    still affordable and Needed, knowing 25 is gone (unless someone takes 36 via trade)…

  32. Mike says:

    Wall…I to am looking at a roster without Bolland. I think the Hawks can trade him for some mid level prospects / draft picks as a way for someone to take on his salary. I also think that the new CBA allows a guy like Bolland to be traded and the Hawks retain some of his cap space (Tab?). His cap is about $3.375MM, I would not be opposed to a trade where we keep $1MM of his cap….still opens $ 2.375MM in space.

    I also do not think Bolland is 100% or even 85%. He is too good and too smart a player to be having such a poor year. Not sure if he will heal or if his career is going to be short. He is still young and GMs, including SB, may think he can be 100% again.

  33. Joey Zamboni says:

    Brookbank on both goals against…..Ouch!! But its a direct effect of not playing for such a long stretch so I can’t blame him too much & the boys picked up the slack….

    IMHO Bickell’s success is directly related to the cast that surrounds him, any team that signs him to be the center piece is in for a rude awakening. He’s the type of player you use to build a team around players like Toewes. I hope he understands that & chooses to stay here for a fair raise & continued success in the post season.

    I’m not counting my chickens until they hatch, a cornered king is still a dangerous animal, however I’m confident in the Hawks chances to advance.

  34. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    The so many teams under the cap…and with the new salary floor…Bickell is going to see his bidding START at $3.5 M a season. And it might be a slam dunk for him to get $4.5 M. That’s not going to be affordable for the Hawks. Its just not. I put the odds of Bickell leaving at 90%…unfortunately.

  35. Tails says:

    @Rufus – Bickell really isn’t that unaffordable when you consider the Blackhawks can use compliance buyouts on Olesz and Montador and also trade Bolland. If Bickell gets signed for $3M a year, it should be easy to re-sign him. If he re-signs for around $4M, which seems possible now, then the Blackhawks could do it, but it might not be worth it. You can check out rosters for next posted my Tab and I on the Raanta article comments.

    Also this is random, but Darryl Sutter reminds me of a Muppet. He looks and sounds like one. Every time they interview him, I just can’t take him seriously.

  36. Tails says:

    *rosters for next season

    *posted by Tab

  37. Phil says:

    As usual, a nice recap Tab. Thanks for your efforts, as they are much appreciated. Well, the men showed up last night and under pressure dealt LA what appears to be a crippling blow in this series. My goodness, the pre-game hype was insanely positive towards LA. NHL Network was basically saying why should the Hawks show up? No one beat the Kings in LA! When LA score first they ALWAYS win at home! Quick walks on water. Crow is just a decent keeper. Carter and Doughty are the best. Hawks stars can’t contribute. Hawks can’t win without Keith. Ad nauseum. So the guys stepped up and won despite the critics and the fact that When a team doesn’t score on a 2 man PP they usually lose. If the Hawks PP ever gets turned on, they would be lights out, unbeatable almost every game.

    It took a great team effort to step up the defense in our own end. Our zone clears were pretty good although I was nervous late in the 3rd. Kaner finally got the puck and voila things start opening up. Hawks team speed was on display last night. Especially when our dmen started coming out of our end. The pass from Zus to Hossa was a thing of beauty and Hoss finished brilliantly. That was a world class play if you will ever see one. I don’t think any keeper gets that laser from Hoss. What a rocket!

    So what’s up with Sutter and these post game press conferences? The guy cracks me up with his sarcasm and seeming contempt for those asking questions. Yes, some questions are silly of course, but the look on Sutter’s face says it all. Also, who was this poor sap singing the national anthem last night? Is that the best they can come up with in LA? The guy was so bad it was actually pretty funny.

    I am not a fan of Dustin Brown, but he is one of those guys you kind of like to have on your team. Not as a Captain though at least for me. This guy lays down multiple attempts to injure every game…

    So we took the one game we needed on the road in this series. I think the Hawks will bring a big effort to close this out tomorrow night. Thankfully it isn’t a matinee game which we tend to bungle at home when those games are played. I really liked the jump the Hawks brought last night. If they come out flying Saturday I just don’t see the Kings matching up, although they will come after us hard physically. Our guys have proven they can take a hit and give one back. If our zone clearance remains smart and we get into the neutral zone with some speed the Hawks will score multiple goals. If we pot 3 or more it should be enough. Selfishly, I hope we close out the Kings tomorrow and Boston win tonight. I am leaving town next Thursday and hope I can hopefully catch the first 2 games here. If that happens do the finals start Monday??

    I’m not worried about contracts yet. The quest is the Cup and we are 5 wins from hoisting it. It can happen. I can’t see the Pens coming back after the tough loss they took the other night. A Hawks-Bruins final would be very cool, and one the league would love. At least if we get through it will get us away from this horrible broadcast production we have had to endure in this series. Bad announcers, lack of replays, and just a second rate job from NBC.

    In the meantime, I am jacked about being at the game tomorrow. The UC will be rockin!

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  38. Dave Lihosit says:

    I had hoped that Brookbank would hold his own, and we would be able to get by without Duncan Keith, but…. after the Kings had scored the FIRST time Brookbank hit the ice, then let Penner get the easy tap in goal in the second period, how many of you were cringing in the third period when Brookbank was out there, nursing a one goal lead??

  39. Tim G says:

    Anyone else find it odd that everytime Bickell does something his price for next year goes up up $1Mil?

    One good postseason does not a career make.

    He was in line to get 1.5-1.7, now he is probably up to 2.7-3.0.

    He is still at his best on a 3rd line, and most teams know that. With the cap dropping, teams aren’t going to throw 4M at a guy who is a 0.4 points per game player (90 pts in 220 games). 4M would be in the Loui Erriksson, JVR, TJ Oshie, Joe Pavalski, Chris Kunitz territory, and Bickell just doesn’t have the track record to command that kind of money. I could see him as high as 3.25 if someone wants him that bad. That would put him with the likes of Bolland, Setoguchi, Ott, Vrbata, Okposo,…. Much more likely if you ask me….

    That said, from everything I’ve seen he wants to stay, so if we offer him Top 6 minutes with 2.8M, I think he might stay for that. Also, if we can purge Bollands contract through a trade his 3.3 would be lessened to 2.8 to Bicks. And then Ben Smith comes up at low cost to replace bolland on the roster. Basically you would get Smith and Bicks for the same prices as bolland… That sounds good to me.

  40. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    The funny thing about Bickell and Stalberg is I’ve always pictured next years team with out both of them or atleast one of them. I think Leddy with his skill set and position and age was the “lock” for being resigned. For most of the regular season it was Stalberg who looked out the door, but now its a slam dunk that Bickell will be signed by some and he’s earned it. He has been a min salary guy for since he was drafted in 2004 (Tallon pick). Yes its taken him this long to “put it all together”. So I think all Hawks fans need to enjoy this run and his unbelievable play and see Bickell for what he is,…“Bryan Bickell is going to get a GM fired.”

  41. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Rationale contract behavior doesn’t happen in the offseason. Especially for a league coming out of a lockout and with so many teams signifncantly under the cap. Somebody is going to offer Bickell crazy money. I guarantee it. And he won’t pass it up, nor should he. Players like Bickell have one opportunity (and sometimes no opportunity) to have their big payday in the NHL. The career window is short, and in 99 out of 100 situations the player takes care of number one. As they should.

    Bickell’s going to get paid money that probably makes it unaffordable and non-smart for the Hawks. Unfortunately, I see the chances of him leaving 90%. The wildcard is all of this is if Stan thinks another vital piece is the better strategy to move. And I’m not talking Bolland, because he is as good as gone anyway and doesn’t make big money.

  42. Mike says:

    Phil, National announcers in all sports (except football) SUCK. They do not know the teams, players or have seen many games. The team in the lead is great and it’s players can do no wrong. I would much much much rather listen to the local broadcast. I would even listen to LA’s broadcast team instead of these guys. Hopefully when they are back in Chicago it will be Emerick and and Eddy O……not great but better.

    Tim….I agree. A good post season gets you noticed but regular season is what sells tickets. Bicks is under a half point a game. Not a fixture on PK or PP, really has only 3 years exp. Yes he has pushed his worth up from maybe $2.25MM to $2.75 MM. If someone offers more, they have a lot of cap space and he would be gone.

  43. EbonyRaptor says:

    When there is little or no talk of the officiating, it usually means they did a good job. A few missed or weak calls is about as good as it gets in the NHL and the officiating crew last night did a good job. They set the tone early when they tagged Shaw for his slash and the result was much less stick work from both teams than the previous game. Kudos to them.

    One game away from the Stanley Cup Finals – WOW! Life is good for this Hawks fan.

  44. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    The officiating has been fair in my view. When you get to this point in the playoffs the refs are hesitant to blow the whistles, which frankly should play to the advantage of LA. But so far it hasn’t.

    LA is done. It’s a matter of the Hawks finishing the kill on Saturday night. The post-mortem on their series will be that Dustin Brown was a disappointment and the loss of Richards was a big blow. But even with Brown and Richards doing well, the Kings don’t have the offensive firepower or line combos to beat the Hawks. They just don’t. Their strategy for beating us is to score 2 goals and let an elite goalie in Quick stand on his head. So far the strategy hasn’t worked at all.

  45. Rawr says:

    So Penner is not even getting a phone call. What kind of horse shit is that?

  46. JS says:

    I know Penner scored a goal last night, but he’s pretty useless and the Hawks are probably better off with him in the lineup.

    Kind of like how the Kings were better off with Bolland not getting docked.

  47. torourke says:

    Gritty win last night. I’ve got to give Oduya some love because he has struggled at times in the playoffs, but he was very good last night. I thought his secondary assist on the Hossa goal was an even better pass than the one from Handzus. Crawford made some big saves, although the second goal was weak.

    Seabrook was solid, and what can you say about Hammer and Bickell?

    Did I see Kyle Clifford get run over last night by…Marian Hossa? Where did that come from?

    I also agree with Ryan that Doughty has been basically invisible, which has surprised me. Kopitar and Brown are also not doing much. Carter, Toffoli, and Williams are the guys that worry me right now. Hopefully we can close this out tomorrow.

    And I agree with JS that Leddy wasn’t necessarily bad, but he could be playing better/with more confidence.

    Oh, and Keith owes the whole team a steak dinner for covering for him.

  48. Stinky says:

    Bickell is definitely in the +4 range. Somebody will pay him. The Isles have money to spend and could use someone to create space for Tavares. The Senators will have space and could use another big body, especially one that can keep up in the transition game. Philly loves to throw money around. Dallas has space and needs scoring.

    There are at least 6 teams that probably feel like they are a player or two away and have money to spend.

  49. Tab Bamford says:

    “Bickell is definitely in the +4 range.”

    Stop it.

  50. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Agreed Stinky. There are currently 12 teams significantly under the cap for next season, and a bunch of those same teams MUST get to the salary floor. Bickell is going to be a white hot commodity on the open market. Even given the honest description of what his NHL skill set and best role really is.

    I think Bickell gets $4.5. M per. Is that rationale? No. But he’ll get it. Hence why the probability of his return to Chicago is very low in my opinion. Even if the Hawks did have the salary flexibility, that would not be a good contract to dish out.

  51. Tab Bamford says:

    Bickell might get $4-4.5M per someday… but not this summer. He’s making $540k right now and has been good for 8 weeks. With the cap coming down and a number of significant UFAs hitting the market, any GM that threw that kinda money at him should be fired for thinking it, much less offering it.

  52. Dickie Dunn says:

    It does seem that Bickell’s speculated value goes up every game. I don’t know.

    Some GM gave Matt Carle $5-6 million a year 2013-18, so it’s difficult to estimate how foolish (desperate) teams can be.

  53. Peter says:

    4 to 4.5 does seem like a lot. I believe some GM will overpay and the Hawks will have to come in at 3 or 3.25. He can choose to go somewhere else and most likely be on not a very good team or stay with the Hawks where he knows what it will be like for less money.

    Bickell could be this good or he could be like Penner from last year…

  54. Tab Bamford says:

    @Dickie: Matt Carle’s cap hit on this deal went from $3.4M to $5.5M. That’s a little different than $540k to $4.5M.

  55. Phil says:

    I said I wasn’t going to talk contracts, but I have been lured down the path at least for today. Wow, 3.5-4 plus million/year is insane for Bicks. He deserves a healthy raise, but as it has pointed out, the guy has only been really good for the past month or so. That money might be out there in 2-3 more years, but I welcome any GM to shell out that kind of coin for a guy that has been learning the game. I wish him well. I hope we can re-sign him, but I think a player of his caliber is a 1.8-2.5 million guy. Remember we could have kept Brouwer for 2 million. It kills me to think what we could have resigned Ladd for, and didn’t!!!! Yikes.

  56. waitforawhistle says:

    Tab, Which signifigant free agents are you talking about? Just read an article on fan nation and they pointed out how there are not that many great free agents to choose from. Here is a quote from the article…

    based on point production, the five best UFA forwards are Mike Ribeiro, Pascal Dupuis, Patrik Elias, Jaromir Jagr and Michael Ryder (average age: 35.6). The top UFA defensemen are Mark Streit, Ron Hainsey, Rob Scuderi, Andrew Ference and Marek Zidlicky. The best UFA goalies are Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Smith and Evgeni Nabokov. And that’s only if none of them sign extensions in June.

    I know there will be more names available with teams being able to get rid of some bad contracts but I just dont see anyone available besides the goalies that I see a GM throwing big money at.

  57. shaacul says:

    I changed my prediction of Bickell future salary several times in past weeks. From let him go and keep Stalberg at the end of the regular to pay him 20m/5y at this time. He´s gonna definetely. get that kind of money somewheare. Hjalmarsson get offer 14/4 after 2010 SC and was RFA, Bickell is UFA, there will be more bidders. There´s expectation of Clarkson to get 4,5-5/per season. UFA market has just few similar players this year, just Horton has better play off so far.
    Stan what´s in your mind? You let go Byfuglien and Ladd in 2010, Kopecky and Brouwer in 2011. Let Bickell go this year and we have literally no big bodyes left, team of smurfs.
    BTW – Penner got no suspension, if I compare his elbowing to Keith slashing I do understand that. It deserve, let´s say one period in locker room.

  58. Tab Bamford says:

    @ waitforawhistle: I’m not sure what list of free agents that author was looking at if those are the “best” forwards in this summer’s class to them. Here are a few UFAs I would say make good money that somehow missed that list:

    Nathan Horton
    David Clarkson
    Valtteri Filppula
    Derek Roy
    Stephen Weiss
    & Tyler Bozak

    Even guys like Drew Miller, Matt Cullen and Dustin Penner are out there, and we haven’t considered buyouts. There is some good quality to be had, so assuming this year’s free agent class is Bickell and then a bunch of retirement candidates isn’t accurate at all.

  59. Brian B says:

    Great team win last night. It certainly overshadows that embarrassment of game 3. But Boston is not LA I’m afraid.

    I love goalie play. I pay particular attention to it and I’m pretty critical of it. IMO, if you’re the #1 goalie on a team headed for the cup, you had better be bringing something special to the ice. And that is NOT what we have here. Crawford didn’t give up “a” lousy goal, he gave up two. Neither one of those two goals had any business being in the back of the net. Sure it happens once in a while, no one is perfect, but this is virtually every game with him. The reason he looks great to most is strictly due to the defense in front of him. He stopped 19 shots, BFD. Look, I’m not saying he’s completely useless, I mean for god sake, he’s a professional goalie in the NHL. But he is NOT an elite goalie – I almost fell out of my seat when I heard that last night.

    On another note: I would like to say I’d like Bick to throw his weight around more – but I’m afraid we wouldn’t have anyone to put the puck in the net. Is he really the MVP of these playoffs to this point? And who’d have thought we’d ever be asking the question?

  60. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Tab, with all due respect you are living in a state of rationalization run amuk when it comes to Bickell’s market value. His value isn’t what you or I think. Rather its a function of what a handful of dysfunctional NHL front offices decide to do. And there are too many teams with big cap space to ignore the demand-supply dynamic that is going to occur on Bickell. He’s going to get paid in a big maybe even shocking way. And he should absolutely take the money because guys of his stature have an all too brief window of opportunity to make their money in this league.

    Playoff MVP? It is absolutely Crow in my book. He is the reason our post season has gotten to this point more than any othe individual on this team.

  61. Travis says:

    @Brian B: tut, tut. crow’s playoff save percentage is almost 94%. he has the jennings. our PK is literally on a historic tear, and the goaltender must be partially responsible for that success.

    he’s the main reason we’re in the WCF. aside from the softee in game 6 against detroit, his play was outstanding that entire series. he is matching, if not exceeding, jonathan quick in this series so far.

    crow is not elite, but he hasn’t hit his ceiling yet, and he is currently an above-average NHL goaltender. not bad for a cap hit under 3M.

    the hawks proved in 2010, and are proving again in 2013, that you do not need an elite goaltender to make a serious run for the cup. crow is just as good as niemi, if not better, and comes with a lower cap hit that we can put into the skaters in front of him.

  62. wall says:

    I think D. Brunner from Wings is worth 3.5M +… Nice player!

  63. RyanDale says:

    Its impossible to determine an ‘elite’ player when the word itself is undefinable to many. How many elite goalies are still playing? An unending question with no right answer.

  64. Sr. Brad says:

    As I said yesterday, no need to panic, even without Keith…the Hawks are head over heals above the rest of the league in talent and depth, and that goes for the Bruins. With the Keith suspension, it gave Duncs an extra rest, to keep him fresh for the finals, and it allowed a player like Rozy to step up and showcase his great skill.

    All the Hawks were lacking in Game 3 was the effort from their core/star players…particulary Toews and Kane…and like we said the other day, the good news is you knew they would rebound and provide it…and, they did.

    But I wanted to single out a few players…Marian Hossa was a man amongst boys again, precisely when we needed him to be…Hossa has to go down in history as one of the greatest hockey players of all time…his GWG was such talent…

    Hammer wasn’t just good for Hammer, its time to call it what it is…Hammer is a top pairing DMan on any NHL team…and you know, I knocked the Bowmans for calling Hammer the next Nik Lidstrom…and while he may never get to that level, Nick has become an elite NHL DMan in front of our eyes…his performaces over the last 2 games are as good as defencing gets, short of Bobby Orr. So the Bowmans were right, don’t overpay for your goalies, keep your top 4 DMen.

    Bryan Bickell was a monster again…and essentially scored 2 more goals, as Kane tapped his shot in with a millimeter to go. And something I wanted to point out was this, if we can get the Sharp/Kane/Handzus line going again, we might sweep the Bruins as the Bickell/Hossa/Toews line is unstoppable…that’s the motherlode.

    Lots of other players came up with huge performances and deserve recognition…Seabrook, Rozy, Oduya, Handzus, Shaw, Saad, and especially Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger…that was Kruger’s best hockey game in a long time.

    As for Stahlberg, Q has messed his mind up (sorry about that Lucille), and really Q just needs to give Stahlberg regular 3rd line minutes again so he can work his way out of this funk. Brookbank is Brookbank…didn’t like the signing when it happened and I don’t now…but what a signing Rozy turned out to be…I remember Wall telling us all on the day Bowman signed him that this move would pay dividends for us come playoff time, and it has.

    Great game by the players…lots of heart, lots of grit, and lots of restraint…the Kings are getting away with murder right now from the refs, and the players are just playing through it…Penner gets away scot free from his deliberate, viscous elbow to the head of Bolland in front of everyone…nice job Shananhan…

    Way to go Hawks…best team in the NHL…thanks to Q and the coaches and all the front office…total team effort!

  65. Sr. Brad says:

    As to all this Bickell monster dollar talk, I will say that it could happen, but if your Bickell the Hawks are the team that stood by you when your play was in an out, night after night for years…this is a team that has a great shot at winning 2 SCs in 4 years, and are in a tremendous position for next year, and just signed Rannta to play goalie alongside Crawford. Why would you move? Bowman will be sure to give Bickell a good offer (likely now about $3million over 3 years), and sure he could get a little more money going to say Long Island, BUT WHY? Bickell does not strike me as an idiot. To go to Long Island (as an example) and miss out on what he has been apart of in Chicago is crazy? And for what? An extra $800,000 before taxes??? Doesn’t make sense.

    And as for FAs next year, or the year after, we won’t be partaking…there’s NO ROOM on this roster past a 2nd line centre…and if Bowman hasn’t addressed that for the last 4 years, he isn’t going to start now…as I said about a month ago, from here on, Bowman will be “shopping” each year end into his minor league system to find guys to step up and fill roles…no FAs.

    And this is how you keep your dynasty rolling and not have it collapse (like it did on Tallon)…by promoting from within…we will resign Leddy, Shaw, Kruger and Bickell. We trade Bolland and likely Frolik…we will let go Stahlberg, Handzus, and Rozy…we will have a strong competiton in Training camp to fill those spots between Ben Smith, Brandon Pirri, Jeremy Morin, Jimmy Hayes, Ryan Stanton and Adam Clendening…next year in Rockford becomes the years of Danault, McNeil, Ross, the Broadhursts, Klas Dahlbeck, Shawn LaLonde, etc…perhpas even TT and Johns…

    This is our free agent pool moving forward, and its grade A IMO, thanks to Bowman and Co.

  66. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Some good points by Sr Brad and some bat shit goofy points by Sr. Brad. Please stop about the overrated Stalberg. Seriously. He’s a one dimensional player and turns into Jack Skille against any quality opponent. He’s been invisible or awful the entire playoffs. And thankfully he will be outta here when free agency hits.

  67. Sr. Brad says:

    Excuse me? I said Stahlberg, who is likely gone, needs to play more mintues to find his game…shit goofy is likely your middle name.

  68. ZebraGreg says:

    I love all this talk of what the roster for 2013/14 is going to look like and who gets traded, cut, amnesty’ed (is that a word?), paid, promoted, demoted…gents, let’s get through LA (hopefully) and then tangle with the Bruins before the team gets turned upside down & inside out by every amateur GM in the city.
    I’d say a run through a cup final series will give everyone just a little bit more to chew on before we all pick up the phone and begin dealing.

  69. ZebraGreg says:

    Brunner from the Wings…$3.5M…what are you smoking Wall? His regular season started off nicely but then really leveled before having a nice series against the Hawks. He get’s $3.5M for that? That’s laughable.

  70. ZebraGreg says:

    As good as Bickell has been in the post-season, any GM that throws more than $1.5M per year at him is out of his mind. Bicks has to prove his worth over a full season at least to warrant consideration for anything more than that.

  71. David Bonnema says:

    Why are people thinking Bickell should be re-signed? He’s a ROLE PLAYER! They do that, you can say goodbye to 19 and/or 88.

  72. ratboy36 says:

    Is all this talk about what happens when the season is over because you all think we are not winning the Cup?Let’s talk about this insane Bruins team that just destroyed a Full on stacked Shittsburgh team ( sorry their sweep over Chicago in the Finals still burns 20+ years later) So 2 goals in 4 games allowed.Am I the only one concerned? I respect Geno and Iggy.While I don’t buy Cindys hype he is skilled.But was this team soft besides the Mask? We need all cylinders firing atleast.Crow needs to win that game we all are waiting for.Toews etc etc etc All need to bring the pain.

  73. JS says:

    Pittsburgh had a horrible defense and had shoddy goaltending. Not a good combination. They also made no effort to get to the front of the net, even though they are LOADED with power forwards (sup wall). LOLOL two second rounders for Douglas Murray.

    Talking about what the Hawks are going to do this summer is fun. We aren’t ignoring what is happening now. We aren’t crediting them with a cup they didn’t win yet. But thinking about moves that are to be made in the off season is a very interesting topic of conversation.

    Should we analyze what is going to happen tomorrow instead? It will probably be something like this… LA is slow and they can’t score goals. If the Hawks fall behind, they will never really be out of the game since LA is incapable of putting a game away. It might be a close one, but Hawks should win!

    And for people doubting the type of money Bickell might receive: I remind you that Tomas Kopecky received a 4 year 12 million dollar deal.

  74. Morrison says:

    Bicks isnt going anywhere. Something close to 3/yr, with a freight truck full of sushi as a signing bonus.

  75. wall says:

    Zebra Greg- the only thing more laughable than Brunner being worth 3.5 M is Bickell getting signed for 1.5 M- are you blind???
    1.) Brunner was one of the best skaters/players on the ice vs/ Hawks
    2.) Brunner’s 1st year in NHL
    3.) I said he is worth 3.5M (IMO)… not that he will get it
    4.) Odds are that My # for Brunner ends up being closer to the actual #,then that pathetic # you estimate for 29

    JS- If you have been reading closely… I picked Boston to win that series… I believe I said I hoped Pens would win… would be better match up for Hawks… Pens play open , run and gun… series would be exciting, offensive, like the Flyers 2010. I basically said- Hawks would beat Pens (Pens older/slower)… Hawks don’t beat Bruins ( I hope I am wrong)

    Boston, is tougher. Plays D. Best Grinding team. I have a Man-crush on Marchand like you have on Stalberg! The only way Hawks compete/beat Boston is play like Wings/Yotes have played Hawks in past… Check, check, and backcheck the shit out of them…

    Boston has more Forwards (Power and no Power) that ATTACK the net than any team in the NHL!!!!!! We have Kane (who tip-toes behind the net in a dress and powers home the goal against Kings).

    I will add- the fact that the West and East have not met all year- really makes it all a guess… Perhaps I am really under-estimating the team Speed of the Hawks… ( I thought the Kings would play like game 3 – every game. The announcers speculate the Kings are beat up/injured from Blues/Sharks)… OR THE Hawks Just flat out Skate them!!!!

    I guess we will see very soon (most likely)…

  76. Sr. Brad says:

    Count me in for believing this series is over, and the Cup as well. I have watched all teams play, and the Hawks have more talent and depth across the board than any team, including the Bruins.

    If the Hawks keep this team wide effort going (and when haven’t they?) they will be holding the Cup in another 2 weeks.

    Wall, I think the Hawks match up very well against the bruins…they come at you tenaciously and feed off of turnovers…but the Hawks have tightened their game up and have a top 4 defensive grouping that moves the puck quickly and efficiently…the bruins will be chasing all series and that’s not their game really. The bruins are not great on the PP and score the majority of their goals by creating turnovers off the forecheck…I see a fast paced, low penalty, low scoring series, where the Hawks depth is simply too much for them each night.

    As for next year, GMs in hockey understand DEVELOPMENT…that’s what this game is built on…predicting the development of actual KIDS. Bickell is not a child, he has a type B personality and has been a slow developer…but now that Bickell understands his full capabilities, and is demonstrating them nightly on the biggest stage against the toughest competition, he won’t be able to shut that confidence off…and playing with Toews and Hossa all these years Bickell has learned tenacity and patience. Maintain the effort and the rewards will come…that has been the careers of Toews and Hossa.

  77. Sr. Brad says:

    Some GM will be more than willing this off season to offer Bickell a pile of money…guaranteed. As JS said, Tallon paid Kopecky a bundle of money for, for, for…well I haven’t figured that one out yet…other than there is a league minimum salary as well, that all teams must meet…

    I think Bickell will resign here because it makes sense…this is the organization that stuck with him when he was the great Houdini and the disappearing act…

  78. wall says:

    Brad, the only thing I can see that the Hawks have going for them is this…

    Toronto, gave the Bruins the toughest Series thus far… Now I can’t say I watched a ton of Leafs… but I know they do have some speed in the line-up… hopefully that is the B’s weakness… otherwise, I just see the B’s being a complete Team…

    Jagr- said it best… the NHL is so much deeper than 20 years ago… Bruin’s 4th line can play against most 1st lines… Same can be said for Hawks 4th line… but Bruin’s 4th is even better (although they did lose 1 to injury)>>>

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