Western Conference Champions 2015

Blackhawks Take Care Of Business, Advance To Stanley Cup Final

After a series filled with heart attack-inducing overtimes and comebacks, the Chicago Blackhawks handled their business in regulation in Game Seven of the Western Conference Final.

As he has his entire career, Jonathan Toews stepped up in front of the brightest lights and played a stellar game to lead the Blackhawks to victory. Chicago’s captain scored twice in the first period to give the Hawks an early 2-0 lead, and the Ducks were never able to recover.

Toews first goal was off another Frederik Andersen rebound, an issue that continued for Anaheim’s netminder throughout the night. His second came a power play, a blast that made its way past Andersen; it was the ninth goal of the postseason for Toews.

Everyone anticipated the Ducks to come out with increased energy to open the second period, but Brandon Saad extended the lead only 78 seconds into the period.

The primary assist was the second point of the evening for Patrick Kane, who found a wide open Saad for the deposit. Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf, who owned a sub-par personal effort after Game Six, was on the ice for the first three Chicago goals of the night.

Later in the period, Brad Richards put a hard shot on net that Andersen once again failed to control. He dropped the rebound and tipped the puck directly into the skate of a charging Marian Hossa, and it ended up behind the Anaheim netminder.

The goal was reviewed, but the league office determined there was no clear kicking motion from Hossa and the goal counted. It gave the Blackhawks a 4-0 lead, but would end up being the game-winning tally.

Ryan Kesler cut the lead to 4-1 with 69 seconds left in the second period, but Corey Crawford was doing a fantastic job of controlling the blue paint and limiting Anaheim’s offense by allowing very few rebounds. Crawford made 25 saves in the opening 40 minutes, 17 of which came in the second period.

Chicago was able to control the play for 11 minutes to open the third period, but the Ducks top line finally showed up when Corey Perry made the score 4-2 at 11:36 into the final frame. Unfortunately for Anaheim, the Hawks powerful forwards didn’t take their foot off the pedal.

Marian Hossa accelerated up the ice with the puck and Cam Fowler hooked him to cut off a would-be breakaway, giving the Blackhawks a late power play. Brent Seabrook made it count, scoring his sixth goal of the playoffs to extend the lead to 5-2. Kane picked up his third assist of the night on the goal, and Duncan Keith added his second helper of the night on the back-breaking goal.

Matt Beleskey would score a power play goal with 42 seconds left in regulation, but it was too little too late.

The Chicago Blackhawks won back-to-back games in regulation, and eliminated the top team in the Western Conference with a dominant Game Seven performance.

Keith blocked two shots with his two assists in 27:51 and looked fresh the entire night. Seabrook blocked three shots and finished tied with Andrew Desjardins with a team-high three hits in 25:24. Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked three shots and added an assist in 26:45 while Johnny Oduya led the way with four blocked shots and an assist in 23:53 of strong play once again.

For all the talk about Anaheim’s physical play weighing on the Hawks’ top for defensemen, the core four on Chicago’s blue line was exceptional the entire night – and series – and carried the team to victory.

One key to the game for the Hawks was their ability to turn the ice around with speed the entire night. The Hawks were able to exit the zone and carry the puck up the ice with ease most of the night, taking pressure off the defensemen and Crawford and keeping the puck in the Ducks’ zone.

Toews skated 21:16 and won 13 of 23 faceoffs with his two goals, one hit and one takeaway. Kane led the Hawks with three assists in 20:25 and was electric with the puck again on a line with Toews and Saad. The third member of the Hawks’ top line, Saad, led the team with five shots on net and added one hit and one takeaway in 17:51.

Richards finished the game with two assists and won half of his 12 faceoffs in the game. Andrew Shaw also had a good night at the dot, winning six of nine draws while Marcus Kruger won four of 10 as the Hawks’ fourth line once again did a magnificent job against the top line for Anaheim.

Desjardins skated 17:52 on a couple lines because coach Joel Quenneville put his $4 million anchor on the bench. Bryan Bickell was a ghost, skating only 4:22 and eight shifts.

Crawford finished the night with 35 saves against 38 shots in the win.

Chicago will play in the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in three years and third time in six seasons.

Hawks celebrate Gm 7 ANA

52 thoughts on “Blackhawks Take Care Of Business, Advance To Stanley Cup Final

  1. Not too far from Hollywood and the stars sure came out tonight! How sweet it is that we don’t have to listen about bitching over the bottom 2 d- men. The core 4 d were freaking incredible in the series. Seabs once again hammered a rolling puck – amazing skill along with Toews “no look” top shelf goal. On to the Bolts.

  2. Tremendous effort, superb puck possesion and control, outstanding defensive play, Crawford no rebounds, stopped ’em cold. Well you guys saw what I saw and that was quite the performance. Maybe we got a bit lucky with the Hossa goal, thought for sure that was not going to count. Things were just going our way. I’m sure every time Crawford leaves home this summer he will find Perry on his doorstep out of pure habit as that is what he does. I’m so excited and pumped can’t think straight.

  3. Tab – nice post re: Kimmo. Also Brad Richards is now one of three players who are 8 and 0 in game 7’s.

  4. Been a while. Da cream riseth again. Outstanding efforts all across da board led by the best captain in sports.

  5. 19 is poised to become the greatest captain in the history of hockey at age 26. I hope he lives up to the non-existent hype. 4 wins and 3 losses get you another cup, no need to use them all but feel free if necessary.

  6. As Mr. Kesler said before the series began…’the Hawks are beatable’. They were, indeed, but only 3 times. Ryan came up 1 short.

    Really enjoyed hearing Keith Jones and Mike Milbury bash Boudreau and Getzlaf. Some very critical comments which where entirely justified. Boudreau should be gone, he was absolutely out-classed by Q and made no adjustments which is remarkable considering he had home ice final sub.

    Hawks controlled face-offs for much of the night.

    A once-in-a-lifetime core of players we have with exceptional 2nd tier guys.

    Let’s enjoy the run and the Finals…GO HAWKS!

  7. At this point the sporting/hockey world has to sit up and realize that Jonathan Toews is THE premier player in the NHL, surpassing Crosby. …Plus he (we) has years left yet. Surveying the savanna, the plains of the Serengetti we see it littered with Predators, Wild things and Ducks. Even the Rangers are too scared to show up. The mighty lion has dispatched all and now awaits only the elements. Little do the elements know we have lightning rods a plenty.

  8. Just incredible. Toews leads and rest follow. What a franchise !!!

    The vinegar taste that the Kings left I our mouths last year is gone, replace by the sweet taste of victory.

    When our biggest concern is the number 6 defenseman, I guess that is truly telling about how lucky we as Hawks fans are.

    This team is the gift that keeps on giving.

  9. NBC clowns were right about one thing, all those hits will pile up and destroy the team for game six and seven. Just not the team they thought. Thanks for the blackboard material Kesler. Outstanding work from our fourth line. I think this was Hawk’s most balanced team effort (except 29), of the playoffs. Perfect time to peak. Another fine effort from CC. He looked confident and strong, few 2nd chances and much less scrambling. Owned the paint tonight. Have to admit, Q out-coached BB right out of his own house and out of the playoffs. Congratulations Hawks, you are right where you deserve to be. GO HAWKS.

  10. Our stars out shined theirs!

    Crow out played Andersen!

    Q out coahed Bruce Bodreau!

    Congrats boys well deserved win against theirs!!!!

  11. Things I’ve been reminded of since these playoffs began:

    1. There is a “switch” and the Hawks know how to turn it on in the playoffs.
    2. The Hawks have the best top-4 d-men in the league.
    3. The Hawks star players rise to the occasion in big games.
    4. Never count the Hawks out because the Hawks never count themselves out.

    Keepin the dream alive. Ain’t being a Hawks fan grand!

  12. Took my seven-year-old down from San Francisco to Anaheim for game 7. What a thrill!

    Honda Center was absolutely PACKED with Blackhawks fans, who locals think are “obnoxious” because we cheer so much, and so loudly. Not sure if you all could hear it on TV, but many many times throughout the game Hawks fans had major chants going, including “We Want the Cup” and of course the booming ” Lets Go Hawks!!!” among others.

    The ducks fans were positively Cub-like. By this I mean there was this vibe where they almost expected to lose, and when the first call came it was like “here we go again.” What a beautiful thing.

    After the game it was a MADHOUSE of hawks fans, in the seat, in the Corredor’s, outside the front doors, in the parking lot, Hell even at the cheesecake factory 3 miles away from the stadium.

    All of this said, our Blackhawks are something special. And at the very same time, all of us Blackhawks fans are also something special!!!

    Anyway, goodnight from the Ansheim Hyatt Regency and back to San Fran.

    Next up, Hawk Nation marches to Tampa. 4 more wins baby, bring on the Bolts!!!!

  13. The Blackhawks got really solid play the from the “top” players, like they needed (Toews, wow). Also, they got pretty solid efforts throughout the series from guys like Desjardins, Oduya, Richards and Vermette. Great team effort from the boys and it’s on to another chance to play for The Cup.
    Go Blackhawks!

  14. Feels SO good. Games 6-7 the team was very focused and determined. God bless you boys. Get rested up and make us proud again, and thanks HAWKS.

  15. Big time credit to the Blackhawks players, who came up big in both Game 6 & Game 7 when it counted. I have never seen a Top 4 D corps play so well in a series and they continued to peak as it went on.

    Anaheim has a lot of talent and a good team but they couldn’t get past the Blackhawks. Goaltending made the difference too – their guy was not sharp in the last two games. Crawford has been there before – and held the fort.

    Lastly, Boudreau was badly outcoached by Quenneville. It always falls on the players – not the coach – but in terms of in game adjustments in Game 7 Boudreau had no answers.

  16. Do you think we we all can FINALLY stop the Q bashing and the Crow bashing. 3rd trip to the cup in 5 years. Both are tremendous in what they do. If Q isn’t one of the best coaches in the NHL, I don’t know who is. He has a real feel for his team, knows what style to play with his personnel and is a good evaluator of talent. Does he make a few mistakes, sure, but over a season you want this guy behind the bench. He understands that it’s a marathon and not a sprint….

  17. What a remarkable team. Very few people thought they could get past the first or second round with only 4 viable defensemen and that was before 32 went down. And yet here we are once again.

    These guys remind me of the Jordan era Bulls. You just expect them to win regardless of the circumstances. They also absolutely know where the switch is and know they can’t burn themselves out during the regular season which is something the current Bulls and their former coach could use a lesson on, but that is for another day and another blog.

    It’s also so great sticking it to Kessler and Perry. Couldn’t happen to a nicer couple of guys.

    SVHF you could definitely hear the Blackhawks fans throughout the broadcast. Well done. See everyone at the final! Let’s go Hawks!

  18. Hawks are like the Terminator. When you think they are dead they rise up and keep coming after you. Four guaranteed hall of famers and then there is Seabrook,Saad,Sharp, Vermet, Oduya,Shaw, and the remaining cast of characters. No question Toews is top player in NHL. Sid the Kid goes south in the post season, the only time it counts.

  19. Q finally sends the message to #29 as he gives him 4:22 in total TOI. Deservedly, #11 Desi is the benefactor of this as he merits 17:52 minutes. I like #11 as well. Nice pickup, as he works hard every shift and wins almost all board battles coming away with the biscuit as needed. He has been a nice fit. Q definately trusts him. Four more wins. Great series. This team has so much poise, character and above all CLASS and it all starts with #19.

  20. I really hope Kruger is OK… 16, is an incredible X-factor that allows Q to “Load” lines when he sees fit… Love Kruger… and his speed, Heart, IQ will be needed to “Keep” top lines of Tampa (Johnson/91) in Check…

  21. Just speculation… but recalling 16 didn’t take a lot of face-offs in one/two of the games in one of series (not Ducks)… which leads me think hand or shoulder…

    and perhaps- “tweaked”

    And is 29 hurt? or Q just really pissed that 29 didn’t put a body on anyone in his 5 minutes???

  22. 3 stars of the game

    Star 1 -Coach Q, sSweet Baby Jezuz did he ever out coach Bruce Boudreau. Not only did Boudreau look confused he was Dumbfounded! With a Capitol D! For all the complaining I have done and others on this blog piled on for the VITA –MIXING of our lines with key players . . . Well, it hit me like a Ryan Kesler Cross Check to my rib cage that Coach Q is constantly “tweaking chemistry” to get different results preparing for games and series like this. IF he stuck with lines sadly when the playoffs roll around you’d be the ducks, sitting ducks. So all that player benching, sitting and switching during the year and into playoffs including benching Crow leads to a confident coach who knows who goes where and why and when and MOST IMPORTANT WHAT he can get out of certain players. Coach Q was the MVP of this series never thought I would say that . . . but it is said. Q, Did it with little or no Bick and little or no Marcus, and 4 defensemen and finllay got a young combination on the 5 and 6 d-men that work! Truly a brilliant coached series.

    Star 2 – Toews stepped up big time and owned the moment. Toews is the MOST TALENTED PLAYER in the NHL on all levels period. When he thinks SCORE first I say easy peasy 40 goals a year and when “paired with Kane” Toews becomes a scorer and looks to score, not be an over paid assist, pass first facilitator. When Toews is looking to score Hawks are a whole lot better. Take time to read the press / media on Ryan Getzlaf after the game, they are all saying what I’m saying, WE DON’T NEED A LOT OF ASSIST from our captain we need him to lead by simply “putting the puck in the net” when we need it. So ya , ya need someone to get ya the puck but it cant be Getzlaf role or Towes role to do that.

    Star 3 –Team Defense, man did they ever shut down the passing lanes inside with little or no physical play. When they play TEAM DEFENSE this good you know why they are smaller and quicker and don’t play overly physical . . . no need to. Shout out to Cumiskey, looking more comfortable, confident in limited minutes but he held the puck last night, did not just throw it away like “hammer” and most other lot d-men he calmly absorbed the hit, and rolled off into open ice and made clean and crisp exit passes all night long! Cumiskey looked very very good. Rhunblad will look better vs Bolts. He is a good offensive minded player and the BOLTS will score . .. a lot

    Okay Star 4 –Tab . . . thanks!

  23. 29 was hurt. Tried to skate a few times during commercial breaks but couldn’t go. He too, according to Q, will be fine. I think Kruger has been taking less faceoffs since Stoner launched him into the boards. Good thing they play 1 game in the next 6 days.

    Also, for those saying that Q out-coached BB, well it’s made pretty freaking easy when you’re 4th line can be rolled out against the opposing teams top line and completely negate them. The Hawks are a hilariously deep team that no others in the league are close to.

    Really think the Hossa “goal” shouldn’t have counted. At least I wouldn’t have been surprised if it didn’t count.

    The Hawks have been so consistently great that trips to the SCF are now becoming more of a relief than exciting. We should probably plan some sort of meetup for game 1 or 2. Wall you have to come $$ :)

  24. 16 MR. KRUGER was taking a lot of undue HITS at center ice, He had been shifted on and off the dot a lot and with great reason and again why Coach Q to me imo won the series.

    Teams that are built on “hitting” and physical play have to either SWEEP YOU or they can go more than 5 games or the law averages kick in and that “effort” to check hard suddenly turns the other way, all the time! This is news for the NHL as the Hawks are the new breed and some teams still live in the 1970’s! Only time I WANT PHYSICAL is in front of our net to protect Crow and Clear the Crease! Bick lead the playoffs in hits I think but really that IMPACT is not even noted or IMO needed. Just play hard, quick don’t hold the puck and become a target (hockey 101) , finish checks when you can don’t head hunt! And stay on your skates.

    Hawks may be a little “sleepy” in the first game vs BOLTS and lose since the “physical” part of the game will be near zero compared to the Ducks series but Hawks will adjust!

  25. Yes Coach Q has depth, no news there! But sadly most fans all year during the regular season are “whinning” about most all of these Hawks “role” players like Sharp, Bick or Shaw or Vermette even and sometime even Toews all of them can “Adjust” their games on game day loo at Richards. Ducks where built from the ground up to beat the Hawks but did not and being able to orchestrate a team with talent TAKES TALENT hence look at your BULLS COACH THIBS just cant coach hardcore offensive talent so he goes and so it goes. Coach Q deserves a lot of praise. To me he get not enough credit from me and fans too, difference between a good coach and great is wide!

    Coach Q wants this CUP more than any as with the Hawks Team it will solidify Coach Q as one of the greatest coaches of all time, going beyond winning percentage to what counts WINNING THE CUP!

  26. From what I saw BICK has a concussion. I saw 3 times on the bench where he was literally shaking his head, trying to shake out of it, eyes foggy and looked dazed, very dazed. Each time the camera panned the bench he was dazed. Marcus upper body could be an issue and Hawks need him more than anyone . Believe that or not! No Marcus no cup. I think Marcus always has a mild concussion how can he not! Hawks need both ROLE PLAYERS to play their ROLE. wish them recovery!

  27. As Hawk fans we have been really blessed with this group, their will to win and unity as a team is absolutely amazing. Let’s go get the cup this team deserves to be remembered in history!!!!

  28. This team NEVER disappoints the fans. What a great effort and what a great way to finish off a bunch of knuckleheads lead by the league douche, Ryan Kesler!!

    When you talk about great players in the NHL, you have to lead with Tazer, but the truth is that he is not a gifted offensive talent like Crosby or Ovi. What he is, is a true “leader” who knows how to get the most out of himself AND he inspires his teammates to get the most out of themselves. All these other so-called “leaders” try to do it all themselves and end up out of the playoffs(Sid and Ovi). Tazer inspires everyone on his team to better themselves and play as haed as he does. Very simple logic.

    Hawks in 6!!

  29. ………in the salary cap era the Blackhawks continue to be the best team that money can buy….go Hawks!….

  30. I think personally think Toews can score more goals than OVI! I think 50 is possible for him if on the right line and actually “called upon” to score and look to score, he’s pretty big, impossible to knock off his skates, is quicker than he appears is great stick handler and most of all Confident! Of course his assist would drop big time but damn he can fill it up in a hurry . . . Go Hawks

  31. Awards shouldn’t be voted on until after the playoffs. Q would win the Adams. Keith would win Norris. 19/88 for MVP and Stan as Gm.

  32. JS – completely agree re: 4th line and the options it gives Q when they can neutralize a top line. I thought Shaw had a great series and was very productive all over the ice. There have been some who believe he should be traded as part of the salary cap management but I feel he has become a critical part of the core and would be very surprised if he is traded.

  33. That’s Blackhawks Hockey – plain and simple. The Hawks just kept getting stronger in this series and Anaheim had no answer. I guess Kesler wasn’t enough to get them over the top. Brad Richards on the other hand was enough to get the Hawks back to the SCF.

    Brandon Saad has such great speed, add him to Kaner as a player who has become incredibly dangerous everytime he touches the puck. The way I see it , Kane knows that he is dangerous and Saad is starting to understand that he too can have that intimidation factor. Consider that in context with Toews leadership and will, Keith’s all world defense, the whole fourth line’s tenacity and solid, reliable netminding from Corey Crawford’s and you start to understand that this is a ‘Complete’ team, perhaps the best we have seen in Chicago and that is saying something.

    Should be an awesome final – Go Hawks!!

  34. Great effort by the Hawks. We are so fortunate to witness the skill and discipline that this core displays when it truly counts. Toews was stellar. The Team D was exemplary.

    And for those who say that Perry and Getzlaf were a disappointment, that Anaheim has no finishers, that’s not true. They have a lot of finishers. They’re ALL finished.

    Perry refused to meet the press after the game. Good. Riddance.

  35. Perry has no class. I watched the handshake line several times and he could barely bring himself to shake hands. He had a look of contempt on his face the whole time. Just a thug and a loser. Bring on Tampa. I am not expecting the same level of heavy forechecking from Tampa like we saw with the Ducks. They will try to score on the rush so the Hawks must control the neutral zone and clog up the blue line. Hawks in 6.

  36. Hooo-saw Ho Ho Ho Ho Hoooo-saw …great tune! Ana Braga shaving off the playoff beards of the little rubber duckies …everyone is most happy!

  37. Ducks are GONE…gone gone gone, ain’t never coming back…thats a BIG DEAL…they were built to take us out, whole year planning the demise of the Blackhawks..”.NOT EVEN ” as they say in these parts…hahahahahahahahah….

  38. We win with class and that’s a nice trait and something the organization and fans both can take a lot pride in. I don’t think any other teams/leagues offer an equal in that regard. I could be wrong though….i don’t follow much else anymore.

    ER, glad you got your mojo flowin. Enjoy!

  39. First goal made by the best 1st line in NHL. Toews, Kane, Saad, Keith, and 04 (not as good a speller as Tab).

    The Ducks coach is kinda doofy acting, he admitted Q switched up the lines and he should have too. Toews was not being covered by Kessler on the first 2 goals.

    Brandon Saad is my favorite forward in the NHL.

    I got one of those same hats Kimmo showed on the way!

    What a great game, such and exciting series full of ups and downs with wild swings in-between.

    I think the Hawks are looking at another cup.

    Absolutely flippin’ awesome.

    Go Hawks!

  40. A 60 minute effort pulled them past the Ducks. Anaheim players and coaches had look of disbelief, as the Hawks methodically built an insurmountable lead. What a performance on the big stage as the whole world was watching.

    How can Hawks fans not be proud of this team? What leadership from the core guys that led by example. Hard to believe that Johnny Toews just keeps getting it done in big games. Kane, Keith too. Top 4 Hawks D were incredible. Cumisky and Rundblad were good enough to not be noticed much which is just fine.

    In the end there was too much Hawks team speed against a Ducks team that had expended massive amounts of energy trying to hit the Hawks into next week. Chalk another one up to that being failed strategy. Hard to believe in an away game that Q could apparently out coach the opposition so decisively.

    Crow was the man again when it counted. I’m so happy for him considered every breath he takes seems to be scrutinized and dissected with people looking to talk up weakness. The guy just wins.

    Not surprising to see the handshake line with Ducks looking ahead with blank stares. Getzlaf appeared to be the one guy that held his head high and offered sincere congratulations. A bit from Kesler for Toews. Perry the lowlife can return to whatever hole he inhabits. I think the Ducks need to make some changes…

    Hawks can beat a very competitive Bolts squad. I think Tampa will offer a new set of challenges because of the team speed they bring. I see Bishop as beatable, but this is likely to again to go 6 plus to decide a winner. Hoping Kruger is ok. He is a very important cog in the Hawks machine. There will likely be many thousands of Hawks fans at the away games. Great to hear hawks fans whooping it up at game 7 Saturday.


    Lets GO Hawks!

  41. Kid… I read the article, heard of this happening before, specifically Nashville ..so to my American friends, how is that even constitutional? …seems like a serious violation of some basic rights…you guys living in Mao’s China or what? No way that stands up to a real challenge….however, meeting up with six guys in a dark ally after the game, well that could be the ultimate outcome. Why are they even going there? The NHL should step in.

  42. It would appear that the Hawks colors just aren’t welcomed in the Club areas. The rest of the arena I think there are no issues with fans wearing whatever they want. The Amalie Arena actually has decent food and some very good beer options. Even though the Hawks got blown out at the game I went to this past year, it was a good experience in the arena. Hawks fans will get tickets if they want them. The secondary market had loads of tickets of tickets for sale yesterday.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *