Stanley Cup Final: Blackhawks Escape Boston With Series Tied

After scoring 12 goals in the first three games (13 periods) of the Stanley Cup Final, the Blackhawks and Bruins combined to score 11 in Game Four.

Thankfully, the final tally came off the stick of Brent Seabrook, and the Hawks will return to the United Center on Saturday night with the Final tied.

Everything that had come to be expected from these two teams was thrown out the window in Game Four.

Corey Crawford and Tuukka Rask had been fantastic through the first three games, and both continued to play well through the first 20 minutes on Wednesday night. But the second period brought fireworks that the Final hadn’t seen, and the back-and-forth scoring was electric.

The Blackhawks had been fantastic on the penalty kill all year, but especially in the postseason. And they continued to be good as the first period began. Chicago got on the board just under seven minutes into the game when Michal Handzus put a gorgeous pass from Brandon Saad home for a short-handed goal.

But just under eight minutes after Handzus scored, Rich Peverley scored a powerplay goal for the Bruins to tie the game. It was the first of two powerplay scores for Boston in the game; the Hawks had allowed only five powerplay goals in the first 20 games of the 2013 postseason.

Also a departure from a Final trend, Jonathan Toews scored a goal! Yes, that deserves some excitement, because it was only the second goal of the postseason for Chicago’s captain.

Toews played a much better all-around game on Wednesday, winning 16 of 30 faceoffs with one hit and one takeaway. He continued to be a presence around Rask, and was able to tip home a Michal Rozsival shot to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead early in the second.

Back on a line with Toews, Patrick Kane scored 2:08 after the Toews’ marker to put the Hawks up 3-1. Bryan Bickell and Rozsival were credited with the assists on the goal, making Rozsival the first of three Blackhawks to have a multi-point night; Kane and Bickell had the assists on Seabrook’s game-winner.

Six minutes after Kane’s goal, all hell broke loose in Boston.

Milan Lucic scored to bring the Bruins back to 3-2 at 14:43, beating Crawford on his glove side… which would come to be Crawford’s glaring (big enough to be identified by NASA) weakness on the night.

However, 49 seconds after Lucic scored, Marcus Kruger put a rebound behind Rask to push the lead back to two goals. It was Kruger’s third of the postseason, keeping him ahead of Toews on the leaderboard.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, it took only 1:50 for the Bruins to answer again. Patrice Bergeron scored Boston’s second powerplay goal of the night, giving Zdeno Chara two assists in less than three minutes.

Bergeron scored again 2:05 into the third to tie the game off a pretty pass from Jaromir Jagr. Jagr also had the secondary assist on Bergeron’s first goal.

A parade to the penalty box in the middle of the period led to another Final (make that season-long) trend being discarded.

Toews went to the box at 8:51 for high-sticking, but Jagr canceled the advantage when he was called for high-sticking Duncan Keith only 22 seconds later. When David Krejci was called for hooking 1:07 later, the Hawks had a rare 4-on-3 opportunity.

Of course, the Hawks didn’t score when skating 4-on-3,or during a brief 5-on-3 after the Toews penalty expired. But Patrick Sharp was rewarded for another night of hard work with a powerplay goal (yes, the Hawks scored with the advantage) at 11:19 in the third.

Sharp had a game-high eight shots on net and was also credited with four hits and two blocked shots in the game.

But, once again, Boston answered quickly. Johnny Boychuk scored only 55 seconds after Sharp to tie the game at 5-5. Boychuk’s goal, like the four before it, beat Crawford’s glove with ease.

The Hawks carried the play for much of the third period, out-shooting the Bruins 16-8, but the game went to overtime for the third time in the Final.

At 9:51 in the first overtime, and for the second time in the postseason, Seabrook scored the game-winner.

Nick Leddy dressed for the game, but skated only four shifts; he was on the ice for only four seconds after the second period ended.

Certainly there is cause for concern from Crawford’s performance, but both teams had glaring holes exposed. The Blackhawks pushing the tempo and scoring six goals on the road after they were shut-out in Game Three showed a lot of mettle.

Game Five is at the United Center on Saturday night.

2 and 7

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110 Responses to Stanley Cup Final: Blackhawks Escape Boston With Series Tied

  1. Keeki says:

    Wow- what a game! I still can’t get to sleep. Crawford’s weakness on his glove side was definitely exploited by Boston, but the Hawks did a lot of things right tonight. Most importantly, we got the W! It was great to see Toews get back in this thing and the team play with the passion and intensity they had tonight! Never count us out! Can’t wait for Saturday!

  2. 'hawks58 says:

    Crawford was probably the most rattled we’ve seen him all year after that 4th goal, but Q kept the faith and Crawford really pulled it together after the 5th goal (you’d like to see him make that one, but it was an absolute bomb and a tough save). He made 7 saves after the Boychuck goal, including a huge one off the faceoff loss, leading to the Seabrook goal.

  3. alikatze says:

    Yeah, someone needs to work with Crow on that glove side! What the hell??? But, as with so many games in this postseason, the Hawks get sloppy, give up goals, lose games, and then they chip away, chip away and they’re right back in it. Much, much better job tonight on staying in front of Rask and shoveling the puck at him. Kruger’s rebound goal was fantastic and gets him big praise in my book. Thrilled to see Toews and Kane step up – I felt like I saw Kane more, he didn’t seem to shy away as much from the Boston hitmen. There was some hating on Seabrook during the regular season on this site – I think he certainly has redeemed himself in the postseason!

  4. 'hawks58 says:

    Crawford will have the occasional game like this where he can’t seem to get his glove working, but let’s not forget they’ve been going glove all series and have only beaten him there twice (more than 2 goals have gone glove side, but only 2–Lucic Gm1 and Peverly Gm2–are ones that he really had a shot at).

    I have full confidence in Crow’s glove moving forward and I’m sure the Hawks do too. Remember after game 3 vs LA when everyone thought the Kings had ‘solved’ Crawford by attacking his blocker? How did that end up working for them?

  5. Gou says:

    WOW. Who saw that coming. You can talk up and down about the play good and bad on both sides, but who could not be excited about that game.
    That game was great for hockey.

    Bandwagon jumpers field day.

    Good to see Q put 88 and 19 on da same line.
    Reddsteel back in da saddle again.

  6. alikatze says:

    @ ‘hawks58 – True. Crow has made some amazing glove catches – this is prolly a one-off and he’ll make some adjustments over the next couple of days. (I hope!!!)

  7. Tre says:

    Tons for the highlight reel tonight. Well played by both teams but good to see Hossa on the ice and at least look healthy and Kane and Toews get in the game. It’s amazing the Hawks have gotten this far with such minimal production from 19 & 88–says a lot about their depth.

    Good to see Rask play a game where he was human. A lesser team with a red-hot goalie can be a very dangerous playoff opponent.

    And what’s up with the flies? disgusting. They should call Terminix

  8. Amontesaidwhat? says:

    This is ALL so fixed its so obvious,Crawford barely moved on some of them goals.He makes all these spectacular glove saves and then lets in these SUPER SOFT glove siders right inThe goals when the puck hit the net and then bounced off the top of the goal.He looked right at it.WHAT Mask doesnt clear his crease?Rask letting Kruger get a 2nd chance?Yea freaking right.GO HAWKS AND ALL BUT gimme a break.Boston wins games 5 and 7 WATCH

  9. Sr. Brad says:

    Incredible effort by the Hawks as an organization for this game…top to bottom EVERYONE knew that had to win this…and everyone did what they could to win it…except Corey Crawford.

    CC has been great throughout the playoffs, but what a time to come apart…he hasn’t done it all year, but after a couple of glove side softies, it crept into his head and the last 2 were brutal. Credit Crawford for sticking with it and staying focused in the OT…but that effort can never appear again…I doubt that it will…CC’s simply been too good and too focused all year to let this effect him done the lane.

    We all said prior to the game that Chicago’s stars were not the best players on the ice, and not even on their own team…But Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp, Keith and Seabrook all came to play…and left nothing on the ice tonight…

    Toews was all world…and while he couldn’t escape long enough to breathe all night, he fought through it…he and Shaw were our net presences all night, and Toews took a beating on his already damanged body…but he never quit…and 4 of Chicago’s goals were a direct result of Toew’s work, and he was only credited with 1 goal. But when you think back to the highlights of Toews career or this game, Toews performance will go down as one of his best. Just shear guts, and incredible leadership to push his team to the most important victory in the history of this franchise. Toews came through when we needed him most…what a surprise.

    To all the Kane lovers (come rain or shine), this is how small, skilled forwards play in the Cup finals…you did not see Kane deliver any punishing hits…that’s not his game and he doesn’t have to…but it was on of his best playoff games EVER…why? Because he competed on EVERY shift…he wanted the puck, moved it skillfully and it seemed to find him. Kane took hits all night long to make plays and must be bruised up pretty good…but that’s what it takes to compete in the Cup finals. Kane was great not because he had a goal and an assist, but because he competed every moment and made a difference…that’s what we pay him for. and this level should be replicated night in and nout out…Thank you Kaner.

    Amonte’s comments aside, Hossa was in the lineup for game 4 and made a big difference with his incredible 2 way play…thanks for toughing it out Hoss.

    Seabs and Keith had their ups and downs, but they played big minutes, and fought hard all night, and were finally rewarded.

    Patrick Sharp was a target all night for the bruin’s goon tactics, but he fought through it and had another crucial goal. He was incredible all night, drove the Hawk’s attack time and again, and just kept coming…an amazing performance by an amazing hockey player and person.

    In the biggest game of their collective careers, Rozy and Handzus had incredible efforts. Rozy was our best DMan, playing a ton compensating for no Leddy, being physical and generating offense at the same time…Handzus fought hard to be better at the dot, and went to the net all night…he generated a lot fo frustration for Rask and mixed it up time and again. These are 2 aging veterans whose time may have come, but two guys that gave it their all in a game that meant everything to this franchise. Thanks so much to the 2 old farts and I wish so much for both of them that they will be rewarded with a Stanley Cup prize.

    Saad was better, so was Stahlberg…Bolland is trying, but still makes so many stupid mistakes…Frolik and Kruger once again played like they are 6’4″ when in reality they are both around 175 pounds…huge efforts…Oduya struggled but competed…Hammer fought hard…Bicks was much, much better with Toews and Kane…Shaw was outstanding once again, and such a big leader on this team….and that leaves Nick Leddy, who may just have played himself off this team. I have kept my mouth closed on Leddy for the last 2 playoff rounds hoping that the young man who was so good in the regular season would find himself in the playoffs. He hasn’t…and its not just his reluctance to be physical (which is painful to watch or not watch), but now its his compete, and Q, rightfully so, pulled the plug on Leddy…and in the biggest game in perhaps the whole history of this franchise, Leddy sat for almost 3 whole periods while the rest of his walking wounded brothers fought on. Leddy was in shock on the bench, but Q made the right move…a move that NO COACH wants to make. For Nick to let his team mates down like this, was appalling and if he can’t be counted on during the playoffs, then why is he here? If have supported Leddy his entire time here, but tonight, no mas…Leddy either has to go to the coach tomorrow and fight for his job back, or he may very well be done in Chicago.

    Again thank you boys…just an amazing effort made all the more amazing by Crawford’s struggles…huge effort and greatly appreciated.

  10. EbonyRaptor says:

    In a Finals series that has seen the goaltenders be the best players for their teams through the first three games – where did this stinker come from? Corey “Gloveford” and Tuu66a Rask had .848 and .872 save percentages respectively. The odds that both goalies would spit the bit on the same night is kinda weird, but from a Hawks perspective it’s fortunate that when CC has an off night, the guy at the other end of the ice does too.

    In the post game presser Julien said his team played “average” and they can play much better. I agree with him and not only can they play better, they most likely will play better. But, the same can be said about the Hawks in their defensive end. Losing board battles and weak ring around passes, better known as passes to the Boston point men, resulted in far too many sustained zone times and scoring chances for them. There is now a trend where the Hawk d-men don’t move the puck quickly enough and allow the Boston forechecker to get in on them and either deflect the pass of simply outmuscle them for the puck. The message to the d-men should have been made loud and clear a couple games ago – do not try to shield the puck along the boards because the Boston player is going to beat you and take the puck away almost every time.

    But, this is a victory and there are plenty of positives to talk about, not the least of which that Toews finally potted one and had a pretty good all around game. Putting 6 past Rask is something. That’s three times more goals scored than the Pens scored in four games.

    Thank God there’s a couple days before the next game as Keith with over 32 minutes tonight. And, as already pointed out, Leddy with only a couple minutes. With home ice last change in game 5, Q can shield Leddy more and he should play more.

    Hallelujah! It’s a series again. Go Hawks ! ! ! !

  11. southsidehawkman says:

    Tab thanks for the write up, I have no cable and no i games waiting on my DVR. and no internet . I called this series in 6 it seems to be playing to form. A split in Boston after a home split, now its time for the Hawks to claim their prize! So extremely limited mins for Leddy and Stalberg played interesting. What was Leddy’s deal? Bruins too much to handle?

  12. Ryan says:

    Anyone that claimes Handzus is washed up man up and say so. I know Rufus and Wall both did. Not only did Zeus play well but guess who he out skated to get on the end of that first goal? Both Rufus and Wall’s secret crush Bergeron! Yup that is right the washed up whatever they called him out skated one of the Boston’s best players for that first goal. Bergeron couldn’t catch him.

    Boston had about 3 goals in them tonight and were gifted 2. Saad couldn’t get the puck out of the zone to save his life on Boston’s first and gift wrapped them a goal. And Boston’s 3rd? You can watch Hockey for 50 years and not see another puck off the glass off top of cage go right out in front!

    The switching of the Lines worked wonders. 29-19-88 played great. Don’t touch it. Also 10-26-81 will only get better as Hossa gets better something that should have Boston very very worried. Zeus was dominate at the dot and was in beast mode scoring the goal and laying out Boychuk. He had a couple hits that made Lucic cream his pants. The Man still has it and has been one hell of signing. You can tell Zeus wants a cup.

  13. Ryan says:

    @SouthSide – Coach Q probably limited Leddy’s and Stalberg’s mins cause he knew we had an extra day with the next game Sat. They sat on the bench the whole and didn’t appear injured. Q even said that Leddy was fine post game.

    South Side this game was back on NBC, as all the rest will be too! Didn’t need Cable!

  14. Pete says:

    Great win overcoming a lot. I’ve criticized Handzus and I am glad I was wrong. Chara is an absolute GOON. Did anyone see him hacking away at Toews & Company, its ridiculous. On one power play he literally took his stick and slashed up trying to take Toews’s face off. I mean it was right out of spartacus. CHara is an absolute Goon. He is not playing legitimate hockey. Watch him in the defensive zone the things he is getting away with are SHOCKING. Meanwhile, we touch the Bruins and its a call. That phantom hooking call on Kane was a joke and it came right after Sharp was hooked on a breakaway NO CALL. On one of their goals they slashed away Crawford’s stick, NO CALL. The BRUINS are getting away with so much out there its scary and its the only reason they have a chance to win it. If the game is called cleanly and fairly the HAWKS would win the next two easy. Because Boston is being allowed to GOON it up and essentially cheat this could go either way.

  15. torourke says:

    Ryan,

    Good call on Handzus beating Bergeron down the ice. Unbelievable.

    Kane was great, but his hooking call was incredibly stupid and selfish, and it gave the Bruins life and a chance to get into a game they had no business being in.

    We need to clean up some things defensively, because as good as we look sometimes, Boston had some scary scoring chances and could have easily won that game. Our inability to get the puck out of the zone nearly cost us there at the end of the second. Corey was brilliant in that last flurry there.

    I kept waiting for our speed and transition game to make an impact, and boy did it ever. To see Kruger and Frolik beat their team down the ice and make Chara look like a fool was fun to watch.

    I thought that after watching the first three games, Wall and Rufus were more persuasive in their assessment of the series, so thanks to JS for talking me down from the ledge. And thanks to Tab for running this site and the summary.

  16. McKay says:

    Thoughts on the game:

    1) Let me make the case Crawford didn’t have an absolute fail: Four of the five goals came unmarked inside the circles. Any NHL’er, in an attacking shooting position from inside the circles is likely to score. Two of those goals came unmarked in the crease / slot area. The fifth goal was an absolute rocket but Crow should have known that was coming high with a blocking Oduya. So while yes, Crow’s glove was exploited, let’s just slow our role on him having a terrible game. Get a body on guys in red areas and Crow doesn’t have to stop a point blank shot.

    2) Special teams are becoming a massive issue. Stanley Cup winner stats say PP doesn’t matter but if your PK is giving up a goal+ per game, that’s a different story. At least two-thirds of our penalties taken in Games 3 & 4 could have been avoided with some mental discipline. I miss the days when the Hawks were the least penalized team in the league.

    3) Bergeron had his worst game of the series. 2 goals, yes, but offset by two horrible goals against. He can’t back check against Handzus? I think I could catch Handzus. And he stopped skating on the Kruger rebound goal. This coming from a Selke winner?

    4) Resilience. Just pure resilience. This game had loss written all over it. Erasing a 2-goal deficit. Crow getting lit up. PK not working. Playing with a short bench. Players injured—some announced, some maybe not. But the Hawks gut it out and get a huge win.

    Best of 3 with two in the Mad House. Go Hawks!

  17. Pete says:

    torourke, that Kane hooking call was nothing, he barely even put the stick on him. Keith Jones said it wasn’t much almost having to justify the call. The bruins had just blatantly hooked sharp on a breakaway, no call. Then they call that nothing play by Kane, give me a break. The bruins are acting like they played poorly and that is the only reason they lost. No respect for the Hawks winning that game. The truth is that if the game is Hockey and its called evenly we beat them easily last night. All the other bruin nonsense that they get away with that is outside the rules of hockey and the uneven calls in the bruins favor is the only reason that game was close. If the game is Hockey and its called evenly then the Hawks are clearly better and will win the next two games.

  18. Pete says:

    Also, what about the fact that they slashed the stick out of Crawfords hands on one of their goals. Isn’t that goaltender interference. When they called interference on Oduya at the blue line I almost fell out of my chair with all the blatant and obvious interference that the bruins regurlarly and routinely get away with in order to even the skills on having less skill.

  19. Pete says:

    scales not skills. Even though we won I’m incensed by the Bruins.

  20. Andrew Raven says:

    Great comments by everyone. What a huge win for the Hawks, but what a mental rollercoaster ride that game was! I don’t normally yell at the referees, but if they make tons of questionable calls and are biased as hell, I can’t be silent. Seriously, they have to do a much better job. A cross-check to Bolland’s head, I think by McQuaid, isn’t sanctioned, but they send Kaner to the sinbox for hooking, which was nothing. And there was much more.

    Those of you who wanted to see Handzus out of the lineup, I’m glad Coach Q didn’t make such a silly decision. Zus (and Rosy) really wants that CUP and that’s the right approach. Toews, Kane and the big guns finally delivered, which is of paramount importance if the Hawks want to win. It’s now advantage Chicago.

    As much as I respect Amonte (what a great player he was), he can go to hell. He’s REALLY stupid but unfortunately no one tells him that. Also, he should resort to healthier food, he doesn’t look so good.

    Let’s go Hawks!

  21. wall says:

    Ryan- you dumbass!!!

    Either you can’t read or you can’t comprehend! When did I say “Zus is washed up!”

    I was One of the FIRST guys to defend 26 when Tab said he was as slow as Bruno!
    I was one of the 1st to suggest to put him on 2nd line ( people laughed at that) during reg. season!

    I was critical of him vs. Wings cuz he could not stay w/ Dyuk or Zberg (Tripping over his own feet) and said he should be moved down…

    AND I was ONE OF FIRST TO SAY 29/19/88 SO 19/88 COULD MAYBE SCORE!!!
    AND 10/26/81 — SO HOSS COULD COVER UP D WISE FOR ZUS!!

    RYAN- HOW MANY ORIGINAL THOUGHTS HAVE YOU HAD ON THIS SITE?
    while I have been wrong on my opinions… I have made some pretty good ORIGINAL CALLS too!!! Please contest me on those… so I can List ALL of them!!!

  22. Phil says:

    This was a massive character win for the Hawks. One for the ages. Once again the Hawks rose up and played a bighearted game after laying an egg in the previous contest. I have felt that throughout the playoffs when they were able to score 3 or more goals they will win, and it played out again that way last night. The ice looked to be in much better condition last night which helped us more than Boston. Last night showed Hawks team speed for 3 periods. Apart from Corey appearing to look very nervous in the 3rd , he played well enough to get us the win that was essential to keep realistic hopes alive for the Cup. I thought he should have had a couple of those glove side goals but he also made some incredible stops. There could have been even more goals for both teams had they been able to bear down and finish. Toews had fire in his eyes again. A positive as we bring this series back home for what should be another nail biting thriller Saturday night.

    While these games are gut wrenching to watch, I keep reminding myself, this is the shit. This is what us fans live for, to see our team play in the Cup finals. I am really proud of this team showing the heart to grab this series back into line.

    Leddy benched and the other guys stepping up was amazing. Those have to be some tired dmen wearing the Hawks sweaters. They will need the extra day off. Duncan Keith looked tentative IMO on both ends of the ice, but battled hard. Rozy keeps coming up with at least one amazing game in each series. Same with Zus. Those guys played like they really wanted it. Hammer looks like the most mature guy back on the blue line this year in the playoffs. One cool customer who keeps his focus.

    The Hawks played their hearts out. They left everything they had on the ice. They won face-offs in a game they had to get it done. They put inside pressure on Rask that finally potted some goals. Lighting up Rask was important psychologically.

    Refs bad last night. Borderline calls on the Hawks while Boston continues to chop and interfere especially their d men. The hook call on Kane was ridiculous given the magnitude of this game and what was really gloing on during that play. As good a d man as Chara is he gets away with murder. Somewhat “Prongeresque” is the best thing I can come up with.

    Lots of strange twists last night. Our PK scores but otherwise was as bad as we have seen the entire playoffs. PP looking better, but it really could not have gotten any worse.

    CJ is a good coach IMO, but not even a back handed compliment to the Hawks. He is extremely arrogant and so is his team. Who didn’t love Sharpie barking at who was it Kelly or Peverley? Sharp had a huge game.

    Boston keeps getting the bounces. If that intangible ever turns away from them towards the Hawks we beat these guys bad. Pucks just keep somehow finding a way to Bruins tape. That goal they scored from the bounce off the glass behind the net to drop down in front of Crow was hopefully the zenith of their luck. Bruins though are good. They keep coming and find ways to fill in open space in the O zone. Our forwards need to do better. That was perhaps the worst game of the series for the Hawks in the D zone.

    I thought they would win a game in Boston and they did in dramatic fashion. To bring home the Cup will require efforts along the lines we watched last night. They can get it done.

    Can you believe all the negativity in the press pre game yesterday and the day bedfore in the Chicago press and sports radio? Unbelievable. Too many recently jumped on the band wagon that don’t this sport or this team.

    Drained, but happy this morning. What a night for Hawks fans and the league has to be pleased with the drama.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  23. JS says:

    You boys are so silly.

    Can’t beat Boston! They are too good defensively! No, they aren’t. Q was just in his own head and made some of the stupidest lines he could when he knew a few of them wouldn’t work.

    Yes, Crow was beat to his glove side 5 times. Yes, he appeared rattled. How many of those goals do you really blame on Crow? The first one. Would have been nice to see him make a couple big saves like he has all playoffs long, but damn Boston had some incredible shots.

    I thought the officiating was terrible and I am usually not one to complain about officiating. It seemed like every time the Hawks started to make a run there was a soft call on the Hawks. Teams have clutched, grabbed, interfered with, crosschecked, slashed, EVERYTHING the Hawks all playoffs long, but every time they touched a B yesterday it seemed like there was a penalty. There was also a lack of replays on penalty calls which I found weird.

    Amazing how much better Kane is at hockey when he’s playing with a center that can keep up with him and another winger that can can get to the front of the net. His goal required extreme skill to settle the puck down on his backhand and then roof it. A lot of people try to rush that shot and the puck just skips over their stick. But yeah, 5 points and a +7 rating from that top line. GOOD THING Q WAITED UNTIL GAME 4 TO PUT THEM BACK TOGETHER.

    PP looked worlds better. Entries were crisp and they were moving the puck pretty well. Would have been nice for them to shoot the puck more when the lanes opened, but they will never do that.

    Benching Leddy makes little sense to me and it didn’t seem to help the defense much. Plus, he created a scoring chance on one of his only 3 shifts of the game.

    So now this evenly played series is going back to Chicago with an even record. Maybe now even you guys can call the series even?

  24. Mike says:

    Throw the the stat sheets out. This is now a best of 3.

    Crow usually rebounds well after a blow out……….whoops, Hawks won the game!!!!!

    The officiating tonite was pretty bad. Soft penalties, particularly against us. Although the Hawks have their share of no calls, last nite was ridiculous. The expression on Kane’s face and his reaction said it all. Like an ump calling a shoulder high strike….now you have to swing at them. How tentative did that call make the Hawks the rest of the night. Same with the call on Oduya.

    Ballsy call on Qs part. You play with 5 Dmen in the playoffs and everyone is exhausted. I like Leddy a lot but I will say again, not enough time in the AHL where Leddy would have more ice time and the games are physical every night. Playoff physicality has blown him out. So what do we have here? A wake up call from Q? SB and Q bringing his FA value down a notch? I know it is the SCF, but teams (GMs) are always looking at next year.

    Stalberg…..not sure what to say. Big body, big speed, huge potential, not horrible but uninspired play.

    Glad for the rest. Not sure if it is a big factor but the last 2 series Hawks played 12 game to Boston’s 9.

    Zues last nite was the consummate professionals. He played above his general ability last night. He not only wants the cup, he understands what it is going to take to win this series. Bolland, Stalberg, Leddy and even Seabs should take notice of the Effort Zues put out last night.

    How big are faceoffs…………………HUGE

    I hope the UC has been quiet the last week. Rocky needs to spend the bucks on keeping that place COLD. Slow ice is a speed equalizer. We saw that especially in game 3. A fast ice UC will benefit the Hawks.

  25. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    1. Crow is the primary reason why we’ve made it this far. Our season ends against Detroit if not for Crow. It makes me seethe that there are now those who would throw him under the bus. The guy is entitled to a so-so game. He is our playoff MVP to date, and its not even a close.

    2. Ballsy moves by Quenneville regarding Leddy. But I agree 100%. Leddy has been a trainwreck this series and Boston licks its chops everytime he is on the ice.

    3. I’ve seen enough of Stalberg to last a lifetime. The smart move for game 5 is to start Carcillo. His hyper energy and aggressiveness going after the puck shall be way more important than the craptacular few minutes Stalberg gives this team. And in case anybody was paying attention last night, you can tell Shaw HATES being paired with Stalberg and that Shaw’s effectiveness is compromised being paired up with the turnover machine who skates fast. Enough. Enough. Enough.

    4. An extra day rest until game 5 helps Boston more than it helps us. I wish we were playing Friday night.

    5. Keith is struggling. Terrible on the PP. Pressure? A top shelf opponent with multiple layers of talent for him to worry about? Keith needs to finish the series on a major uptick.

  26. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Re: Handzus. He was terrible in game 2 and 3 after being a savior for the Hawks for months. Last night? He dug deep and found the fountain of youth. Impressive. He was immensely valuable on all but one shift. So hats off to the veteran.

  27. Sr. Brad says:

    I didn’t want to debase the Hawk’s performance last night with negative stuff about the refs, but Pete is right…the refs have been against the Hawks all post season and it is only getting worse not better…it seems to me, especially the last 2 days, that everyone in America and around the NHL wants the bruins to win…and I wonder why? Perhaps it is because they (led by the biggest criminal since Oogie Oglethorpe, Chara) play “old style” hockey and the “faggy” game the Hawks plays just needs to go away??? Who knows, but when Pete says that Chara is getting away with murder, its only a slight exaggeration.

    I am watching a Swedish feed to the game, as I can’t stand the bias announcing from the NA feeds. They don’t go to commercials, they stay with the game and show replays and talk about them. Last night they did a montage, during the break before OT, on Chara’s stick work on Toews…they showed about 20 clips and in most of them, with the refs right there, Chara unloaded on Toews, who didn’t have the puck, with the full force of his wood. There were at least 2 instances where Chara’s stick was swung at full force straight up against Toews and just missed taking his head off…and Kane gets a hooking call, and is lambasted here by fans for gently laying this stick on the b’s waist? Someone in that national media needs to find the courage to come forth and say something about this sham…unfortunately, murdering your opponent during the playoffs has become an NHL tradition…the “faggy” Hawks are ruining this wonderful NHL legacy! All hail the Charlestown Chiefs…

    As to Ryan’s comments about Wall…I can assure you Wall led the way on defending Zues’ character and limitied abilities…he also was the first to suggest Zues as the 2nd line centre, and Wall and JS have been screaming for Bickell, Kane, and Toews. Wall also told us a while back that Hoss on the 2nd line with Zues would make us a better team…so, believe what you want, but Wall’s comments have been bang on…he’s only been WRONG about giving this series to bruins…

  28. IceHogst says:

    Guts + 47 shots overcame lazy turnoves + terrible CC. By far the most aggravating game of the playoffs. But they did it. Absolutely remarkable spirit.

  29. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Make that one more thing that makes me seethe….certain Hawks fans whining and complaining about the refs. Stop. You don’t see Quenneville or the players griping. Or Bowman making any comments. This is big boy hockey time. The refs have been fair to both sides, and the refs are “letting them play.” Which is the normative for a Cup finals.

    Nobody is giving Boston or Chicago an unfair advantage. This series is being determined on the ICE. So suck it up and deal with it.

  30. Sr. Brad says:

    Mike/Phil, good comments…Mike, you are absolutely right on Leddy and the AHL…its a league that doesn’t get a lot of love, but its important to play there, if necessary, and learn to thrive because it does teach you how to “handle” the physical game night after night…this is why the last 2 years have been so good for Jeremy Morin…he has transformed his game by plaing so long in Rockford…the same goes for Pirri…he’s learned how to exist in a game where you get run at a lot…these are huge lessons for guys to learn, and often make or break careers. I commented a few times, that Leddy did not look great in Rockford at the beginning of the year…Shaw/Kruger did, but not Leddy…and what Q did last night was absolutely the right call.

    Rufus, I don’t agree with your comments on 25…but thank you for sharing them. Stahlberg was better last night…he used his speed more, he was more engaged, and even became physical on occasion. I have said this for 3 weeks now, give 25 MORE playing time and he will get his head and legs back…sittting him is NOT helping.

    As for CC, it isn’t beneficial for any of us to dwell on what happened last night, espeically Crawford…let’s all move forward. But to suggest that CC was fine or good last night is a “nyquill” moment. He let in at least 3 AWFUL goals and single handedly allowed Boston back into game 4 of the SC finals. But he didn’t completely collapse…played solidly in OT and we won…next game…

  31. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Sr Brad, with all due respect the Stanley Cup finals are NOT the job to give Viktor Friggin Stalberg on-the-job training ! He is a liability on the ice. Against high quality opponents he’s ALWAYS been a liability on the ice. He needs to sit. Then he needs to leave via free agency this summer so he can become some other team’s dilemma.

  32. Tre says:

    Got to agree with Mr. Firefly: Crawford is Stanley Cup MVP if the Hawks pull it off–unless somebody else comes up HUGE in the remaining games.

    And good for Crawford for figuring out whatever it was that brought him to this level and the Hawks org for sticking with him. Have to admit: I was an optimistic doubter through the last couple seasons.

  33. JS says:

    Rufus the Hawks players and management can’t complain about the officials because that does nothing but cost them dollars. Hilarious that you say the officials are “letting them play” when the calls on Oduya, Keith, and Kane were definitely not “let them play” calls. Also, Q was burning a hole in the officials after the Kane penalty call. He doesn’t have to say something in post game for you to know what he thinks.

    And pining to start Carcillo in game 5 over Stalberg is absolutely asinine. Since you know Shaw’s personal feelings on Stalberg, can you also tell me what Hossa thinks about Saad? Because according to other mind readers earlier in the season Hossa hated playing with Saad. Just curious as to what you are able to pull from Shaw’s personal feelings.

    And sadly Brad is right, wall usually has good hockey thoughts. Sometimes he just gets a little too emotional after a loss and digs for any weakness he can.

  34. JS says:

    Stalberg is a liability on the ice but DANIEL “MEATHEAD” CARCILLO is supposed to be the player that comes in as less of a liability? You can’t be serious. You’re trolling, right?

  35. southsidehawkman says:

    Keep the comments coming I’m enjoying see everyone’s thoughts until I get back to civilization to watch the games. Not catching the game was rough, found out a national broadcast doesn’t mean everywhere.

  36. Pete says:

    Chara swung his stick full force in an uppercut against Toews face trying literally to slice off about an inch of his face from his chin to his forehead. It was SHOCKING. They let him do whatever he wants in the defensive zone. He is a THUG. Nobody is mentioning they slashed the stick out of Crawfords hands on one of their goals. The hook on the breakaway by sharp, no call. The call on Kane was ridiculous. Oduya interfernce compared to what they are doing. I won’t be silent on the officiating, its that bad and biased against us and we still win. The hawks are easily better than Boston when it comes to Hockey. With Boston playing the equivalent of ROLLERBALL(James Caen version) and getting away with it, its a 50/50 proposition that we win. Rufus you are scary wrong about Carcillo, he will be in the box all night and Q will have to stop playing him. Stalberg had his moments and if we stay with him he can make a difference. I admitted I was wrong about Handzus, in fact I admitted I was wrong on him back in the Detroit series when he scored that goal. One other factor, the ice was real bad in game 3 and better in game 4. Better ice is better for us because we can actually skate and pass. We now have 2 out of 3 in the United Center. That’s huge for us. Go Hawks.

  37. Dickie Dunn says:

    Thanks, Tab.

    Good comments.

    I agree with “soft calls” against the Hawks (last night) – Oduya and Kane…compare those “penalties” to much of what Boston has been doing consistently.

    Playing Carcillo would be a BAD decision. Maybe Smith instead of Stalberg? Maybe Bollig…?

    Game 5 is BIG – GO HAWKS!!

  38. Pete says:

    Also, Boston players are being quoted as saying they just played bad. No credit to the Hawks. Are your freaking kidding me. They had every call, played dirty Rollerball, not Hockey and they still lost.

  39. Pete says:

    Also, the league should look at suspending Chara for that slash to the face of Toews. Its no different from Keith’s slash to the face in the Boston series. The puck wasn’t around at all and its an upper cut full force. SCARY that he gets away with that.

  40. Pete says:

    I meant Keiths slash where he was suspended in the Kings series. Im typing fast because Im incensed at the Bruins etc.

  41. RyanDale says:

    Great stuff here today . Wow what a difference a win makes here. It’s like the tides of the sea going in and out with some of you. Very entertaining.

    Was that Hawks vs North Stars circa 85 last night or what? Wow! Naysayers be damned. We are right where we need to be. What a game. Anytime 16 scores its usually a good sign. What an effort by Kruger! And has a Dman ever scored 2 bigger goals than Seabs has in a playoff run? There is nothing better than winning on the road in the playoffs and sending the crowd home whining

    30 seconds in to the game Kane was battling,in his own way of course but nonetheless, with Z behind the net and it was clear this was gonna be a different showing by Hawks.
    How bout Chara and Marchand both -3 !!

    Thought the keys to the game was all the net presence we brought , we were near the paint all night. Active Dmen were flying throughout too and we got pucks in deep behind the D and were playing below the goal line with good support. Pretty simple right? Lets hope we keep it up!

    Ive never commented on officiating but I will agree, Z is getting away with way too much but it’s not gonna change. We stood up to him well, and him being -3 and being on ice for the game winner is good enough for me! More than the refs I just feel like the bounces are always going their way, especially on PP-PK but that’s probably a jaded view ?? Hope CC will be his old self in G5

    Lets keep it rolling now!

  42. torourke says:

    Sorry Pete,

    I have to disagree. I thought the Kane hook was legitimate, and I didn’t see much of a hook on Sharp. I do agree that the call on Oduya was ridiculous and that the Bruins are probably getting away with more.

    I thought Leddy played pretty well in Game 1, and I didn’t see much of anything in this game to merit his benching. What did I miss?

    Sharp was great. His back-check on the last Bruins rush before Seabrook scored was fantastic. He has been aggressive all series long.

    I’m happy with the two days of rest because it helps Marian Hossa, and that’s critical.

  43. Pete says:

    What about when they slashed the stick out of Crawford’s hands on one of their goals and Chara swinging his stick like a sword upper cut style with the puck nowhere around right across the front of Toews face. How bout a suspension. Keith was suspended for a slash to the face in the Kings series. Boston is getting away with more and its their only chance because they can’t skate with us.

  44. Pete says:

    Bowman should send a tape of that decapitation attempt by Chara on Toews to Shanahan and demand action. Since Keith was suspended we have the high ground to make that demand. Chara has to be reined in so the teams play hockey, not spartacus/rollerball.

  45. Negzz says:

    JS- Your love for Stahlberg is clouding your judgement, dude. Further, your dislike for physical and tough nosed, “gritty” hockey is well documented and this bias makes your anti-Carcillo posts out of whack and unfairly brutal. Read a few blogs elsewhere to keep a balance and you’d see that some well respected sources are reporting several Hawk players want 13 in the lineup. These are HAWKS PLAYERS with this opinion. Toews (our captain who plays much better when he has a physical presence on his line), has publically articulated his support of playing with C-bomb on the ice as it makes us harder to play as a team. Of course, you know better, right? You are welcome to your opinion but others have a right to theirs. Many of us have been playing the game since we were mites/squirts all the way through “old man” leagues, and have opinions that are just as valid as yours (if not more so.)

    As for last nite, ’bout time Q puts 29/19/88 back together. Stupid to have broken them up in the first place. Craw was awful but hopefully bounces back strong (as he’ll need to.) Lucky bounces and some ticky-tack calls had me crazy last nite. Sat is MUST WIN and we better be ready for a blood and guts battle if we’re going to win this Cup. 2 out of 3 at the UC? I like our chances.

  46. Pete says:

    If anyone else feels the way I do on this please speak up and I will pass the torch to you. I have to start working now. GO HAWKS

  47. Mike says:

    Pete, all of the officiating will be reviewed by the NHL and Shanahan. The officials for the next game will be different from this game. Game 4 officials were the same as game 2, so maybe the officials from games 1 and 3 will do game 5. In any case, they will be told to call the game they want, just even for both sides…..Boston def got some home cookin last night.

  48. Ryan says:

    @ Wall reading comprehension! I said if u claimed Zeus was washed up man up. Ne er said u did. It was followed a few sentences later that Zeus beat your man crush Bergeron down the Ice.

  49. Ryan says:

    wall is just mad his big bad unbeatable Bruins lost

  50. Mike says:

    Any idea why Leddy saw only 2 minutes of ice time last night?

  51. Matt says:

    Do people actually think there is some vast, well-planned conspiracy against the Blackhawks? REALLY? How far up does this conspiracy go? Who is involved? How are they benefitting?

    Do the officials blow some calls? Sure. Have they? Probably.

    But to suggest that there is some wide-ranging conspiracy to deprive the Blackhawks of the Cup? Wake up! “Letting them Play” has long been the rule in the playoffs, and it is simple code for “almost anything goes.” So yes, Chara has been clobbering 19. But that is par for the course in the playoffs – for years. I’m not saying that makes it “correct,” but for it to be a targeted conspiracy against the Hawks, it would have to be something different from what has gone on in years past. And it isn’t.

    Seriously, other than subjective (not to mention biased) interpretation that the refs blew a few calls against Chicago, what evidence is there of this purported conspiracy? Because I think it is a pretty tough sell, and can make an entire fanbase sound like a bunch of whiners.

    PS: You don’t think some of our guys (Shaw) don’t get away with some of the same stuff Chara does? C’mon.

  52. Pete says:

    Should Chara’s upper cut stick slash to Toews face be reviewed or not for suspension. Keith was suspended in the Kings series for a slash to the face. The league must make every effort to call the games evenly.

  53. Pete says:

    And Matt, to answer your question when Keith did something similar to what Chara did in the Kings series he was suspended for one game. So as a fan I expect fairness. One game suspension on Chara that would send the message to stop playing outside the rules. If you don’t think Toews could have been seriously hurt on that play I don’t know what to tell you.

  54. JS says:

    Note: I don’t think there is a conspiracy. I think they the refs are pretty bad for every team. I don’t think the game was officiated very well yesterday and most of the breaks went the way of the Bruins.

    Negzz- I’ve watched Carcillo plenty enough to know he sucks at hockey and the Hawks are not better with him in the lineup. I’m assuming your “well respected sources” probably come from Hockey Buzz. If most of the players wanted to give Carcillo a shot, don’t you think he would have played more than 27 minutes these playoffs? If you can tell me one thing that Carcillo does better than Stalberg, Bollig, or even Jamal Mayers, I’d LOVE to hear it.

    Toews also plays much better with Patrick Kane on his line… must be all of the physical presence that Kane brings.

    I don’t hate “physical and tough nosed ‘grit’” players. I do hate players that are better known for their attempts to end careers than their ability to play hockey.

  55. Brian B says:

    Gou: “Who saw that coming?” I did, LOL. I was begging for it yesterday in my post.

    They did exactly what they needed to do. They started playing to their strengths and stopped allowing the Bruins to exploit their weaknesses. This is their game, win or lose, like it or not. These are the players we have and this is the way we need to play to win.

    It is unfortunate that we don’t have a better goalie behind it. As predicted, the open style lead to Crawford being exposed and, as predicted, he didn’t handle it well. But, we won.

    If you go back and look at the game and focus on the goals that were scored on both ends you should see a distinct difference between the goals we earned and those that Crawford gave up. With a stand-up goalie this is a 5-2 win. When he can see the shot coming there’s no excuse. We have to fight hard to get goals past Rask on the other end and it’s not because our guys aren’t as good at shooting it as the Bruins. In fact, our guys are better.

    Another thing you might notice when you go back and watch, as I’m sure you all will now that I’ve mentioned it LOL, is that once the play slowed down the Hawks’ game suffered. Especially on the PP.

    They need to keep the puck moving, avoid the grind-it-out game. Keep low hard shots coming at the net and guys looking for 2nd and 3rd chances. Keep the D involved, they need to keep jumping in whenever they can. Create as many rush opportunities as they can. Out-skill the Bruins.

    I think Q is a smart coach. He realizes where his strengths lie, but I don’t think he likes it very much. I think the guy on the other side is also pretty good (tong in cheek ). Saturday will bring adjustments by the Bruins, no doubt. So what should we expect? I expect the Bruins to do whatever they can to slow this down. They’ll stack the blue line and force the Hawks to dump and chase in an attempt to grind them up in the corners. We need to stay out of that game as much as possible. The Bruins are comfortable grinding it out on both ends of the ice. Q’s job now is to figure out how to keep his guys out of that game and keep the puck moving at all times.

    The Bruins will score. That’s the by-product of opening up your game. Crawford was exposed and will continue to be exploited. However, we cannot sit back and provide defense for him and grind with these guys, he’s on his own and he’ll suck. But we need to keep this moving as fast-paced as we can.

    Brad, Couldn’t agree more with the national guys. After that blown call on the no-goal the other night, not a word about it on NBC. After the disaster call in the Red Wings game they talked it up that night, but then nothing. They were spoken to by the NHL, NO DOUBT. But hey, it’s hockey. And we don’t get to cry about ANYTHING in hockey. The risk the NHL runs however, is that they will lose credibility. It brings me back to the Bulls vs. the Knicks, or the Pistons where the winner of any game was determined by how it was called. How it was called was determined by the officials the NBA decided to assign to the game that night. The NBA wanted a good series, but they also had to decide where the bulk of their fans opinions rested. Did their fans want smash-mouth B ball, or did they want MJ style ball. Obviously we know the outcome, so what is the NHL thinking now? Do they want to satisfy the old-school grind it out guys, or do they see their future resting in the TV sets of those who want a fast, wide open, skill-based game? One thing’s for sure, they want a hyped up, talked about series. They also want more popularity. So where will they get more market share? Whichever way the “assigned” officials fall, the Hawks will still have to earn it, I don’t subscribe to the “fix is in” theory. Maybe the games at home will be called a little differently, but whatever they decide to do, the Hawks have to deal with it.

  56. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    I need to disengage from this board today. For crying out loud, Crawford is THE reason why we have advanced to this stage of the playoffs. Guess what…Crow is entitled to a bad playoff game…this was his FIRST of the entire damned playoffs.

    I grew up watching Tony O in goal at the Stadium. The performance that Crawford has turned in during these playoffs has blown me away…I didn’t think he had it him him, but he has been far and away our team playoff MVP. So cut the guy some slack. We WON the hockey game.

    Leddy didn’t play because Leddy has been a pile o’ crap on the ice in this series. Nothing to debate here.

    The officiating? Just fucking stop. If Shanahan thinks the Charo slash to Toews merits discipline, then discipline shall be handed down. The NHL has done an outstanding job of being fair and balanced in every playoff game I’ve seen played this spring / summer. And Shanahan looms in the background to take corrective actions when called upon.

    Calling Charo a thug?!? That is simple ignorance at work. Charo is the best defenseman in hockey and a force of nature…he plays a physical, intimidating style of hockey as part of his greatness. But calling him a thug is equivalent to calling Stalberg a Selke trophy finalist.

    Just focus on game 5. Enough with the pissing and moaning.

  57. Pete says:

    Hes a thug. Look at the tape. No puck in the area, just Chara and Toews and he swings the stick like a sword uppercut style trying slice off a piece of 19′s face. I don’t care if he can also play hockey. Hes a thug as well.

  58. JS says:

    I can recall Chara trying to kill Max Pacioretty with what was deemed a “clean” hockey play.

    Chara was also on the ice for 5 of the 6 goals against last night. I hope they keep playing him 30 minutes a game!

  59. JS says:

    More importantly, Pete, can you find me a gif or tell me where I can find the video of Chara doing this? I was possibly in a drunken/exhausted state last night and I don’t think I caught it.

  60. Pete says:

    They replayed an isolation of what Chara was doing to Toews in front of the net and it was eye opening for me. He literally swung his stick up like a sword.

  61. torourke says:

    Pete,

    I didn’t see the Chara swing at Toews, so I’ll take your word for it, and in the meantime try to find it on tape.

    I’m still not sure what Leddy did to merit his benching but let’s hope he learns whatever lesson Q is teaching because Keith cannot log that many minutes going forward. I also thought Stalberg showed some flashes last night, but he needs to do more.

  62. Tom Jaremka says:

    It took 3 games, but the Hawks found a way to expose Chara’s faults. On the first goal, Saad skated around Chara like he was a pylon. Chara is sloooowww. The distance between his stick blade and his feet is huge and he is vulnerable on passes between his feet and stick. He is also HUGE, so when he is in front of the net, protecting Rask, he adds to the confusion and traffic in front.

    He was a -3 last night and looked slower than me on defense. Fatigue is starting to set into these guys and it hits the big guys first.

    On another note, on WSCR this morning, Pat Foley said that the Hawks have known for awhile that Crawford CANNOT CATCH A PUCK!! LOL. If this is true, which I believe it to be, it is not only hilarious, it is scary. Crawford does have trouble with pucks shot into his glove. He would have been a terrible shortstop!!

  63. Pete says:

    Torourke, I just saw it once on TV during the game, let me know what you think if you find it on line. On Stalberg, I agree with you. He showed some moments and I like him in overtime when he is fresh and moving fast when the rest of the players are tire. He needs to do more but I think he has the potential to make a difference out there.

  64. Tim G says:

    ***Slow Clap for Rufus’ last post***

  65. Brian B says:

    Rufas, We will have to agree to disagree on Crawford, and that’s OK. I’m in the minority on his play right now, and I’m OK with that too. But when the D stops protecting him by limiting shots to 25 and very few good scoring chances, this is what you get. And the guy does show flashes of greatness, I agree. But then he’ll give up 2 ridiculous goals that just have you shaking your head. And it’s not once in a while, its most games. We did win, as you said, but we won in spite of his play, not because of it.

    BTW, FWIW, I too grew up watching Tony. He’s why I played goalie. And 35 is the only jersey I own.

    With respect to the officiating, I think you’re making my point. IF “Shanahan” decides certain play is worthy of disciplinary action, then he hands down action, like you said. But that’s totally at his discretion. As is, I’m sure, the assignment of officials. So if he wants a cleaner game, we would get a cleaner game. If he wants to allow the bigger, slower team to lean on the smaller, faster, more skillful team, then THAT is what we’ll get. Either way, like I said, the Hawks will have to deal with it and play their game. I’m not crying about it, just calling it what it is.

  66. JS says:

    I think we need to talk more about Patrick Kane not being an elite player.

  67. elio bevilacqua says:

    ……I’m not a big Crawford fan but last night he was great …..showing a combative spirit that’s necessary to win in every game ……I know one of the goals was definitely a fluke goal by Bergeron ……the puck flipped over the net hit the glass I think and bounced right back in front of the net ……lol…..no one knew where the puck was…..anyway it was that kind of a night…..Crawford kept the Hawks in the game and most of the star players scored or played well…..now we have ourselves a series…Good luck Blackhawks…….

  68. Mining Man says:

    Would like to see Carcillo in Game 5…despite all the dumping on him on this site he is a valuable addition to the Blackhawks. He is well rested, full of energy and the players luv the guy. A very clutch type player that can be counted on to stir it up. After we beat Philly in 2010, Q wanted that him on our side. How the heck can we get Krecji …theres a guy that belongs in a Blackhawks jersey.

  69. Tom Jaremka says:

    Boys…….another spirited blog, as usual. Calling Chara a “thug” is a little over the top. 99.9% of the players that I have known over the years are really, REALLY great people off the ice. I’ll bet that many of you on this blog have met players and said, “man, that dude is great guy”…….am I right? Believe me, Chara is one of those great guys. However, when players hit the ice, they do whatever it takes to win a battle, to win the play, to win the game.

    Things happen on the ice, or field, in PROFESSIONAL sports that shouldn’t happen. Players do things to gain an edge or to win a one on one battle. In hockey, you carry a weapon in your hand and, at times, you use it as a weapon. It’s part of the game.

    As fatigue sets in, your brain and body do things that they are not prepared to do. By the last series in a Stanley Cup run, both teams are beat up, fatigued and mentally and physically “toast”. They are playing on guts, heart, pride, determination and pure adrenalin. This is a mans series, now. The boys have gone home.

    I spoke many times over the last week about fatigue and how these players battle it over the length of a game and series. To me, when you are 6’9″ tall and weigh 275lbs. you are going to be fatigued faster than anyone else. So, instead of calling Chara a “thug”, let’s exploit his weakness and call him exactly what he is……..”fatigued”.

  70. Tim G says:

    Brian- in 6 of the first 12 playoff games Crow gave up 1 or 0 goals. He has only given up 4 or more goals Twice in the entire playoffs (and we won the one from last night).

    Yes, he is on an 8 game streak of giving up 2 or more goals (7 games at 2 or 3 and then the 5 last night). But again, we won 5 of those 8! And to say “It is unfortunate that we don’t have a better goalie behind (our play)” is just overblown after what he gave this team this year.

    His playoff GAA is under 2.00 and better that what his regular season GAA was (which btw… won the Jennings). His SV% is also better in the playoffs than what it was in the regular season (and that’s even after gettting lit up last night!). He has brought it.

    Yes, he does have some frustrating moments… but so does pretty much every goalie. Rask has been Crawfords statistical equal all year and he just gave up 6… Is it unfortuate that Boston doesn’t have better play from its goalie?

    Crow is the Conn Smythe winner right now if we win.

    That could change if we win the next 2 and Kane tallies 7 points in 2 games to go over a point per game. or if Sharp scores 5 goals. or MAYBE Kieth if get 5 points and a +6…

    But come on… Give me a break. The guy has flat out stepped up. Last night was a bad night for both goalie… leave it at that and give credit where credit is due!

  71. Brian B says:

    Torourke, Pete, JS,

    It’s no surprise Stalberg showed something last night, he was finally slotted into a system that allows him to play his game. When we changed our approach for the playoffs to that of a slower, more physical game, Stalberg doesn’t fit I (neither does Kane). When you open it up, suddenly he looks like a new player and Kane looks like he belongs.

  72. Kerry Fraser suffers from early-onset Age Related Macular Degeneration says:

    How about Frolik. That guy was PURE MONEY.

  73. Alikatze says:

    I find it funny that the blatant biases of the commentators (and I would also argue the NHL.com writers) for these games escapes some on here. Really guys? I wish I knew what his name was, but the guy who is always in the middle of the 3 doing the TV analysis (Mike something??) was practically bawling when the Pens went down. Every time he has to say something nice about the Hawks, he stammers and gags on some tiny nugget of half praise for the Hawks’ work – yet, when the Hawks are down for the count, he can’t shut up with the critiquing. I think there is a very overt bias towards the Eastern Conference in the entire NHL and it drives me batty.

  74. Brian B says:

    Tim,

    Sorry for the B-B posts, but I didn’t see yours before hitting submit.

    I hear what your saying, I do. However, I put more emphasis on HOW those stats were achieved, than the stats themselves. I guess you could liken it to a pitcher’s W/L record, IMO it means absolutely nothing. ERA, on the other hand, tells you more about what the pitcher is doing. I’m telling you, the D in front of Crawford has much more to do with his stats than his play alone.

    And like I’ve said, he shows signs of brilliance, he really does. But he has to be consistent. Those flashes are useless if you cant stop 99% of all the routine shots that are taken from outside the circles with no one in front of the net. And that’s where he fails. And it would help if he could stop falling to the ice so soon and so often and keep his net when things get a little hairy, but I’m asking for just about everything a goalie could possibly give you at that point. I’ll take some flaws, I’m not asking for perfection. Until he can stop giving up easy goals we will always be reliant on the D being there for him.

    I’m sorry, I have little use for the main stream media’s view of Crawford and his stats. And believe me, I’ll be the first to stand here and tell you how glad I am to be singing a different song if he ever gets it turned around.

    And I don’t blame him for every goal that goes in. That goal that came across the top of the net for instance; what can you do? And I don’t put it on him when both of your D men are screwing around behind the net while there’s a Bruin standing out front all alone who scores. It’s great when your goalie can stop those once in a while, but not something you can blame him for. My point is, I’m not bashing him and telling you he’s useless. I’m just saying I want more. I don’t want everything, but I want the basic, fundamental, wide-open, 50 footers to stop showing up on the board.

    I don’t necessarily care “how many” goals he gives up in a particular game, I care more about HOW he gave them up. If a guy’s getting pounded all night with 2nd and 3rd chances that are finding the back of the net, that’s not necessarily on him. But that’s not how these goals are being given up.

  75. JS says:

    Brian can you tell me what the Hawks did differently that “changed their approach”?

    Just because the game was high scoring doesn’t mean the teams were doing things differently.

    Hawks played a poor game defensively because they kept turning the puck over in their own zone. That had absolutely nothing to do with what they were doing offensively. The Bruins didn’t score more because the Hawks were doing things differently offensively. They scored more because the Hawks kept doing stupid things and Crawford wasn’t there to bail them out.

    Kane looked good because he was on a line with Toews and Bickell. Amazing what happens when he plays with two people that can skate with him and draw defenders.

    Stalberg is also a fine third line player and his speed must be accounted for. Playing a “physical” game doesn’t mean he can no longer skate faster than anyone on the ice.

  76. Pete says:

    Tom, I understand your point on Chara. But when Duncan Keith swung the stick and hit a Kings player in the head it was a one game suspension. Is Chara immune from the same scrutiny. As a fan, aren’t I allowed to comment on a play that I think was way over the line and on some of the officiating calls. Some NHL coaches have complained about calls made in games. Yet some on this website suggest that as a fan I shouldn’t be allowed to comment. To those on this site who don’t like the fact that I and others are commenting on some of the calls, tooooo bad. Its a free country.

  77. Brian B says:

    Alikatze,

    That would be Milbury. F-in blowhard. Did you see him have a friggin breakdown a few weeks ago when Roenick wouldn’t kiss his ass? OMG!! He actually told JR to enjoy his last show, that this would be the last time he’d be on NBC. Only be cause JR disagreed with his bullshit opinion on a hit.

  78. JS says:

    And every damn player on the Hawks will tell you that the only reason they are in the finals is because of how outstanding CC has played.

    Also, you don’t care about W/L but you think ERA is a better stat. Good. I agree. However, CC also stops 93% of the shots directed towards him to go along with his 14 wins. That has to be good for what… an ERA in the 2′s?

    Crawford had a bad game but he is the only reason the Hawks have made it this far. Amazing how fast the Crawford bashers come back after a bad performance. If only he had a ring like Quick he’d be allowed to give up bad goals and get chased from games.

  79. RyanDale says:

    The Chara upward swats with the sick were both on the PP goal (11:19 )and the game winner. They’re both reckless but it’s never gonna be called unless he actually does skin somebodys face off. His cross checking has sure gotta hurt though, damn

  80. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Well, it’s 5:00 PM on the East Coast and Shanhahan didn’t take any action against any player from Game 4 last night. So there goes the conspirarcy theorists argument that the officials were out to get the Hawks by letting Charo attempt to decapitate Toews.

    The whiners and complainers need to stuff it. This is Stanley Cup Finals hockey. The officiating has been just fine…and most importantly BALANCED…which is all you can ask for.

  81. joey Zamboni says:

    Great comments by some very knowledgable hockey fans/players.

    Crawford wasn’t great, but was still good enough to win. Rask – looked rattled at times and wasn’t great either.

    IMHO this game should not have been as close as it was. The Hawks defensive play was AWFUL! How many times did we have chances to get the puck out of our zone while within 5′-10′ of the blue line!?!?!? I’m pretty sure it was a product of fatigue, but still they need to tighten up the defense. Crawford doesn’t give up the so called “easy” goals if we get the puck out of our zone when we have the chance.

    Offensively they were flying and caused all kinds of trouble for the Bruins vaunted defense. Rask looked good but not great.

    If the Hawks continue the offensive onslaught & tighten up in their end this could be over in 6. BUT (& its a big but) these teams are so evenly matched I’m pretty certain this going to a 7th game and most likely a 7th game with OT!! Thats a heart attack!!!

    Hawks in 7 before the faithful Feather-Heads…..

  82. Pete says:

    Unfortunately, my hopes for Chara’s suspension are clearly not going to happen. Rufus is right if it hasn’t happened by now its not going to happen. I would just add that were kidding ourselves if we think that Chara isn’t going to push the envelope farther before this series is over as he has gotten away with it so far. Hopefully, somebody won’t get seriously hurt. GO HAWKS.

  83. Pete says:

    Hopefully, nobody will get seriously hurt.

  84. Pete says:

    Ryan, I have been a season ticket holder since 2006 and I watch a ton of games and I haven’t seen that upper cut type swat with the stick before. It did look like it caught toews in the face. I was shocked by it. Am I missing something here on how bad that was? I can’t believe that was a routine type play.

  85. JS says:

    We should all just listen to Rufus. He’s been watching the game for 40 years!

    He knew Handzus was done and not going to factor in the series anymore.

    He knew Saad was over-matched and not going to be a factor.

    He knew Toews was too hurt to contribute.

    He knew Kane was never going to score against this vaunted Boston D.

    He knew Bickell was getting tired.

    He knew Keith left his A game in LA.

    He knew Rozsival has been exposed for what he is.

    He even knew that Hammer and Oduya have been the best defensemen this series!

    It’s pretty obvious that the Hawks are going to lose in 5. They have no answers for the Bruins.

    Oh wait.

  86. Pete says:

    JS that looks like it tooks some work. I would hate to have someone go through my posts and call me out. At least I admitted I was wrong on Handzus. And I am glad I was wrong.

  87. JS says:

    Haha. It was all from one post that I vividly remember mostly because of the Kane comment.

    I’ve been preaching for a month now about patience and not over-reacting after losses. I understand that that is what people do, but I feel obligated to talk them off the ledge. This team is too damn good to go out that easily.

  88. alikatze says:

    Brian B. – Milbury is a turd. Cannot stand his commentary. Very egotistical. Unfortunately, I don’t find Edzo to be any better (isn’t he supposed to be a hometown guy???). Someone on here said they followed the Swedish (?) commentary and I would happily do the same…except I don’t speak Swedish. :(

  89. Phil says:

    The Canadian feed that aired on NHL Network replay of Wednesdays game was pretty good compared with the NBC crew which I have come to dislike more each and every year. It would be cool if you could watch a game on tv with No announcers, just crowd noice and sound from whats happenings down on the ice. Didn’t the old closed circuit feeds that you had to pay to go see in Chicago area theaters when the Hawks had playoffs home games feature just a live feed from the Stadium with no announcers? I remember seeing quite a few of these with my dad back in the 60′s. Might have had Lloyd Petitt but I can’t quite remember. Cool atmosphere at those events.

  90. wall says:

    Ryan- your first post does not say anything near ” IF you said Zus is washed up”!!!
    For proof- Please go back and read what you wrote!

    Negzz- you don’t replace 25 w/ Cbomb-stop it. Cbomb was only an option before Zus, Smith, and Morin were on roster to play. That is all the Hawks need is another player to play 4-6 minutes in another 60 min. + OT(s) game.

    It will be interesting to see how CJ tries to adjust to what Q did ( Q had the D do less D to D passing and press/push the puck up ice sooner- putting the B’s on their heels more)- also – looked like the Hawks were trying create more Defensive confusion/make Rask go side to side by just throwing the puck thru the goal crease from bad angles… I don’t know if this was Random or planned… But it was a similar approach to how the Hawks use to attack Martin B. and Devils. Seemed to loosen up B’s D/blocking lanes.

  91. Mike says:

    National announcers pretty much SUCK in every sport…..Baseball is probably worse than hockey. Edzo is out of place as the in game analyst. I would MUCH rather listen to the local broadcast…..even Boston’s, rather than these guys.

  92. JS says:

    I think people just yearn too much for the Homer call. Doc Emerick is as good as it gets and Edzo is really good at breaking down play.

    Just because they don’t praise the Hawks at every chance you want them to, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good.

    I think Edzo might try a little too much to avoid praising the Hawks because he wants to avoid the homer tag at all costs. People know he is normally the color guy for the Hawks so any appreciation he has for them will be magnified. (just an opinion)

    Now Pierre? That guy is a penis with ears and I’d love for them to take him off of the games. I don’t care where people played high school/college hockey and he rarely brings any insight.

  93. Tim G says:

    “That guy is a penis with ears”… Thanks JS… just had a spit take of morning coffee at my desk! lol but that being said, its kinda true. He provides the same insight an 8 yr old with a media guide could…

  94. Pete says:

    JS, I agree with you on Eddie O. My only issue with him was that in one of the games in Boston(4 I think) the Bruins were penalized on an after the whistle scrum when a couple of the Bruins had Shaw in a chokehold and were trying to strangle him. Eddie O made a big show of how that penalty called on the Bruins was a “terrible call”, and he referenced it at least one other time in the broadcast. To single that one penalty call out and make a big deal out of it didn’t sit well with me. God forbid if the Hawks actually get a favorable call. With the Hawks having had 3 legitimate goals waived off in the playoffs(including what should have been the game winner in game 2) and with what Boston is getting away with out there, his comment didn’t sit well with me and I am still angry about it.

  95. Phil says:

    Rangers confirm hiring of Vigneault. I think they are nuts. Big mistake as this guy will bring poison to NYC. A new reason to not like the Rangers although I have liked their style the past few years compared with other teams out East. Torts just through too many guys under the bus. and the trade with Columbus cut some of the heart out of the team in order to get Nash.

  96. RyanDale says:

    Pete. gotta defer to you on the amount of games witnessed. Only season tix I’ve bought was last yr of Stadium. Tend to agree its not something you see. Its basically a VERY exaggerated and reckless motion associated with lifting an opponents stick. But without contact, not sure anything will ever be called or noted. If he did hit 19, he surely would have felled him. btw,I enjoy you insights…go hawks.

    JS- post of the playoffs earlier – I was too lazy to go back and look at it, but I sure remembered the wacky original, ha. thanks for posting

  97. RyanDale says:

    Phil. not sure about the cc feeds back then but I used to have one of those huge sat dishes back in late 80s early 90s, and there were tons of hockey feeds on their for free. NHL and more. Many with no announcers or commercials. And an equal amount of traditional feeds. HNIC was always a must see. It was a great time to be a fan. Of course greed and technology took over and ruined it. Almost 30 yrs later and I have to watch most reg season Hawk games on my laptop due to blackouts and I live 150 mi S of Loop !! Progress?

  98. Pete says:

    Thanks RyanDale. I never played Hockey so I come at it from a perspective of just being a common fan in terms of reactions to whats going on. So I admit I don’t know a lot of the subtle issues involved. I have watched a lot of sports and watching Hockey live at the UC close to the glass is by far the best. GO HAWKS.

  99. Pete says:

    By the way, RyanDale in looking at your post it makes sense that Chara was maybe trying to use that motion to raise Toews stick off the ice. Wouldn’t that be interference if the puck wasn’t in the area?

  100. Tom Jaremka says:

    Pete, I wasn’t rippin’ on ya’ about your comments. I was just explaining that there are things that happen on the ice, especially with the stick, that just happen. I just watched the incident with Chara and he tried to pick up Toews stick, but missed and almost took off Toews head. That happen ALOT at all levels of hockey. In fact, at the youth and high school levels where they wear full cages, the follow through with the stick USUALLY clips the player in the cage resulting in a “high sticking” penaly.

    Interference is the toughest call to make as an official. In fact, it is the least called of the (5) most called penalties. Slashing, holding, tripping, high stick, interference…..etc. That’s because there are more variables involved such as puck location, timing of the play, position of players, etc.

    I don’t think anyone on this blog “rips” other people. In fact, you can learn alot about hockey by reading this blog. In fact, when Tim G. said “penis with ears”, I learned a knew nickname for my brother……..LOL.

  101. Pete says:

    Tom, your point came out on this blog in that its a hockey play to try to raise up the opponnents stick as opposed to just trying to decapitate Toews with the stick. Thats what I was missing on the whole situation. I still think its a dangerous move and wonder if its interference if the puck isn’t around, but from a suspension perspective at least I get it now. Thanks

  102. JS says:

    Stick on stick won’t get you an interference. Lifting a stick with your stick will never net you a penalty. Interference involves body contact. Other forms of it (even away from the puck) will be addressed with different penalties.

  103. Tom Jaremka says:

    Pete, remember this, too……..the game is so fast and things happen in the blink of eye. They have (4) sets of eyes on the ice and they STILL miss calls because things happen so fast. In ref school they teach you to “see the penalty”. In other words, just because you hear a stick hit a helmet you cannot call a penalty because you need to “see” it with your own eyes. You can’t take anything for granted on the ice. Just like a policeman you deal with facts.

    You’ve watched the game from the lower levels so you know how fast it really is, so just think how fast it is on the ice. It’s actually very dangerous, at times.

  104. joey Zamboni says:

    Tom J. – Excellent explanation. I believe you said you were or still are a ref. I too was an IHOA member for 15 years, but have been out the last 2 years. I lost the passion & got tired of the abuse & I’m a cop to boot so double whammy!!

    It’s difficult to explain how refs can “miss” a call when they appear to be looking right at it, unless you’ve been in their “skates” as we have. Like you correctly stated they can only call what they see (the facts) not what they hear or “think” happened.

    From my experiences doing games, it may appear your looking at the play but your eyes get diverted by something in your peripheral vision, or a player skates in front of you for that split second to block your view. This is not an “excuse” its just an “explanation”. Also factor in that you have to avoid getting run over by the players, dodge sticks & the puck all while skating to get into the correct position. No other sport is as difficult & challenging to officiate as hockey.

    As for Pierre Maguire, he acts like he’s E.O.”s little brother always looking for his approval…. “Did I do good Eddie….. huh Eddie…. did I !?!?!?!? How about putting a former ref or linesman there? That would be a different perspective eh…..?

  105. alikatze says:

    Aaaaand the silliness just gets sillier – Torts is being offered the reins in Vancouver! Lmao! Oh, this should be veeeeery interesting next season.

  106. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Torts in Vancouver will be hilarious. He’s going to shit his pants when he sees the Sedins turtle up come playoff time. And Tort and the Vancouver media will be PRICELESS beyond belief.

  107. elio bevilacqua says:

    ………we all know what Tortorella is going to say about some of the players on his new team……..”.they stink.”………lol……..

  108. Ryan says:

    Here is a more important Convo. Is Mead beer or wine? The Liquor store I was just at had it classified as Wine not Beer, but Barley Wine is beer like Lambec’s etc…

    This is important shit. What say u on Mead?! How should it be classified

  109. alikatze says:

    To the guys who think I want a “Homer call” for the Hawks – please go look at the top vote getters for the Conn Smythe on NHL.com – ALL BRUINS. Not one bleeping Hawk in the top 3. The “honorable mentions” are Hossa, Keith and Kane. Seriously?! Are these guys watching the playoffs at all? No Bicks? No Crow? No Sharpie? What, did they just put all the Hawks’ names in a hat and draw a couple to make it look “fair”?? I’m sure there will be those that get on here and say “Oh, but the Bruins are so awesome!” – well, guess what, guys, the Hawks are in the FINAL. Doh! We didn’t get here by being a bunch of schlubbs.

  110. JS says:

    WHY DOES IT FREAKING MATTER, ALIKATZE?!?

    Awards don’t matter. The opinions of the people on the TV DO NOT MATTER. Rings matter and that is it. Do you think the Hawks would rather have a ring or be leading the poll on NHL.com for Conn Smythe?

    Also, Kane can’t score against Boston.

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