Stanley Cup Final: Patrick Kane, Blackhawks Win At Home

Patrick Kane scored twice, the second proving to be enough for Corey Crawford and the Blackhawks to come away with a huge victory on Saturday night.

But the story of Game Five will be more about who was missing from the ice in the game’s final 20 minutes than the 3-1 final score.

For Boston, Patrice Bergeron skated only two brief shifts in the second period and did not return. The Bruins’ official Twitter account posted the following:

Update: Patrice Bergeron has been taken to a local hospital in Chicago for observation. There is no further update at this time.

To that point in the game, Bergeron had skated only 6:06 (11 shifts) and had won only four of nine faceoffs. He has been the best player-not-named-Tuukka Rask in the postseason for Boston, and had been overwhelming at the dot in the first four games of the series.

Bergeron wasn’t the only significant player missing from the third period. Just over 11 minutes into the second, Johnny Boychuk hammered Jonathan Toews in front of the Bruins’ net.

Toews did not skate a shift in the third period.

To that point, Toews was having a dominant game. He had an assist on both of Kane’s goals and had won nine of 12 faceoffs. He was also credited with one blocked shot, one hit and one takeaway, but was limited to under 13 minutes of ice time in the game.

After the game, coach Joel Quenneville said he’s hopeful Toews can play in Game 6, adding only that the Hawks’ captain is dealing with an “upper-body injury.”

The loss of each team’s best center, and the top two players in the voting for the 2013 Selke Trophy, could prove to be an enormous impact as the series heads back to Boston for Game Six on Monday night.

But beyond the two significant injuries, the Blackhawks had a strong game from players all over the roster.

Bryan Bickell showed up and was a physical force on the ice again (finally). He was credited with team-high six hits to go with an assist, one blocked shot and two takeaways. He introduced himself to Zdeno Chara on a number of occasions, and was the power forward the Hawks needed on their top line.

The defensive pressure from the entire Blackhawks roster was phenomenal the entire evening; 13 different Hawks were credited with at least one takeaway in the game, five of whom had more than one in the contest.

Chicago’s fourth line made a huge impact on the game defensively. Dave Bolland scored an empty-net goal to close the book on Game Five, and won six of 10 faceoffs in the game. He was also credited with two hits and two takeaways, and his work with Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik was noticeable throughout the game.

Kruger and Frolik were able to skate an entire night of only even-strength ice time; Chicago wasn’t short-handed in the game. Frolik was credited with a game-high four takeaways and had a nice scoring chance off a give-and-go with Bolland in the third. Kruger was credited with only one takeaway, but played another strong defensive game.

With Toews out, Michal Handzus and Andrew Shaw saw increased time in the faceoff circle. Handzus won 11 of 18 draws and was also credited with two blocked shots and two takeaways. Shaw bumped up to the Hawks’ top line with Kane and Bickell with Toews missing and won four of his eight faceoffs in the game and continued to bother the Bruins all over the ice.

Kane’s two goals give him three in the last two games and nine total in the postseason. He was credited with a team-high six shots on net in the game, and another three missed the mark. His 19 points in the postseason are now tied for second behind only David Krejci (25) of Boston, and his nine goals are also tied for second behind only Patrick Sharp (10).

For Crawford, his ugly win in Game Four was followed by a strong performance at home. He allowed only one goal, a missile off the stick of Chara, against 25 Boston shots to earn the victory.

Meanwhile, Rask faced 31 shots and allowed two goals before departing in the game’s final minutes.

Game Six is Monday night.

Crawford

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79 Responses to Stanley Cup Final: Patrick Kane, Blackhawks Win At Home

  1. Matt says:

    Where are the ref conspiracy theorists now? You know, the ones that were convinced that the NHL and its refs were all part of a conscious, directed conspiracy to steal the Cup from the Hawks and hand it to Boston?

    We all saw the brutal no-call, when Frolik tripped the heck out of a Bruins guy in the waning seconds.

    C’mon, stand up and be counted: how does it fit within the conspiracy?

  2. Boston Sucks says:

    No need for a conspiracy – skill, team play, and determination will always prevail. Cry us a river.

  3. J-Krizzle says:

    Matt. Sit down and hush. That’s was NOTHING compared to what Boston has gotten away with tonight and all through the playoffs. Gimme a freekin break. One “non-call” and that negates what Boston is doing in living up to their reputation as the dirtiest, most cheating team since Philly in the 70s? You must be out ya damn mind.

  4. alikatze says:

    Lol, you guys are a hoot. Now, JS, wanna repeat that line about how “Kane can’t score against Boston”? Pfffft.

  5. EbonyRaptor says:

    @Matt, I’m not a conspiracy theorist so I know your comment isn’t directed at me, plus I’m one that believes the game should be called the same throughout the regular season as well as the playoffs, but NHL officiating has always been much more lax in the playoffs so this isn’t either a new phenomenon or favoring one team over another. Every team gets away with penalties in the playoffs and every fan base thinks their opponent gets away with more than their team. The specific play you’re referring to may not have even been a penalty. I have not seen a replay but I believe Frolik was credited with an assist on the empty net goal which may indicate Frolik was playing the puck and therefore an accidental trip would not be a penalty. The official scorer could be wrong on that, but that’s the way the play was scored.

    But enough about that twaddle. What’s more important is that the Hawks came out and played their game again more than Boston played theirs, and that is the recipe to win this series. It was a much tighter game defensively by both teams but the Hawks didn’t stay perimeter – they got to the tough areas all game long and that’s what was needed and delivered. Of course, it comes with a price and unfortunately Toews paid that price tonight, which is the other important thing about this game – injuries to Toews and Bergeron.

    Game 6 Monday … the Cup will be in the building, all polished up and ready for Toews to hoist it up and start the celebration. This is darn exciting.

  6. CB says:

    This was a great team effort. I guess Leddy needs to be on the ice for a goal before he finds a permanent seat on the bench? I wonder if his and Stalbergs spots could be filled with players who will work harder?

  7. Mining Man says:

    Boston will play a lot dirtier in Game 6 facing elimination. Without Toews we will be severely crippled. With Hossa playing hurt and Toews the same or out we face scarey prospects but we always seem to find a way. Would not be a suprise to see a game 6 extremely hard fought victory for the Blackhawks. If not we will be the walking wounded coming back to Chicago. The drama shall unfold. Get Carcillo playing for game 6 to counter the onslaught and sit Leddy for sure. He does nothing for us at this point.

  8. Mining Man says:

    Leddy was on the ice for Charas goal.

  9. torourke says:

    Matt,

    Given that Krug got away with a hand pass a split second before that non-call, it’s a wash. At worst, it would have been a face-off outside the zone. On to the game!

    Great overall defensive effort. No really bad turnovers, no stupid penalties, smart, disciplined hockey. That’s the first time that Boston has lost in regulation since mid-May, which is rather impressive when you consider that they were not exactly playing patsies. But the Hawks were just too good tonight. Crow was solid and did not have to do anything spectacular because everyone in front of him did their job.

    Kane’s second goal was other-worldly. He roofed that puck on the backhand out of mid-air. He and Datsyuk are the only people on Earth who can make that play. Incredible.

    Toews was a warrior as usual. His ability to fend off Lucic entering the zone and creating our first goal was just huge. Amazing strength and determination.

    I hope Bergeron comes back because I would rather win against their best. Obviously I hope Toews is fine too. On to Monday.

  10. RyanDale says:

    If only Kaner was elite. Series might be over by now. *sigh*

  11. Dickie Dunn says:

    Matt, Ha, ha,ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, (this is starting to hurt) ha, ha, ha, ha…thank you for brightening my evening!!

    I don’t know anything about “conspiracy theorists” (- at least in regard to the NHL). What was that headshot by Boychuk on Toews? That should have been a major penalty and likely 1-2 game suspension. The elbow to the head by Chara earlier was easy enough to overlook/ignore, I suppose…

    The Bruins aren’t quite the mid-70s Flyerws (assholes), but they are the closest thing to that bullshit since. UNfortunately, the Hawks powerplay absolutely SUCKS, so it’s sort of an invitation to Boston to take their chances.

    Oh, and addressing that play you mentioned (- “tripped the heck out of a Bruins guy”), is your estimate of the holding/interference/obstruction fouls not called against Boston in this series far into triple digits?

    ONE MORE! GO HAWKS!!

  12. Dickie Dunn says:

    CB, I don’t think a lack of hard work applies to Leddy, honestly. He’s still young and learning – not uncommon for 22 year old NHL defensemen.

    Stalberg – GREAT speed and some skill, but, maybe he’s “soft”/can’t “play BIG”, as has been suggested?

    I certainly would not give up on Leddy (yet).

    ONE MORE! GO HAWKS!!

  13. Mining Man says:

    Boychuk hit clearly suspendable. CBC replays show crossed forearms shot to the head from behind. Toews head bounced twice on the ice. Not good. If you can read lips Toews asked Q to give him one more shift and he said no. NHL should suspend Boychuk for the last two games.

  14. southsidehawkman says:

    Huge win for the Hawks huge game for Kane. The Bruins are a dirty bunch flipping Boychuk crosschecks JTs head and no call? Shanny needs to protect the stars and that’s a bs play. Ive said it from day 1 the longer the series the Hawks speed and skill style favors them over the Bruins physical hard style. Close it out boys and drink from Lord Stanley’s mug on Monday!

  15. Pit Martin says:

    Observations and Possibilities…

    - Bergeron hurt his back. He stopped weird and tweaked something. Maybe felt spasms or quick tightening or something, which scared him, prompting his visit to the hospital. He wouldn’t leave the arena for an ankle or knee injury. It’s something odd or worse.

    - Toews might’ve strained a neck muscle because of the hit by Boychuk. He was moving his head to and from on the bench during the third period, like he as trying to loosen it up. He may have told the trainers and they played it safe and made him sit. I feel like he has a better chance of playing than Bergeron.

    - How was the cross-check to the face of Shaw not a penalty? It should be a suspension. Brutal and dangerous.

    - Kruger had an excellent game. He was all over the ice, offensively and defensively. Nonstop hustle and effort.

    - Stalberg was weak. He’s afraid to get hit and doesn’t fight for the puck along the boards. He great speed hasn’t been any benefit to the Hawks. I say sit him for Game 6. We have enough speed without him.

    - I agree with Mining Man: bring on Carcillo. Let him blunt the Bruins physical game. He’ underrated on offense. He’s got good hands, passes well, sees the play, and is not the one-dimensional, hit-only player people think he is. He’s got some skills. Combine those with an edgy, aggressive, smash-mouth style, and he’s a perfect fit for game 6.

  16. Sr. Brad says:

    What a POS little Matt…some Hawk’s fan you are…”your team” just played their asses of against the Broad Street Bullies, won, to take a 3-2 series lead, and have reduced their magic number to one, and you want to call out posters on this site?

    You are not only a worm, but a worthless POS..the refs did a great job right heh???? Outstanding ref work as they let EVERYTHING GO…our captain who has a history of concussions and may be one head shot away from never playing the game again, GETS SMASHED TO HIS HEAD 4 TIMES IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE GAME, and no one seems to care??? That’s NHL hockey right? That’s playoff hockey…Boychuck’s hit on Toews was just good ole fucking stupid fun, right douche bag?

    This isn’t just a game, its real life…there are LAWS that protect citizens from injury even if the NHL seems to care less. This is the only league where players are arrested for their actions during a game. It doesn’t take the CIA or a lip reader to understand that Julian told his team that Toews couldn’t finish this game or series…he was run at a half dozen times in the first 30 mintues, and hit to head 4 times WITH NO PENALTIES CALLED. Anyone of you slugs think that Boychuck’s cross check to Toews head in the slot was just GOOD HOCKEY??? I’ll wager that those of you who do still can’t read or write, and probably have your little sisters typing out your pathetic blogs.

    Chara “The Butcher” got away with murder again tonight, and hit Toews IN THE HEAD twice in one play…Boychuck launched himself face high into Toews, during a scoring chance, right in front of the refs, with nothing called. Then, with 20 seconds to go, Frolik swipes at the puck, contacts it, and accidentally trips the Bruins player, and that evens things out??? What an asshole Matt. Go back into your hole and beat up your toys rather than pretending to be a Hawk’s fan.

    As to the game, its difficult to categorize it any other way than what it was…a lawless affair won by the better team. Crawford was better as we suspected he would be, Toew and Kane stepped up again to lead the team. Bickel woke up, but really our Defence was average at best. Good game by Rozy.

    The Hawks have to go into boston knowing that they are 1 game away now from the Championship…They have to come out and skate hard, and create scoring chunces, while playing solid defence, let’s just hope Toews can play, and play hard. Great job boys, and on to another Cup wins.

  17. Tails says:

    Calm down, Brad. Sure the Bruins have been playing dirty, but I don’t think that’s what Matt was addressing.

  18. Pete says:

    Its very obvious that the Blackhawks are better at Hockey than the Bruins. So the Bruins have to push the envelope on physical play to try to negate the better skilled team. And if they don’t get called or the Hawks can’t convert on the power play it works for them. And if fans such as myself dare to complain about a call then we’re called “conspiracy theorists” by people like Matt. Boston knows their not as skilled as the Hawks and their fans(like Matt above) know it as well. This isn’t the Torres play on Hossa that allowed Phoenix to beat us and to benefit from that illegal play thus negating the legitimacy of that series win. But Boston has been recklessly hitting to the head/neck with arms up and Boston will keep pushing the envelope until someone tells them to stop. Don’t get me wrong here, I love hard hitting hockey, its awesome so I get that the league has be careful on where the line is. I think Boychek deserves a one game suspension. Also the Bruins continue to diss the Hawks and not give them credit. Tonight Rask said they just “ran out of time”. GO HAWKS

  19. Pete says:

    Also, I thought Frolik and Kruger played great. I checked the box score and I can’t believe Kruger only played 11 minutes. It seemed like every time I looked up he was out there causing the Bruins problems.

  20. McKay says:

    Where are my “Trade Kane” band wagon drivers? This kid does nothing but add to his resume of big games he makes an impact in.

    I really hope Toews and Bergeron can get back into this series. Boychuck hits just like Kronwall – big hits but always exploding through the head. Hands up (not a cross check), makes contact with the head first. I don’t know how that isn’t a call from the league. That being said, good for Toews for making that drive – he knew he was going to get pelted and he went to the danger zone at speed anyways.

    Last series, Daugherty finished as a minus-7 or somewhere around there. Chara is reaching that territory and self-imploding in front of our eyes. If Kane/Toews/Bicks keep taking it to the top D-pair, Boston is broken.

    I thought we got nice play from the centers, especially in the third when they had to double-shift.

    ONE MORE GAME HOLY SHIT.

    Our defense will keep their speed up.

    Crawford will save .900+

    Need our centers to continue to, if nothing else, neutralize theirs.

    Keep playing in their zone.

    Stay out of the box like we did tonight.

    One more big road win. Go Hawks!

  21. Ratboy36 says:

    First,stick tap to SR Brad 2nd what A FKN GAME is all I can say.The Zebras had no credibility before.Now they should be fired.Chara and that Pussy Bitch Boychyuk need their ass handed to them.NO CARCILLO IS NOT THE ANSWER. WITH OR WITHOUT TOEWS(HOPEFULLY WITH)We skate in to their building AND STOMP THEIR ASSES.I personally would like to see them Hoist in their house in front of their classless fans.Dont even let em breath.Bergeron just is worn out and pulled a muscle or somthing.They blamed us and head hunted us.ITS A CONCUSSION NO QUESTION.NHL Network did a nice job on the cover up attempt but I think us diehards and old schoolers know what the score is.Speaking of the Score,counts 3-2 Gentlemen.NO WAY we lose 2 in a row.My prediction has always been 7 games because well the NHL will make obscene amounts of money.STANDING ROOM is $700 I mean thankfully Im a STH but getting Tix for others is insane.ANYWAY WE WILL BE CHAMPIONS IN 2013.I never thought Id see one in my lifetime but 2 is truly out of this world.GET WELL #19 REAL QUICK heard that the Hawks will be using a CBO on Hossa and want to persue LeCavalier.Anyone else hear this?

  22. Judgie Wudgie says:

    Fly, HAWKS, Fly! Win One More to prove that HAWKS SKILL trumps Boston Tough (Dirty).

  23. elio bevilacqua says:

    ……….Great team effort and it showed in all stats being in Hawks favour except power play and hits………Leddy and Stalberg were useless as I’ve said before….to win Game 6 in Boston we need to hit back with Bollig, Carcillo or Brookbank otherwise injuries will continue to take a toll on top six Blackhawk forwards which is part of Bruins game plan……….I hope Hawks win the next one for Toews ……………..Go Hawks……hope Crawford gets a shutout!…..

  24. shamrock says:

    Much better game by the hawks. Great to see toews and Kane stepping their game up. I do think Boychuck should be suspended. He came at toews with both elbows up and hit him in the head. One question though. With all the hits toews has taken I think at the press conference Q should have at least said the belief is that toews has a concussion. It may cause the refs to call hits to toews a little tighter. We all know during the finals most refs and the league go blind to a lot of stuff. At least plant the seed and hope it causes the refs to protect toews a bit.

  25. wall says:

    I will 2nd that stick tap for SR. BRAD-

    Matt – there were several head shots to Toews- as Brad mentioned- but in defense of the refs- the first few were while both players were tangled up/bending… so speed was not a factor… but in the BoyFuck hit… the forearm was up and the Head was targeted at Highspeed… during the Season- that is a suspension!!!

    Secondly Matt- Shaw has taken at least 2 crosschecks to the face- the latter drew blood- but somehow these are roughing penalties (not 4 min. majors) if that is the “NHL” rule- it seriously needs to be changed, Moreover, why doesn’t that play warrant a suspension???? How is it any different/less reckless then Keith swinging a stick at Carter??? If anything – it was as nasty/intentional/reckless!!!

    Once again- The NHL “wants” to clean up the game… but once Playoffs start- “they” are all about the money/ratings!!! SAD!!! That BoyFuck hit is a perfect Example…
    Not to mention – the Crosscheck w stick to Nose- is 2 minute roughing…

    McKay- I am one of the Kane/trade guys… I will own that! Great job Kane… but I have always stated that he is an elite player ( when paired w/ right players(s) (Toews))… otherwise- he will/would have a very difficult time scoring vs. teams like B’s (then again most have difficult time scoring vs. B’s)… Let’s hope 19 is OK- and 88 scores a trick- and MVP!!!

    Really- if 19 isn’t able to go… I am OK w/ Q sitting 81 (for xtra days rest) and throwing 13/52 out there to Fuck with Horton (history of Concussions) and others…
    Then 19/81 back for game 7…

    Ratboy- where are you hearing Hossa rumors? Hope you are wrong… but if true I have to believe Hossa is the one leading it.

  26. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Epic game. The unfortunate part was that Toews got his brain rattled again. Very clear to me sitting at the UC last night that Toews is dealing with concussion like syndromes all over again. The entire third period the trainer was in back and forth discussion with Taser. We all looked around at each other in our seats and had one conclusion…it was the head. Boston CLEARLY has a strategy of roughing up Toews…and unfortunately, I can hardly say I blame them.

    Bergeron? I hope the guy is alright, but not alright enough to come back for game 6 or 7. He’s a tremendous two-way player that should be mentioned in the same breathe as Toews and Daytsuk.

    Game 6 will be very, very physical on the part of Boston. And I suspect Chara will be given the green light to pinch the zone and take shots on goal in order to instill the fear factor with his slapshot. Hawks will simply need to adjust. Key to the next game will be Bolland playing smart defensively minded hockey and for Shaw to have his head on a swivel and playing effective.

    Sharp was the greatest thing on ice last night next to Crawford, Kane and Keith. The Bolland-Frolik-Krueger line was very solid as well.

  27. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    I also agree 100% that Stalberg needs to sit in game 6. I turn to Carcillo. Leddy was awful last night, but I’d go with him over Brookbank and simply limit his shifts on the ice assuming that Keith, Seabs, Hammer, Oduya and Rosival are up to the task of playing short otherwise.

  28. JS says:

    Sigh, I love when new try to jump on me for things they don’t understand.

    I have supported Kane and his elite status as a player for roughly two years on this site. When I say “Kane can’t score against elite teams” I’m mocking the idiots that think that actually think that.

    And the argument that Kane needs the right linemates to be effective is just ridiculous. OF COURSE he needs help to score goals. There isn’t a player in this league that can create goals by himself against a strong defensive team. I guess Malkin and Crosby aren’t elite players because they couldn’t score anything against Boston. Maybe if they had the right linemates they could at least score, right!?

    Shaw was crosschecked in the face and if you looked at McQuaid’s face it was intentional and vicious. This would be a suspension during the regular season. It probably won’t happen in game 6 of the SCF because no pro sports want to have suspensions help the outcome of the finals.

    The Boychuck hit on Toews could really go either way. I believe it was suspendable and a pretty vicious head shot. The league will say he hit his back first and then the arms came up to the head. Either way, awful and Boychuck can fall down a stair case for all I care.

    So anyway, Matt. I don’t recall anyone saying there was a conspiracy, if they did I missed it. I know I said the officiating was suspect because of timing of calls and how they changed from period one to period three. As Brad implied, go away.

    On to some other observations.

    Interested to see what is wrong with Bergeron. If Toews is concussed (which I would put money on), he’s probably done for the playoffs. Obviously the loss of Toews is huge, but if Bergeron is done for the playoffs as well, it might be a wash.

    Crawford got beat high glove side again! Should probably start Emery in game 6 since we know this is his weakness and Boston will obviously exploit it. (For new people here, this is called a joke)

    In the last 4 games played, how many points does the Kane/Toews/Bickell line have? Good thing Q didn’t put them out there for the first three games.

    Attacking Chara has worked out brilliantly. He’s not nearly as scary when he’s facing the wall.

    One more game!

  29. Gou says:

    How many headshots can Tazer take? It would not surprise me to see him out for an extended period like Syd.

    another great game by the role players.

    As far as boyfuck, if that is not a suspension, then Keith should’ve just received a dental bill from Carter. But then again this is the finals and shanaban makes the call.

    As far as Bergeron and Tazer, it would be a shame to not have them be able to finish. They are both class skill players as opposed to that other goon Chara.

  30. Pete says:

    Wall, its time for you to admit that you were wrong about arguing that the Hawks should trade Kane. He’s a special talent and the Hawks can afford to put the other players around him to max out his game. This is Chicago, not some mid-size city like Nashville that can’t afford a winner. I admitted I was wrong about Handzus after he got that key goal in Detroit. Back to Kane, when he has the puck in the offensive zone with some space you can feel the panic on the Boston side. Its awesome. Also he had some ferocious slap shots right in Rask’s face. Frolik and Kruger were great and definitely keepers for the Hawks. I have Game 7 tix, but lets win it in 6 right in Boston’s face. One last thing about Kane, I remember in the Vancouver Olympics towards the end of the medal game against Canada it felt like the U.S couldn’t score unless Kane was on the ice and he was instrumental in the goal that tied that game.

  31. JS says:

    Carcillo is never going to play another game with the Hawks (I hope I’m not wrong). Stalberg played a great 8 minutes in a 4th line roll. Not sure what issues people saw with his game last night.

  32. Phil says:

    I love the post win buzz one gets in the playoffs the day following a big win. everything seems right with the world(even though we know that ain’t true…)Once again a taut nerve wracking experience at the UC last night. It was pure theater though and an adrenaline rush filled, fun game to watch in person. Yikes! A wide open affair due to the refs letting the boys play. I think that approach probably favors Boston a little bit as they tend to take more liberties, but it also lets the Hawks use their team speed to make Boston chase all over the ice, which ultimately creates quality scoring chances.

    Zus had another great game, Stahlberg speed and determination helped as well. Still loving the solid play from Fro and Kruger. Bickell very good. Shaw is just a pain in the ass to play against, and as the series has progressed he is making Marchand look less important. I must still note that after 5 games , Marchand has a really quick pair of hands.
    Kane was dangerous all night. Could have had 4-5 goals. That line with the Cpt, and Bicks is really clicking at the right time. Kaner coming up big in really huge games.

    Dmen did well overall, but puck management in our own zone was pretty sloppy at times with too many bad passes and poor decisions. This is what the Bruins feed on, and when they become most dangerous. Seabs and Hammer were my most valuable d men followed by Johnny O and Keith. Rozy has really stepped up as well with some strong play behind the net. Leddy better, but appeared to be on a Q imposed leash.

    Some talk here about the refs is warranted based on how the game was played. My perspective from watching live at the UC is perhaps a snapshot based on lack of replays. I am curious what other posting here thought about the Zus embellishment call. If he took a dive, how could there then be a coincidental hooking call on the Bruins? That was a WTF moment for me, since he was clearly hooked and pulled back. Bizarre. There were so many non calls that I just figured it would all even out, which I think it did. I knew the B’s would be screaming when Fro tripped up Krug at the end of the game, but didn’t Fro get the puck first? I loved watching Lucic blow a gasket again as the final horn blew. Lucic was was so pissed off all night he forgot about his game which was something I thought the Hawks could take advantage of.

    The no call on the Boychuck head shot to the Cpt, was brutal. Again from my perspective at the game, Boychuck dialed in Toews and gave him a full two hand punch through the head. To add insult to injury he head slammed his head to the ice. never mind Marchand kneeing Toews in the back for good measure. This play by Boychuck on no uncertain terms was deliberate attempt to injure. How this could be a no call on the ice? I was incredulous. It should be reviewed , but probably won’t be. I watched NHL Network when I got home from the UC last night and I was really surprised to hear the panel dismissive of the Boychuck hit. Thanks Panger Weeks, and Weight. They basically said Toews was responsible was lowering himself INTO Boychucks fists!!!! Rubbish. Toews was simply trying to score a goal. Hope Johnny plays tomorrow.

    The Bergeron injury was a mystery to me, but I was curious if anyone here observed what happened? I very much respect how Bergeron plays, and I hope he is ok. You never want to hear a guy has to go to hospital. Then there was Horton bleeding, Seguin blood coming out of his nose. Chara bleeding too. When did this stuff happen.

    I find it hilarious listening to fans that want a game 7 at the UC. Come on people we want the Cup tomorrow night! Beat these guys as soon as possible. Don’t give them another chance and any confidence. Game 7′s can be decided by the smallest of factors with luck playing as much of a role as hard work and strong effort. Let’s beat these guys tomorrow and bring home the hardware.

    The B’s remain dangerous. When they have puck possession and start squeezing it down lower and lower scares the hell out of me. Team D by the Hawks last night was very good and some key shot blocks were made with a win at all costs attitude.

    Finally, I say to everyone posting here. These are moments in the lives of fans that must be cherished and appreciated. We are lucky to have a great team to root for. Appreciate the moment and keep reminding yourselves that the entire hockey world is dialed into our team. We have a massive chance to win the Cup for the 2nd time in a few short years. Other teams/fans can only dream about this experience. Enjoy the ride! We can/should bring home the Cup next week! Yikes.

    Lets Go Hawks!!!

  33. JS says:

    No supplemental discipline for Boychuck.

    Disappointing, but expected. Now what about McQuaid?

  34. Hawklover77 says:

    Can’t believe that no-call on Boychuk. Hopefully the NHL will review that today & decide to suspend him for at least one game.

  35. wall says:

    Pete- I will admit I am wrong about trading Kane… When Coach Q admits he was wrong for trying skate Kane without 19/29…

    If Q continues to try to skate 88 w/out 19/29… I will stick by my “trade request” because he does not “fit/work” in as a “floater” with the rest of the Hawk’s team/abilities! Kane obviously – fits in floating around when you have the only other 2 true power forwards in the Hawks line-up paired w/ him (Toews taking several hits to the head) – to allow Kane to Dart thru the D like a Minnow and finish… I have always agreed- that Kane is a skilled Player- it is not the case I am making…

    You can argue/disagree with my perspective/opinion on Kane/trade… but you can’t really disagree with the fact… Majority of his Goals in Playoffs have been scored with 19/ on line!!! NOW- a goal is a goal… and a Win is a Win… and Kane will be MVP if Hawks win Series probably… so Kudos to Kane… But why the EFF isn’t he skating with 19/29 sooner coach Q???

    I believe JS and Me were the 1st two on this thread to Plead w/ Q to put 29/19/88 together… BY the WAY Ryan- I didn’t notice that you gave Credit to JS/Negzz/ and yourself for that Epiphany (29/19/88)!!! lol- and you mocked me for saying 26 was washed up ( which I never said)- what I did say was that 26/88 were a Defensive liability and 81/26 would work as would 19/88!!!

  36. RyanDale says:

    JS- if you’re calling me out on a comment I made just address me please. My initial comment was not directed at you . I enjoy your commentary.

  37. wall says:

    Phil- great post!

    I have watched the Boyfuck hit a few times… it is a 50/50 call IMO. Does hit the head but like Bolland on Richards… his forearms really aren’t raised!

    But more nasty is the cross-check to Nose of Shaw!!! It wasn’t as if the stick glanced off of the chest of Shaw… straight to the chops!!! How is that less than Keith hitting Carter??? It is NOT!!! NHL really needs to clean that up!!! Intentional, Dangerous, Dirty!

  38. JS says:

    Not you, RyanDale. alikatze tried to call me out on Kane.

    I know that you and I agree on Kane (and understand sarcasm)

  39. RyanDale says:

    Roger that! thanks.

  40. Mike says:

    Wall, agree 100%. The cross check to Shaw’s face was a suspendable hit because he knew exactly what he was doing. It was flagrant and violent. If you are Boston……why not hit illegally until it is called, which is not very often. Our power play is so bad Boston has nothing to fear having a player in the box. Hawks are the only team I know that is more agressive 5 on 5 than on the PP. Sure glad this is not a 9 or 11 game series. I doubt we would have any players left.

    Yes, Frolik committed a penalty at the end. It was neither flagrant or violent…..

  41. shamrock says:

    The nhl needs to get this type boychuck and mcquaid crap under control. By not acting you are going to put teams in a postion of protecting their players by having at least 1 raffi Torres player in your line up. After one of your players takes a head shot, slash, cross check, or highstick, you send your goon to go out but not to fight. Instead he will target the head of the other teams better players. Thus it will be a never ending cycle. Time for the nhl to prove it cares about players and not only give suspenions but make sure they send the message.

  42. RyanDale says:

    That was a great job of clamping down the last few minutes when protecting a one goal edge. The last 7 minutes(maybe longer) we carried the play by a wide margin. We won puck battles in our end, made great exits, broke up many passes, had scoring chances and never iced the puck either, though it came very close once. Which might have allowed Rask to exit far sooner than he did. Outside of a Zus giveaway it was flawless at the end.

    Another great game at the dot too with Centers being over 60%. The M

    9-2 in games decided by one goal this playoffs! Mark of a Champion? One more win will make it definitive.

    So we are to believe according to the rules, Sharpies roughing penalty(bs) is equal to McQuaaludes vs Shaw? I just hope this ends without anyone getting hurt more than whats already happened

  43. JS says:

    Funny story. Remember when everyone was freaking out about Crawford not being good enough during the Wings series? I made a comment that was along the lines of “As long as the Hawks score 2 goals, they have a very good chance of winning.”

    Hawks record in which they score 2+ goals? 15-1.

    The Hawks are the most skilled team in the NHL and they should be for YEARS to come. It’s awesome that they are, once again, just one win away from hoisting the cup for the second time in four years. (Even though Q did his best to make it a challenge)

  44. elio bevilacqua says:

    …………response to JS ……I am not sure if my math is correct but I think you mean at least 3 goals …..Crawford’s goal against average has been just under 2 goals all season long ………personally I would prefer a real barn burner like Game 4…….I think we still have the horses for another six goal game…………but it will probably be settled in O/T………so flip a coin for Game 6 winner in Boston?????…….GO HAWKS!……

  45. joey Zamboni says:

    Watching the play of Toews throughout the season & the playoffs shows why he is probably the best all-around player in the league. Sid may be more flashy but I’d take Toews over him any day! As for leadership – no one comes close!

    I’m disappointed in the lack of respect at times by the Bruins. Targeting a player to injure him is unacceptable by any player ours or theirs! The NHL had a chance to send a message & protect the “franchise” players & blew it. You can bet your last $ the league would have freaked out & banished Boychuck if he hit Sid like he did Johnny.

    I echo Phils comments – Cherish this time and enjoy it! The pure skill on display by both teams is incredible! This is a true hockey fans dream come true!

  46. elio bevilacqua says:

    ……..response to Joey Zamboni…..absolutely agree….but the Blackhawks did not dramatize the Boychuk hit because in all likelihood Toews is a little wonky but most likely will still play in Game 6……..it’s all supposed to be top secret at this point……yes the Hawks won Game 5 but they got beat up in the process…..they must retaliate by inserting some heavy hitters to keep things even……..Bruins are licking their wounds too……Bergeron will probably be out and Horton is useless……

  47. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    I like what Hjalmarsson today. Game 6 will be the hardest game of the year, and probably the hardest game of his career. That’s the right attitude. Why I admire him so much too. Boston will come out very physical and I suspect will allow Chara to come on the offensive rush with that slapshot. Hawks simply need to keep their cool and let the refs manage this game. If they want to come out and intimidate or maim, then we need to be prepared to let skill and team collectiveness overtake. To me this becomes the one game of the season where we need to have the disappointing Bolland have his best game of the season. And we need Bickell, Seabrook, Handzus, Rosival and Hjalmarsson to be fearless smart leaders on the ice.

  48. RyanDale says:

    elio – Q has never much been one to ‘retaliate’, I wouldn’t expect much in that regard as far as the lineup goes. I understand some fans wanting retribution though.

  49. Tom Jaremka says:

    As usual, great commentary on the site. So far, this series has been fantastic!! It’s everything that hockey is supposed to be………fast, tough, exciting, heart stopping, violent(at times), hard hitting and bloody.

    It’s great to listen to the radio and television annoucers change their tune from shift to shift and game to game. When this all began, the Bruins were going to hit the Hawks and put them into the third row. Chara was going to beat them silly and the Hawks were supposed to fear him. The Bruins were going to beat them up and beat them in a seven game series, if it lasted that long. The Hawks were supposed to be fast, yet vulnerable in their own zone and not physical enough to win.

    Well, well, well…….how quickly these people change their tune. NOW……..Chara is old and beat up. He is slow and cannot turn his hips correctly to chase down the pucks that we dump in the corner and get to, first. The Bruins are suddenly not quick enough to get to their dump ins and cannot skate fast enough to keep up with the Hawks. Everyone of them has done a 180, now.

    I don’t know if the Hawks will win this series, I believe that they will and I hope that they will win, but they have to do a couple of things:
    1. Whether the first 10-15 minutes of game 6 without heavy damage.
    2. Own the neautral zone.
    3. Piss off Chara and throw him off his game.
    4. Protect the slot area in our own end.
    5. Get traffic in front of Rask.
    6. Keep Marchand and Seguin neautralized.
    7. Stay out of the box.
    8. Don’t retaliate against the Bruins.

    If we can keep our focus, we’ll raise the cup in Boston.

  50. wall says:

    Rufus- I agree- Chara- Krug- Boychuck will probably be looking to skate into the slot for some offense- especially if they get down or they keep struggling w/ Patrice out – the Hawks are the ones getting in the shooting lanes…

    So I hope Hawks are working on a counter to capitalize on that Pinching D-man… could/should lead to some good odd man rushes!

    Also, I noticed in Pre-game video Hawks were working on attacking (in previous practices) the goal/crease from the goal line extended… shooting the Puck thru the crease- because the B’s D-men are so focused on the players on the strong side- the Hawks are getting good looks from the weak-side- (essentially that play is comparable to a skip-pass in Basketball). Hawks have 3 goals off that type of “thru the crease pass” in last 2 games. That is a great job by Coaches to install that into play- this keeps the Hawks off of the boards- and enables them to use quickness to get to loose pucks.

  51. elio bevilacqua says:

    …….response to Ryan……I know what you are saying about coach Q sometimes he is a little slow to respond and doesn’t want his players taking a lot of penalties……but I’m old school and believe that your elite players need protection and that varies depending on your opponent……I don’t want to see what happened to Penguins repeat itself and the officiating is partly responsible because there appears to be a different set of rules for the regular season and the playoffs…….

  52. Dave says:

    Memo to Sr Brad: What does the Broad Street Bullies have to do with the Bruins? Nothing! That refers to the Philadelphia Flyers, NOT the Boston Bruins!

    To McKay: there is a “Trade Kane” person on here. He’s posted a few times on this blog article.

  53. JS says:

    Memo to Dave: It’s a comparison. They employ similar tactics to try to beat opponents.

    Wall- Good catch on that. I feel like they attacked Detroit in a very similar way. Either way, they have to make sure they stay off of the boards or we might see results similar to game 2/3.

    As far as CJ will allow Chara to “use that slap shot”… do you think Julien asked him to not shoot for the previous 5 games? Chara has had many chances to shoot and hasn’t taken the shots. Why would he start now?

    Also, if the Bruins defense gets aggressive, the series is over unless Rask has one of the greatest performances by a goaltender ever. It’s why the Hawks are as dangerous as they are. If you try to play aggressively as a d-man, you are going to be doing a lot of chasing on odd man rushes going the other way.

    But wait guys, I thought the Bruins were the better team that was going to force the Hawks to play a certain way? Why would the better team give in to the strategy of their opponents! That’s just silly.

  54. McKay says:

    I was absolutely stunned in Game 4 when the Hawks gave up a 2 goal lead. Alls well that ends well but that cannot happen again.

    Same in Game 5… I was nearly throwing things around the house when they came out playing defense in the third period instead of attacking.

    Need a complete Game 6. We need to play in their zone. We’ve already shown we won’t be pushed around by them. I believe Shaw, Bickell, Bolland, and Sharp/Hoss will lead the physicality on their respective lines.

    If we hit that 3-goal threshold and hold them to 25 shots, we should win this game.

    Go HAWKS!

  55. EbonyRaptor says:

    @McKay – I didn’t think the Hawks purposely backed it down into a more defensive posture in the 3rd period. I think it was more a case of Boston picking up their game out of desperation and the fact that their best offensive centerman was out of the game. Even then, I thought the Hawks still played pretty aggresively.

  56. Sr. Brad says:

    Great comments across the board…lots and lots of valuable opinions and insight here…just to clarify once and for all, Wall and JS were the ones who called for Kane to be reunited with Toews, but also with Bickell on the line, to keep everyone honest…why Q waited so long, is a bit of a mystery.

    JS has also said all year that Kane (an elite talent) needs to play with elite talent…this is what I have been saying for 3 years…that’s why the 2nd line centre situation with the Hawks is so important…Handzus is playing his heart out, and has been a lot better than any of us had hoped for, but he’s no 2nd line centre…the Hawks should have moved Sharp to 2nd line centre, but for some reason Q has been reluctant to do so…

    When Toews went out, I love how Q turned to Andrew Shaw to centre TWO lines the rest of the way…1st line and 3rd line…also, Marcus Kruger (and Frolik) were outstanding again…I have said this time and time again, but Bowman has magic in the 5th round…Kruger AND Shaw??? Last year was Garret Ross, who is no more than 2 years away from being a regular player on this team…you win championships with talent and character guys…Shaw and Kruger are high character guys…

    Kane has stepped us his game, and is playing very well…consider where he scored both goals last night…inside or near the paint…not dipsy doodling around the boards…he wants to win and is sacrificing his small frame to do so…that’s greatness and that’s courage…late in the 3rd when Kane charged hard to reach a puck sent for icing, he was greeted by an elbow from the first Boston player and then a cross check by the 2nd Boston player…not a chirp from the refs…elbows to the head are just good ole fashioned hockey…

    Crawford stood tall again last night, and shook off the previous game…he’s done this all season, and literally it is the biggest improvement in his game.

    As for Toews…that ridiculous that the NHL did not suspend Boychuck…how about Chara elbowing Toews in the head twice on one rush…when the refs and league let things like this go, players are going to get hurt…and even if Toews plays in game 6, none of us fully understand the effects on his quality of life, nevermind his hockey career. This has to stop or hockey will collapse under the weight of itself.

    As for Game 6, Hammer is right, so the Hawks need to play the best game of their lives, especially in the first 15 minutes…CC will be strong, so the Hawks just need to keep pressure on Rask and get any goals that they possibly can.

    One final note, while Stahlberg hasn’t been great, his last two games have actually been pretty good…he is not hurting us out there and is beginning to create good chances…but I agree, resigning this kind of effort and commitment in the playoffs shouldn’t become a Hawks priority in the off season…

    Keep coming Kruger and Frolik…they have tipped the scales in this series…

  57. marilyn cali says:

    Matt…. Even when they did give Bruins a penalty for tripping, they stupidly called a diving penalty on the Hawks on the same play…. it was so ridiculous… the Hawks player was TRIPPED!!!

  58. Dave says:

    Crawford has been great all season….just think… all those goofy reporters said at the beginning of the season that goaltending was the Hawks biggest weakness!!!

    Crawford even played very well last year in playoffs…just went up against a guy just a little better in goal for Phoenix… and 5 out of the 6 games went to overtime besides!!! Very close series, could have gone either way!

    Guess Crawford is proving them all wrong!!!!!

  59. Tom Jaremka says:

    Boys…….let me ask a legit question……..After the season, if the Hawks went to trade Crawford, what would we get for him in draft choices? I am just trying to play the devils advocate, here. IS CRAWFORD OVERRATED BECAUSE OF THE TEAM HE IS BEHIND?

    Here’s my point, I love Crawford, I think his demeanor and passion for his team has won over his teammates and many fans, including myself. But I don’t think he has done anything more than Antti Niemi did in the 2010 cup run. Crawford is a quality NHL goaltender who developed at a later age, but he will never be mistaken for Patrick Roy or Marty Brodeur. His value to the Blackhawks is far more than his value on the open market.

    I hear people say that he has beaten Quick in a series, who is considered the best goalie in the NHL, right now. However, that is a mis-statement. He beat the Kings offense and the Blackhawk offense beat Quick. I think that we have to look at his value to the Hawks vs. his trade value on the market, today. We all thought Niemi was irreplaceable and he wasn’t. We found Crawford in our own system.

    IF, and it’s a big IF, we win the Cup and need to trade Crawford, what would we get for him? A first round draft choice, a second……maybe less?

    IF we lose the Cup, does it change his value to us or on the open market, at all?

    Do teams look at the HAwks and say, “how do we beat Crawford”? Or do they say, “how do we beat their system, speed and skill”?

    As an observer, I think he has more value to the Hawks than on the open market, or any other team. Am I nuts or am I being reasonable?

  60. Phil says:

    Tom, I like your 1-8 list. Ruf I think your Hammer comments are well placed within the context of what the Hawks know they must do in the compete dept. B’s will likely bring a big charge out of the gate. Hope we can keep them off the sheet in the first, and make them gamble. There should be some breakaways for the Hawks tonight that I hope get buried.

    Konroyd comment regarding Bergeron injury as a bad back seems very plausible. Otherwise, what would have taken him out of the game? Maybe he had severe back spasms and had to get a shot at the ER to calm it down. I hope it is not serious, but if he does not play tonight, I could live with that.

    Is everyone else as tired as I am about hearing how the big bad Bruins have out hit and beat up the Hawks? If the boys can pot a PP goal tonight it will be huge. Can you imagine how good the Hawks would be with simply a mediocre PP??

    Nervous anticipation beginning to build. Bring home the hardware tonight!

    Lets Go Hawks!!!!

  61. Sr. Brad says:

    There are only a few truly elite goalies in the NHL, and the teams that have them aren’t winning the SC this year, so while elite goalies are great to have, they aren’t absolutely necessary…plus, they come with a steep price…a huge cap hit, usually for a long period of time, and often a big ego.

    When we won the cup in 2010, Niemi was good, but nowhere near where he is today. He was serviceable, and in most instances, he was as good as the D out in front of him. And the D out in front of him isn’t just the Defence, but the ENTIRE team’s commitment to team defence. That’s why elite goalies aren’t necessary and often don’t make a difference in playoff series…for as good as Howard and Quick played against us, and they were outstanding, we still won…

    There are naive homers here who will make comments like, jee, we won the series, see our goalie is better…but that isn’t the case. Howard was all world for Detroit but they still lost. Niemi was skaky at times for us in 2010 and we still won…was Niemi the best goalie in the NHL that season? Not even close…the Bowmans were forced into a choice after the season, and they kept Hammer and let go of Niemi…would we be here right now in this moment if they made the opposite decision? Hammer has been a top Defenceman throughout these playoffs, and I can’t imagine us going this far without him.

    As for next year, CC will be a Hawk…he and Ranta will get playing time…CC will be the #1 goalie, and in 2 years time he will have a decision to make…go for the money and play elsewhere, or be reasonable and stay here in Chicago. Only time will tell.

  62. EbonyRaptor says:

    @ Tom – I agree with your premise, that while Crawford is a good goalie, he isn’t elite and has benefited from playing behind a very good defensive team. Emery’s similar stats this season support that position.

    However, there is a difference between now and 2010. When Wilson forced the Hawks hand to choose between Niemi and Hjalmarsson, the Hawks had Crawford waiting in the wings and recall that it was a neck and neck race in training camp between Crawford and Niemi to be Huet’s backup. The deciding factor was Niemi’s contract which would have exposed him to waivers if the Hawks had kept Crawford up and send Niemi to Rockford, whereas Crawford could be sent down without having to go through waivers. So, the decision was made easier for the Hawks to choose Hjalmarsson because they knew they had Crawford and felt he was ready for the NHL. This time, the jury is still out if they have a goalie in waiting. Will Rantaa be ready for the NHL by 2014/15, if ever?

    If the Hawks win this year, they will have proven that an elite goalie isn’t a requirement to win the Cup – twice in 4 years. But, that doesn’t mean you can win it with a sieve out there. At this point Rantaa, or any other goalie in the Hawks system, has proven they can be a quality goalie. For that reason, Crawford should not be traded. Let 2013/14 play out and see what Rantaa is. At the end of next season, either the Hawks will feel Rantaa can step in or they may need to seriously consider ponying up some big bucks for Crawford. Remember, the 2014/15 season is the last year of the Toews & Kane contracts – I doubt the Hawks want to squander that season with a major question mark in goal.

  63. Negzz says:

    @SrBrad: “Just to be clear” (not that any of us get “points” for our thoughts on these boards), but in fact, I was the one visitor to these boards who posted PRIOR to game-1 that Q should NOT break up 19/88/29 for this series. In fact, I speculated he was just playing mind games with his pre-day practice pairings because he would be “CRAZY” to break them up. Well, he was crazy, he did break them up, it hurt the team, and he finally brought them back together these past 2 games. Stupid move to have done so in the 1st place. Kudos to Wall and JS for agreeing with me once the series showed how bad a move that actually was.

    As for Sat’s game and big win, I watched it at a party with a big group, including a Boston-raised friend that I still skate with (I live out east these days), and even he agreed that the B’s were getting away with murder. How they are not calling the brutal and blatant cross checks is mindblowing! ..and then to hear complaints about a missed tripping call is comical.. Unreal, actually. Loved his observation that Marchand and Shaw are identical “little balls of hate” that drive the opponent crazy (which was offered in admiration of Shaw.) Bottom line, Hawks are faster and more skilled, B’s are tougher and also have skill. Both are showing to be great teams. Losing Bergeron would be a killer for Boston. What’s his series FO%? Like 60%+?

    Anyway, tonight will be a slugfest and Hawks need to play physical, gritty and NOT retaliate as B’s will cheap shot if they can’t keep up. In fact, I thought Q kept Toews off the ice partly to protect and save him for the series after getting dinged a few times in game 5 (as an understatement.) For the record, I thought the Boychuk hit was brutal but legal. Regardless, I fully expect 19 to be back tonight- and we’re going to need him back if we want to close this thing out. (Hey Stan, a #2 C might be a good idea this offseason- yes?)

    @Tom: Agree that you’re not going to get much for CC on the open market relative to his value to the Hawks at this point. He’s played well these playoffs (ala Niemi in ’10), and for $2.7 next year is a fair value. That said, aggravating article on espn (eastern biased as it is), making a case for Rask as CS winner even if the B’s lose.. Too funny..

  64. Michigan Mo says:

    I see a few others have mentioned it, but how is it McQuaid in not suspended for tonight’s game? Doesn’t this parallel Keith’s hit on Carter (hitting a player in the face with your stick as retaliation), except in this case, there’s no question about whether contact with the face was accidental? And instead of being apologetic, McQuaid was laughing about it afterwards.

    It seems to me that the league is ignoring this one because no one is talking about it. All of the focus has been on the Boychuck hit. Unless I’m missing some reason why a cross-check to the face isn’t as egregious of an act as I think it is…

  65. JS says:

    They aren’t going to suspend someone with 2 games left in the season unless they kill someone. It’s sad, but it’s definitely the truth. The shit the Bruins are getting away with is disgusting and it’s actually upsetting to think the league is ok with that style of play. If the NHL had half of a brain, they would understand the skill game is a lot more entertaining to watch (olympics).

    Negzz- we were only a few minutes apart mentioning the lines, but I definitely beat you to it. ;) Wall was actually the one that thought it was a good idea to try to hide Kane from Chara. It doesn’t really matter who was first, what does matter is we were both right that he was crazy to do it!

    On CC- Follow the history of the Bowman’s and you will figure out the plan. If CC wants to continue getting paid 2.5-3m a year to compete for a SC, he will be here. Although, after seeing what Bernier fetched on the market, he might have more value than we all think.

    Also, with all of the mentions of getting a 2C for next year… where does the money come from? Hasn’t Bowman actually proven that twice in 4 years the Hawks haven’t needed an elite 2C or goalie?

  66. RyanDale says:

    I watched the HNIC feed last night on G5. Craig Simpson said Shaw “sold it pretty well” on the play with McQ. Unreal.

  67. Negzz says:

    JS- I will not go back to verify what I’m sure is correct, you beat me to it! Consider this move a classic example of Q outsmarting himself. Not a good idea. Simply put your best out there if it’s working and see what you’ve got. We all obviously like what we’ve seen once the #1 line was re-united.

    Agree with your take on CC, if he’ll take $3-ish or less he’ll stay, if not, next….

    Affording a 2C? Well, we obviously need to focus on winning the Cup NOW, but my view is we NEED a quality 2-way 2C and no way can rookie/Pirri step in day-1 in the show. Unless they elevate Sharp to 2C and/or get new blood, not seeing Toews continue to get beaten on all season/post-season and carry the load at the dot all by himself. Bolland and his $3.3M is hopefully/likely gone, so is Stalberg, Rosy, Zus and perhaps Frolik and Carcillo. Monty is a buyout and Leddy lost some serious $ this postseason.. NEED to pay Bickell. Let’s win this series and then do the math.. :-)

  68. Tom Jaremka says:

    Obviously, Craig Simpson couldn’t see the entire cheap shot because his skirt was blocking his vision.

  69. Sr. Brad says:

    Another great post ER…I would suggest to you though that we can be pretty sure that Ranta is going to be a very good goalie…in fact NO European goalie currently in the NHL had the stats, accolades, accomplishments that Ranta has put up against very good competition…there’s never a sure thing in advance, but he’s a close as it gets…

    Negzz, sorry, you are right…as usual…I liked Bickell on the line with Toews and Kane almost 3 years ago when I watched them dominate Vancouver, in Vancouver, in a 1-0 win. As you have said many times, Toews creates possession and Bickell creates space…these are the 2 ingredients that Kane needs…which is what JS has been saying all along…Kane does not have the size or power to just go get the puck himself…he needs the “right” line mates…actually Handzus is the perfect example of what Kane does NOT need as a centre…but both of them made it work.

    As to JS’ point on the 2nd line centre, he is right. Where would the money come from (short of moving either Seabs or Keith, and they have likely helped us to 2 SC wins in 4 years)? No, its time for the Hawks to call upon their farm system to fill these spots…LeBlanc and Pirri will likely battle for that spot next season, and we will be fine…I am actually very much looking forward to Ben Smith, Jeremy Morin, Jimmy Hayes, Ryan Stanton, and Adam Clendening in the Hawks lineup.

    Ryan…that’s incredible…and is precisely why I watch the Swedish feed to the game.

    Michigan Mo, McQuaid’s hit is FAR WORSE than what Keith did to Carter…nothing will happen the rest of the way, because if the NHL did something, it would only open up the doors to everything else they have let go…it’s become a joke.

  70. Mike says:

    Like I said why should Boston stop taking cheap shots. It is not like we are scaring them with our PP. A couple of power play goals would have helped ease up the illegal hits in this series but it is kinda late now……….McQuaid 2 minutes, what a joke
    Go Hawks, end it tonight

    Sr Brad….IMO SB will NOT trade for a 2C. Hawks have a developing 2 line center in Kruger. I doubt if either Pirri or LeBlanc is going to come up and leapfrog over Kruger. I think Krugs has earned the chance to play on that line through camp and preseason this fall. If he is not a 2C, well then the Hawks will be going again without a true 2c.

  71. JS says:

    Personally, I don’t think Kruger has the skill set the Hawks need for a 2C, especially if he is going to play with Kane. That line would be way too small and would have issues along the boards. Now if he’s between 10/81… that might make sense.

    Anyone think Saad can play C? He has size. Is intelligent positionally. Can probably improve a lot at the dot. Skates like the dickens… Just a thought.

    My guess is right there with Brad. Bowman is definitely going to stay in house. This is exactly why I’ve supported the idea of him not making any moves to secure a long term 2C. Yes, it hurt the Hawks chances the previous two years (but I don’t think they were good enough anyway). But they have a shot at 2 titles in 4 years and are (in my opinion) in the best shape of any team moving forward. Think of how young this team is and how much better they will be with more experience. Leddy, Shaw, Saad, Kruger, Kane Toews… they are all under 25 (well Toews is close enough)! And when they are about to start making more money, Bowman can just ship them off for more draft picks and replace them with in house talent. It is a great time to be a Hawks fan.

  72. Sr. Brad says:

    You might be right Mike…I really like Kruger, but he hasn’t showm me that he is 2nd line Centre material..however, Kruger is such a smart and tenacious player, that it wouldn’t surprise me if he upped his offensive game.

    I do think that Pirri is good enough for this role…I watched him a lot this season, and he’s become a very good player, a good 2 way centre, and resiliant against the physicality and abuse that goes on out there. LeBlanc looked good in his limited tryout. I think this team will be fine at center next season, as Andrew Shaw just gets better and better too. I just don’t think people should expect either Danault or McNeil to be the answers next season…I watched 2 of their games in Rockford and both looked a little lost…I think they will need one year in Rockford and then they will be ready…which will give us a logjam at center.

    McQuaig 2 minutes and Boychuck/Chara nada…its a complete joke, but the NHL is far too deep in it to address anything…

  73. Tom Jaremka says:

    We are going to have to settle for mediocrity for a year or two, until these young boys learn how to play at the NHL level. Consistency is the name of the game in the NHL and, in time, I think these young players will do very well in the league, but it will take a little time. The perfect example is Saad, who played pretty well, defensively, but couldn’t find the net on a regular basis. Saadders hands have to grow into his speed and size and then he will be a consistent NHL’er.

    Good points Mike, JS and Sr.

  74. Sr. Brad says:

    JS…excellent points…I do think Saad can play centre and can be given that chance, but only if the others don’t pan out.

    And, I will admit, if the Hawks win 2 Cups in 4 years without addressing the 2nd line Centre spot, I will be okay with it…Pirri is a better player than people here think he is. He has all sorts of skill, with great vision and speed…but he’s learned to back check and play positionally sound defensively…but the biggest thing, Rockford and the AHL has taught him how to survive PHYSICAL play…and in fact, Pirri is not afraid to dish it out. I think he will be that guy…but LeBlanc looked good too.

    Here’s the thing with the Hawks moving forward…if they can secure Bickell (which I am sure they will), then you have the first line…Bickell/Toews/Kane…that means Sharp and Hossa would skate with Pirri…that gives him a HUGE chance at succeeding out of the gate. The 3rd line becomes Shaw centring Saad and likely Smith or Morin. Which means that your 4th line is Kruger/Smith/Morin/Hayes/Bollig/Frolik (if he stays)…which puts us right back in the finals next year with that lineup.

    On defence, you have your top 4 DMen in in Seabrook, Keith, Hammer and Leddy, with Clendening, Stanton and Brookbank rotating as the 3rd pairing. This is a lineup that we can afford, and can trust to show character top to bottom. And with Ranta coming in to back up Crawford, the Hawks just keep getting better IMO.

    I think likely that the Hawks let Stahlberg, Rozy, Emery and Mayers all go. They will trade Bolland for sure, and perhaps Frolik…as much as I like Fro, and wish he would be back, his cap # is too high, and we need that space for kids from Rockford. Ultimately I would prefer Ben Smith or Jeremy Morin in the lineup next year, knowing full well how valuable Frolik is to this team.

    BTW…just announced Toews is a go, as he feels great, and the bums expect bergeron to play.

  75. Mike says:

    JS, I agree about Kruger and Kane but I think / hope Kane is on the top line with Toews to stay.

    Sr Brad, we have discussed the AHL before and I am in complete agreement with your comments on Pirri…..and several other Hogs. Leddy sure could have used more time there, but he will learn.

    Saad at center…..I like it. He does seem to have the all around game to develop into a solid 2 way center.

    I hope SB keeps Frolik next year. IMO At $2.33mm he is a bargain for the Hawks. We have enough guys coming up to keep him, Leddy and Bickell, especially if SB moves Bolland.

  76. alikatze says:

    JS, get your panties out of your asscrack. Maybe if you didn’t jump down the throats, shrieking, at “newbies”, there would be more than the same handful of folks commenting on this blog. Yeesh. So not worth it!

  77. wall says:

    Brad- completely agree on Raanta… he is/was the stud goalie of the SM-Liga – could be the best goalie Hawks have had in years… real quick!!! Just like Tuevo- is as close to a sure thing in Hawk’s system… Raanta is right there w/ Him.

    Brad- do you read Finnish- been trying to buy #86 Teuvo jersey on Jokerit website but always get denied!!! Can u help?

    Tom- I am with Bowman- IMO- goalies are like pitchers, there are only a few every couple of decades that are worth the long term big $$$- CC is not one of them!

    JS- I agree on Kruger- he is not the answer for 2nd line center- too small- BUT the guy does have great IQ and a heart/work ethic!!! Saad- might actually work. Le Blanc is a great offensive playmaker- but his skating isn’t there! Pirri can shoot- but I wouldn’t trust him on D… unless he skate 20 or 29/Piri/81- that might actually work -cuz Hossa is a beast on the D side as is Saad!

    Here is a darkhorse- Kevin Hayes- good size- passer… but I think he has had some issues at BC!

  78. Sr. Brad says:

    Wall, its close to Swedish so I should be able to help you with it…just send me the link, and what you exactly want.

    I think Kevin Hayes was a good draft pick and will be a good NHL’er, but he has to mature in many ways…he is AT LEAST 3 years away…its Pirri/LeBlanc/Saad for next year, and then 2 really good ones in Danault and McNeil…also in 2 years Garret Ross it coming, and nothing will stop him from making the team…Andrew Shaw (bigger/stronger) 2.0

  79. Sr. Brad says:

    Alikatze…we are all a little on edge right now…so please stay with it…we value your and everyone’s comments here…this site it for everyone, not just a few…JS has tons of insights to share…its going to be a lot of fun here over the next couple of months as the roster for next year takes shape…the draft is about a month away…

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