Stanley Cup Final: Tuukka Rask, Bruins Blank Blackhawks

The box score will credit Tuukka Rask with a shutout of the Blackhawks in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Final, but the dominance by Boston was complete.

Rask

Chicago was supposed to have only one lineup change for Game Three; Viktor Stalberg returned to the lineup after Brandon Bollig skated in the first two contests at the United Center. But Ben Smith was asked to replace Marian Hossa after Hossa took part in pregame warm-ups.

After the game, a number of Hawks players indicated the team knew all day that Hossa was questionable. Coach Joel Quenneville said the injury was not suffered during warm-ups.

The absence of Hossa wasn’t the sole factor that the Blackhawks lost on Monday night, though. They got their tails whipped in every facet of the game, and will have to regroup before the series continues on Wednesday night.

Patrice Bergeron scored the Bruins’ second goal and had a fantastic game. Not only did he lead the Bruins with seven shots on net, but he won an astounding 23 of 27 faceoffs as well.

Perhaps finishing behind Jonathan Toews for the Selke rubbed him the wrong way?

Toews tied Patrick Kane for the Hawks’ team-high with four shots on goal and won eight of 18 faceoffs, but his scoring struggles continue.

The Bruins out-shot the Blackhawks 35-27. They killed all four Blackhawks “power” plays, while scoring on one of their four opportunities. They out-hit the Hawks 31-25, and had six takeaways to Chicago’s two.

There wasn’t a good line in the box score for the Hawks in the game.

Dave Bolland took three penalties, all of which were both avoidable and unnecessary. He won only one of eight faceoffs.

If Bolland’s night was bad, Michal Handzus was a disaster at the dot. Handzus lost all ten of his faceoffs and skated only 11:51 in the game.

In his return to the lineup, Stalberg played only 10:50 and was (somehow) credited with two hits. He also did a nice job of watching Zdeno Chara beat on Bryan Bickell late in the game, a brawl that led to Bickell and Chara receiving roughing minors and Andrew Shaw and Brad Marchand receiving fighting majors with only 11 seconds left in regulation.

Smith, who wasn’t in the lineup until after warm-ups, led the team with two blocked shots but skated only 13 shifts.

The only two Blackhawks that had a good effort in the game were Patrick Sharp and Cory Crawford.

Sharp had the best offensive chances – and energy – for Chicago in the game. He was credited with only two shots on net and two that missed the mark.

For Crawford, stopping 33 of 35 shots wasn’t good enough. He had a strong game, keeping a lifeless Hawks team in the game in spite of bad penalties and defensive zone turnovers, but the Bruins were too good to miss every time. Crawford has now stopped 110 of 117 shots in the Stanley Cup Final, a .940 save percentage.

On the other end of the ice, Rask has been the best player in the postseason and clearly the most dominant player in the Final. In the three games of the Final, Rask has stopped 119 of 124 shots for an incredible .960 save percentage.

If there’s a source of hope for Blackhawks fans, it’s the reality that this is only the second time the team has been shut out in 2013. The other: Game Four against Detroit, also a 2-0 loss on the road.

How did Chicago respond? Winning their next five straight and eight of their next nine.

Unfortunately, these Bruins present a much stronger test than the Red Wings.

Game Four is Wednesday.

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92 Responses to Stanley Cup Final: Tuukka Rask, Bruins Blank Blackhawks

  1. JS says:

    Hi friends! Sorry if you missed me. I was at the Bonnaroo music festival pretending I didn’t have a job or any real responsibilities for a few days. I’m sure you’re all delighted to know that I am back and here to argue with you over why you are wrong and I am always right!

    Terrible game. Awful game. Couldn’t have played any worse. They also hit a few posts and did absolutely jack on a power play. I would seriously put consideration into firing Kompon right now. Why he was hired in the first place blows my mind, but he’s obviously not doing something right. They have shooters on the wrong side, they can only enter the zone if Leddy or Kane has the puck and when they try to dump and chase it’s like they are seeing hockey for the first time. The horrible power play has nothing to do with a lack of a 302 pound Dustin Byfuglein to stand in front of the net, they are just lost. Absolutely lost. The players are trying to follow the coach but the coach has proven two years in a row that he has absolutely no idea how to run a power play.

    I know Rask is a tough goalie to beat, but he’s even tougher to beat when you shoot wide on your best chances. I’d rather you bury a shot into the B than put it wide. At least you have a chance at a rebound chance if it touches the goalie. Speaking of goalies, why doesn’t Crawford score a goal already? What a loser.

    If Toews doesn’t have surgery at the end of this season I’m going to light every Toews jersey I own on fire (I don’t own any). 2% shooting percentage makes NO SENSE AT ALL. I don’t get it. I can’t explain it. Why is he so bad?

    Some positive things!
    1) This series could easily be 3-0 Bruins or 2-1 Hawks. The Bruins played a pretty incredible game today and won by 2 goals.
    2) Hawks were dominated in the circle tonight but they still managed to control the puck most of the game. Weird.
    3) Let’s make a list of players that are “due”. I don’t want to, the list is too long.
    4) The power play could not be any worse than they were tonight. This must mean they will score eventually.
    5) If you don’t think they can come back from down 2-1 you must have missed a month ago when they came back from 3-1!
    6) If they win on Wednesday (they will), they suddenly come back to Chicago with control of the series.
    7) If Hossa’s goal in Game 2 wasn’t oddly blown dead, good chance Hawks win that game.
    8) CRAWFORD IS PLAYING TOO DAMN GOOD TO LOSE!!!
    9) Q is waiting to put Toews and Kane back together because they are the super secret weapon of goodness that is unstoppable and that’s why they are only paired together in times of desperation.

    Toews and Kane did skate together on a shift tonight. On the penalty kill! Oh yeahhhh. If Toews and Kane don’t play together on Wednesday night I’m going to turn in my Blackhawks fan card.

    I originally thought the Hawks would win in 6. However, I don’t think they are going to win 3 straight. Start by winning on Wednesday and take back control of the series.

    Don’t worry, I missed you too.

  2. Pete says:

    This is where you pay for messing around with Carcillo and Bolig in the lineup instead of giving Morin and Smith a chance to play and get ready for when the Hawks need them. Smith still did ok. I thought Stalberg had a few moments and we could have used him in game 2. We should have won Game 2. Also not that it matters, but Im miffled by Eddio O getting so incensed that the Blackhawks actually got a call when a penalty was called on Boston early in the game on that scrum. Hey Eddie, the Hawks have had 3 legit goals waived off in these playoff, don’t take it personal if we actually get a call. Hopefully Hoss will play in game 4 and it looks like Bickell is getting riled again and we need him revved up.

  3. JS says:

    Some other notes/questions.

    If the Hawks knew that Hossa was questionable tonight, why not give Ben Smith an actual line to practice on?

    Has Bickell decided that his price point was getting too high and he needs to disappear in the finals in order to knock some dollars off?

  4. Pete says:

    Bickell was mad at the end there JS. I think he will play hard in Game 4. Are you with me on Q should have been giving Smith and Morin some playing time in earlier games so they would be ready now instead of giving the time to Bolig and Carcillo.

  5. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    The Bruins have been clearly superior thru 3 games. Hawks got destroyed tonight. They must win game 4 somehow or this series is essentially over. Bergeron, Lucic and Krejci have dominated are core players Toews, Kane and Sharp. The face off stats are off the charts embarrassing too. The PP cant even get a shot off. Meanwhile Shaw, Kruger and Frolik are our only complementary forwards doing anything. Handzus was embarrassed tonight. Stalberg did nothing like usual. Saad is a non factor. Bolland just continues with what has been a trainwreck. Meanwhile Keith struggled for the second game in a row while Leddy and Rosival were horrendous.

    Hard to be optimistic. Boston is playing like champions.

  6. Pete says:

    Eddie O was absolutely incensed that the Hawks got that call early on from that scrum.

  7. IceHogst says:

    Thanks for the wrap Tab. Agree on all, especially sharp and crow exerting the only efforts worth noting. Numerous chances which missed the net. Hell, Bickell’s late post shot was the only pro blast all night. What a weak, weak offensive performance. And I’m talking 5 on 5. I heard a rumor the hawks had power plays, all evidence to the contrary. The big guns remain silent.

    Still, Crow’s play gives me hope. Hawks won’t be that inept again. It’s 2-1. Game 4 Wednesday night. Hope boss’s mystery injury is fixed by then. APB still out for toews. Cannot remember the last time he drove the net and maintained contol of the puck. His puck focus is terrible- passing, face-offs, shooting. He’s playing like he’s in a daze. As stated countless times this year, a non-existent power play and skill/speed line mates put a target on his back and the abuse piles up.

  8. JS says:

    Personally I feel like any time players touch each other after the whistle there should be a penalty. No use for that shit.

    On Morin/Smith playing time. Smith was hurt for a good part of the year. The Hawks were absolutely dominating every team they played. I also believe they had a full roster for most of the year. In order to bring someone up there would have had to be IR time and when there was some IR time we saw Morin and he was ok. Would it have hurt to play those two more in the NHL? No. Would it have helped? Couldn’t have hurt, I suppose.

    Rufus- the reason for optimism is that the Hawks have been destroyed and have scored 2 less goals than the Bruins this series. They are also winning the shots attempted counter and that means something. They haven’t been the best shots, but they have the puck more and that matters. We thought Howard was unbeatable for a while. We thought there was no way they get past Quick. Now it’s Rask and he’s just way too good for the Hawks to handle. Patience my friend. If the Hawks lose game 4, then you freak out.

  9. BarryJo says:

    While there are many culprits to why the Hawks were so outplayed tonight I can’t get past Nick Leddy. He’s not the only reason they lost but he keeps getting beat and is a major reason. He’s not an NHL defenseman at this point who should be playing in the Cup. Yes his offense is solid and he can bring the puck up but his defense is such a liability it amazes me why he is out there. He’s just too weak and get pushed off the puck constantly. Please Coach Q, realize this and do something. It may be too late this year but they have to address this next year. Leddy is a MAJOR liability out there. Hope they can bounce back in Game 4. Go Hawks!

  10. JS says:

    After watching a team get shut out, blaming the defense or the goalie is usually the last thing I think of. Unless it’s the defense not playing aggressively and creating offensive opportunities… but I think the Hawks have done ok with that. They just keep missing the net.

    Ok final thought of the night (I swear)! The drop pass is there and they need to do it more. With more crashing. This will happen in game 4! I’m even thinking the Hawks might shut out the B’s.

  11. Alikatze says:

    Unless the Hawks can figure out a line that can get past the Bruins defense and stand right in front of Rask and just bash the crap out of the puck (and into the net), we can call it a day (or a season). And who would have a thought a year ago that the best fricking player right now would be…Corey Crawford?? I cannot tell you how much love I am feeling for Crow right now.

  12. Sr. Brad says:

    Ok…its hard to play the positive card after this one tonight, let’s call it like it was…the Hawks were destroyed…yikes, that was embarrasing.

    JS, great post, and that is a legitimately realistic list from which the Hawks should take solace from.

    Rufus you are absolutely honest and correct in your assessments…and Bolland was another train wreck tonight…he should be done in a Hawks uniform.

    Toews, Kane, Keith and Seabrook were completely outperformed, outhustled, outcared, outskilled and outcompeted by the Bruins top line. I said this after last game, and it stands…unless Toews and Kane contribute as 1 and 1A in the Hawks attack we won’t win this series…we simply can’t have our 3rd and 4th lines carry us through all 4 rounds of the playoffs. Toews must be injured very badly to be this bad. Patrice Bergeron lit Toews up tonight and embarrassed Tazer, which essentially never happens…but it did tonight. Kane has gone back to hiding under a rock.

    But here’s the deal…if we can find a way to win game 4, we go right back to controlling the series…we are simply one great Hawk effort away from winning the Cup…so before we turn face and give up, remember that…the Hawks have a 50/50 chance in game 4 to win it…but its going to take fantastic efforts from Toews and Kane, and that is something that just hasn’t happened very often during the playoffs…and Hossa needs to get well and play…

    Good effort by Ben Smith tonight…I like that kid.

  13. IceHogst says:

    Apparently the ice tonight was terrible. Hawks pass the puck better than they dribble it. But, WTF. Is it that difficult to deliver preium ice for the Stanley Cup final??? The world has Google, satellites that can read my newspaper when I sit outside, arenas that can gross $100 million in a single season, and soft, chippy ice is the product for a championship?????? Maybe Jamie Kompon once held that job too.

  14. Sr. Brad says:

    Kompon has to get fired this offseason with that PP…0 for its last 19 and they were the worst I’ve ever seen tonight…wow…$20 million dollars skating around and bumping into to one another for 2 mintues…that’s frightening.

  15. Dickie Dunn says:

    Thank you, Tab – good summary, as usual…

    (JS – anybody “good” at bonnaroo?…I agree: “8) CRAWFORD IS PLAYING TOO DAMN GOOD TO LOSE!!!”, but, UNfortunately…and, “I feel like any time players touch each other after the whistle there should be a penalty. No use for that shit.” – that may be a little extreme, but, a very good point. It’s bullshit, and the officiating allowing holding, obstruction, etc., and the shit after the whistle just because “it’s the Cup” eats shit. Did they send a memo explaining a different set of rules…? And, Ed Blowczyk is so full of shit he’s about to burst(, Pete). McGuire, Enblom, and Micheletti are SUCK (“SUCK”?) stiffs must be the reason he’s so revered…)

    I’m not ready to give up on the Hawks. But, Boston is proving (so far, at least) that they are a much better team than LA (at playing basically the same type of game), and especially “quicker” – not open-ice beat-you speed, but seizing opportunities…and, Rask is a much better goaltender than Howard or Quick *at the moment*. Hopefully, we’ll see more than *just talk* about “finding a way”, etc. —- GO HAWKS!!!!

  16. Ryan says:

    Hjalmarsson absolutely got the puck first before his so call trip that eventually gave up the 2nd goal. That was the worst call I have seen all year. No way that is a trip.

    Saad got hooked again in a one on one and wasn’t granted a pen shot. Complete shit again that is 2 games in a row. The Officiating was garbage this game. Toews was leading a break into the zone and got hooked terribly in 1st period. This is turning into the Det series. Boston sucks! All they do is committ pen after pen not caring if the ref calls anything cause our PP is weak.

    Daugavins should have had more than a minor for launching himself at Shaw’s head. Welcome back JS but where is cry for illegal hits with what Daugavins did to Shaw you 2 faced….

  17. Drewp1033 says:

    I grew up in a country where hockey was popular but soccer was big, Poland. We had a national team very successful coach, that took the soccer team to great heights. He had two famous says that apply to soccer equally as to hockey.
    “When we have the ball the other team can’t score”- what happened to the Hawks puck possession game?
    “You play as well as your opponent allows you to play”- if this is all that Boston gives us it doesn’t look to promising.
    It boggles my mind how we can suck so bad on the PP and than create tons of chances with the goalie pulled. Isn’t it a 6 on 5 PP?

  18. Mining Man says:

    Really want to stay optomistic, however , this reminds of 1992 vs. Pittsburg….played our fool heads off, with Keenan behind the bench and Dirk Graham/Chelios playing the games of their lives and couldn’t buy a win…..Jagr was there as well! Bad karma.A great historic season could be wasted if this occurs and that is how they will be remembered… for the teams sake this cannot happen…..turn this around now…Q needs to put everyone back where they seriously belong…need Carcillo out there, he can cause a lot of ruckus and score very key goals, put him on the power play with Shaw , create some mayhem for the snipers….his +\- is always positive…..pp cannot get any worse.

  19. wall says:

    Tab, thanks for the recap… First game of the year that I didn’t bother watching… cuz I can’t stand watching the mighty Hawks be completely shut down by the Bruins near perfect Defense in front of the net.

    JS- You must of smoked some good weed at Boner-fest… Was 25 there- cuz he wasn’t in uniform last Saturday…

    Bruins ain’t the Wings- still sticking w B’s in 5… unless we can score 2 lucky goals ( off of skates or bodies like game 1.

    Brad- you were right – about a 2nd line center…
    Yes- Buff would help the PP — there is not 1 man on the team that can stand in front of net like him!!!!!

    Only Good news- Is Hawks will have most returning 2013-14… Bruins, Pens will lose a few good players…

    and Yes- Morin and Smith should have seen several games each this year…

  20. JS says:

    Failed at sleeping.

    Ryan- he should probably get a call from the league. Will he get suspended? Probably not. League discipline is stupid. If Shaw had a broken face and or a concussion, the guy would definitely be suspended. Since he wasn’t, all is fine! Punishing result versus intent in situations like this makes no sense.

    Wall- Stalberg wasn’t there, but I searched for him all weekend. I think I saw him a few times in the clouds while I was napping. If you think the Hawks can’t score PP goals because they don’t have an anchor in front of the net… well you are wrong. How many of the Bruins PP goals this series have come with a guy standing in front of the net? How many times have the Hawks actually had possession long enough in the offensive zone for someone to skate to the front of the net? Yikes. The PP has nothing to do with the comp, it has everything to do with the coaching and execution.

    I’m glad you think the “Bruins ain’t the Wings”. I know the Bruins would never blow a 3-1 series lead. They would NEVER do that! They would also NEVER require a miracle game 7 come back because they are too good to ever fall behind in a game! Guess what? The Hawks ain’t the Leafs, Rangers, or Penguins.

    Also, take a minute to think back to the Hawks series against the Wings. They were being shut down in front of the net for the first 4 games of the series until they got it together. If you think this series is over, not sure what to tell you. It could EASILY be 2-1 Hawks, even with them being outplayed.

    Dickie- Paul McCartney played a 3 hour set. That’s all that needs to be said.

    On a note of what this sport is like for the casual observer (you know, the thing the NHL needs more of so they actually turn a profit)… Why are there two separate rule books when it comes to regular season versus post season? Imagine if you watched a few games during the regular season and got the hang of hockey… and then you decided to tune into a SCF game. NONE of the rules you learned in the regular season are called in the playoffs. This isn’t me crying about the officiating because I think it was fine… but allowing less skilled teams to even up the playing field by clutching and grabbing seems like a bad business concept.

    Big wake up call on Wednesday for Toews and Kane (both of whom I thought played well, just didn’t score). Throw the team on your back and show them why you make the big bucks.

  21. JMP says:

    I thought so during the game (confirmed by wife) but I just saw it again on the news. I replayed it over and over and I swear that the Toews tip from Keith was in!!! The puck clearly is under the bar (you can’t see it on top) but the news cuts away before the exit point (near the water bottle). No NHL review?

  22. EbonyRaptor says:

    Confidence takes you a long way. It permeates everything in your game. The passes are crisper, the forecheck more effective, the faceoffs won more often. It’s a snowball going down hill gaining speed and getting bigger and bigger. And it has the opposite effect on your opponent. They play with less confidence, afraid to make a bad play so the pass is not on the money more often than not and the times it is, your teammate bobbles it or has it jump over his stick. Everything is a split second off and that split second is just long enough to disrupt the play. Players start pressing and rushing and things go from bad to worse. Boston is playing with confidence right now and the Hawks are not.

    Things are looking bleak. Boston has momentum and they are too well disciplined to shoot themselves in the foot. The Hawks, if they are going to win the Cup, will have to outfight and out compete Boston and that will not happen with the usual effort. No, the Hawks will need to play their best game of the season in Game 4. That includes no bad penalties and actually scoring on the power play. It will mean to turn the other cheek and not get goaded into the after the whistle stuff. It will mean that Leddy must know where he will pass the puck before he gets it instead of stopping the puck on the wall and hoping to shield it from the Boston forechecker. It will mean Bickell and others must not miss the chance for a clean hit. It will mean shots from the slot will be on net instead of fired wide. It will mean the Hawks are much better on faceoffs than the pitiful 29% in Game 3 – much better. It will mean getting more turnovers and less giveaways than Boston. It will mean outshooting Boston by a healthy margin.

    Can the Hawks play their best game of the season and pull out a win in Game 4? We’ll see Wednesday.

  23. Jay says:

    JS-
    You have made the most intelligent and reasonable comments about this game and series than anybody else I’ve seen. The only thing I disagree with you on is the penalty calling. I think that in the playoffs they should let most of the calls go, unless they are make or break goals (plus why would the hawks want the PP anyway with the way they are playing). A lot of the hawks are young or just don’t have the heart that some of the B’s do at this point and aren’t stepping up like they should. I have plenty of faith in this team, but they were obviously tired tonight and were not ready to play, especially with the loss of Hossa. He’s a huge part of the possession game with the team and was a huge loss tonight, and it definitely showed. I don’t like Kane out there without a solid goal scorer that he can pass to to put the puck in the net either. He will put passes on guy’s sticks all day, but if they aren’t getting open or ready to put the puck in the net then he’s essentially useless because he can’t do it by himself. Also, it’s clear that Toews is not healthy. We’ve all seen him put this team on his back when necessary and do what needs to be done to win the game. This team is beaten up by a rough couple series, but I still think that if they can come out strong and win Wednesdays game then it’ll be a whole new series and take a lot of momentum from Boston. They have what it takes to make it happen, but they just need to come out with the intensity to get it done. Let’s all pray they do.

    GO HAWKS!

  24. Morrison says:

    Rooster sucks. Hes not as a good a Quick/Howard.

    Need to do better with somethings…

    Its hard to overcome 4 waived ‘game’ changing series goals & win everytime, no excuses…replay officials.

    We get to keep our entire roster compared to all other top teams. We will be in conferencefinals 3of5 yrs on avg. We have deepest farm (except for minn.).

    I am ready to puke now, been drinking for awhile, to capture spirit of whole thing. Ive been shitfaced for a wk.

    We win game5 to play for chacne ti play game7, even though we earned a 2-0 with waived goal. That gave them what they have, doesnt matter if they kick outr ass 6-1 both games, were still 2-2 & have a chance to play to be up 3-3@home. We got camerooned. I cant believe we got camerooned & wernt still able to get a tie out of the game, oh yea theres no shhotouts. Headshots 2min these days. I cant wait untill Danault, Morin, Ross, etc. are our role players smacking those anouncers high quality nonbisaed commentary in their ‘saint’ hockey play, when most of the other top teams have no depth because they traded their future picks to use the extra 6m above the cap this yr to abuse the ‘transition’ yr betman cba compromise. Well see how that ends up over the next 5 yrs, ya fuck.

  25. Morrison says:

    Dont mean to swear, just tell it how it is. I am excited about our next 10 yrs,just want to cash in this yr… It just doesnt seem right to get camerooned over and over & come through most of the time all yr and then not have a fair chance to play 2-2, 3-3. We might need to do another…

    HARRISON FORD.

  26. Morrison says:

    Focker out.

  27. torourke says:

    Yikes that was a tough game to stomach. About the only positives I can draw out of it are that Crawford played well and we didn’t go into overtime. We have lost game three now in every series.

    The Bruins seemingly won every puck battle and even beat us in takeaways, a statistic we usually own. Boston’s third line is also pretty darn good too.

    I’m at the point where if we don’t give up prime scoring chances on our PP then it’s a positive. If we get the puck in the zone with some possession time? Happy. Get a shot off? Thrilled. Multiple quality scoring chances? Ecstatic. Actually scoring a goal? Head explodes.

    But the last two Cup champions also had brutal power plays, so this is about five-on-five. Let’s hope Hossa comes back and we play with much more energy on Wednesday.

  28. smitty says:

    Too early to give up on this series. Crow is playing fantastic!

    I am hopeful our power play coach got lost – maybe drowned in a sense of delusion – in a Boston bar late last night and some homeless guy is recruited today to run the PP. The improvement could turn this series around.

  29. Pete says:

    Anyone notice how Eddie O sheepishly called for a penalty shot on the Saad hook at the end. He was trying to make up for being absolutely furious all game that the hawks actually got a call in that scrum. He actually said”terrible call”. Really Eddie, where’s the “terrible call” line after we are getting legit goals waved off in the playoffs. I count 3 maybe 4 goals that we’ve been screwed out of. We need Hossa and either Stalberg or Smith. Please no Carcillo/Bolig/Brookkbank. I realize the announcing doesn’t matter, but it just sticks in my craw so Im whining about it since it fits in with some of the bad officiating calls. We should be up 2-1 right now, we got ripped off in game 2.

  30. McKay says:

    If there’s one thing about this Hawks team, it’s that we’re resilient and never give up. We’ve seen it time and time again in the past 4 seasons. From the Calgary 5-goal come back to the Game 6 OT win after blowing a late third period lead, from coming within a shot to overcome 3-0 against Vancouver in OT to even tonight when we scrapped and scrapped in the final minute even when the game was done.

    We took it on the chin tonight. We’ll be back up to battle on Wednesday.

    We’ve only lost 14 games this season. I’m not worried until we lose game 4.

  31. Pete says:

    By the way, Eddie O’s sheepish makeup calling for the Saad penalty shot was when the game was pretty much out of reach, 2 goals down with about a minute left. He actually said the Bolland penalty was a makeup call for the gift penalty the Hawks received on that scrum when the Bruins basically tried to strangle shaw. And why wasn’t Chara penalized at the end there when he basicaly attacked Bickel. That was ridiculous. Of course if a call had been made there for the Hawks Eddie O and his friend Pierre would have been screaming on behalf of the Bruins.

  32. Pete says:

    And Q should have given Morin and Smith some games earlier in the playoffs and at the end of the regular season instead of wasting the ice time on Carcillo and Bolig. Bolig serves a purpose in spot duty in the regular season. We are not going to win a cup with him.

  33. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    My only conclusion on Toews is that he is hurt. The problem is the expiration date on Handzus has come at the worst imaginable time AND Bolland is a trainwreck. We have nothing at center right now. Nothing. This series might only go 5 games. I slept on things and that is my sad conclusion. Work to be done this offseason. To include defining what Leddy is or is not.

  34. Sr. Brad says:

    boston is a very, very good team…the Hawks have been better…they aren’t right now…but the last time the Hawks were better was only 6 periods ago…at the end of the 1st period on game 1 Jagr said, and I quote, “we might as well gift wrap the Cup for the Hawks”…okay, what’s changed??? Simple, boston upped their compete level and fought back…they had an answer for the Hawks incredible talent, and that was EFFORT.

    Those here who have used the boxing analogy for the series have been very adept in doing so. This is a heavyweight championship. The Hawks had bruins on the rope in game 2 and boston somehow fought themselves off of it. They used that confidence to take it to us from there. Now, we have to fight back, and we have to outcompete them…its really that simple…simple to understand but not easy to do.

    Ebony Raptor made another great comment and it relates to every aspect our our lives…and its belief. When you believe that you can achieve something, and know how to do so, you achieve it and gain confidence….that confidence snowballs…everything goes right, like your not even trying. But if you stub your toe and fall and suddenly believe that you are not infallible and can fail, then you are and you can…and that feeling snowballs…the passes are not premeditated, they miss the mark, your transistion is slow and sloppy. That’s all that we are witnessing here. The bruins stubbed their toe badly, and yet it only made them hungrier and clearer as to who they are and what they want. We stubbed our toe and last night we sulked about it. Okay, its over with, but now throw away the little boy “why me” act, and respond like the bruins did…KNOW WHO YOU ARE…if the Hawks “know” that they are the best team in the NHL and are going to win the SC, then they will. If boston’s big punch in game 2, when they were down and almost out, is too much for the Hawks then boston will win.

    FIGHT BACK Chicago…like a champion, fight back!

  35. Sr. Brad says:

    And remember this…Jonathon Toews and Patrick Kane aren’t the best players on the ice…they’re not even the best players on the Hawks, not even close, and until that changes this will remain an epic struggle. Whether Toews is injured or not, he HAS TO BE BETTER in every aspect of his game and Kane cannot hide under rocks…he has to be engaged and dangerous to put boston back on their heels…he hasn’t been and it shows.

  36. Mike says:

    Shuffle things up a bit

    13/19/88
    10/16/81
    29/65/67
    20/36 or 26 (sorry)/28

    2/7
    4/27
    8/32

  37. Tom Jaremka says:

    If Q fired Mike Haviland for lack of a power play, then he should give Kompon the door, too. My grand daughter could draw up a better power play with her crayons and coloring book than Kompon. Geez, we look like statues on the PP. There is no movement and no desperation.

    This team needs a boost of energy and confidence, right now. If we could generate some offense on the PP we could have a chance in this series. Inevitably it is up to the players to make it happen, so we need Toews, Kane, Sharp and a few other to start performing or we are toast!!

  38. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Frankly, I don’t know what the Hawks can do to turn around this series. I’m not expecting Toews or Kane to regain any of their previous superiority against a wickedly good Boston team.

    Kane? We all have our opinions on the player, but bottom line he isn’t a good hockey player on the ice unless he’s surrounded by the right combination of linemates AND the opponent plays into his sweet spot. Kane has been a very big disappointment, but I temper my critique because its time to acknowledge he’s a limited, non well rounded hockey player. He’s a puck wizard and an offensive magician, but only under the precise right conditions. That doesn’t make him one of the league’s best players. What he is instead is one of the league’s most exciting players…that’s a big difference.

    Hossa? Ugh. I hope he isn’t seriously hurt, but I suppose he almost has to be in order to cause him to sit out game 3 of the Finals. The “soft” tag will be discussed ad nauseum the next few days. But bottom line, he is a future Hall of Fame player who is on the unfortunate downslope of his great career. When he’s healthy and engaged, he remains a game-changer and a two-way force. But unfortunately, those instances are becoming less and less. And I do think Hossa has become a player who now “paces” himself and “picks his spots” out of what he must believe is the right approach to withstand the ravages of a long season and intense playoff battles.

    Toews? He’s hurt. He’s got to be hurt. Granted, he’s had to work against Patrice Bergeron, who is every bit the player Toews is in this league and a true star. But something is clearly wrong with Toews…and has been since the Wild series.

    Offseason priority? Very, very simple. Must find a top 6 Center. And the answer cannot be Pirri, Danault, McNeal….not yet at least.

  39. RyanDale says:

    I couldn’t tell, was 19 centering the 4th line or were 67-16 promoted, geezus. I guess
    you can’t say Q didn’t mix it up because there were so many line combos I couldnt keep up with them.

    I missed the 3rd pd last night so my disdain is only 2/3 of most of you guys. Not much to say that hasn’t been. 50 continues to play lights out. But the way we are playing he
    HAS to be perfect. He deserves better and Brad is right, it’s all about compete level. We’ve been out played for 5 straight periods. Enough already!

    This series is all about the next game. It’s a must win for us. The team has to know that and I think they respond. Yet they have put themselves in a position now where
    there is no room for error. They could play well yet lose and then we’re at 1-3 and floundering.

    Now, Hossa not playing was a big blow, and totally out of the blue. Maybe it took more
    out of the guys than normal given the situation. 81 HAS to play Wed. if we are to win I feel. He’s just too valuable. Also, to me, I wouldn’t mind Sharpie centering Kane on L2 but I don’t really expect Q to do it

    I love this team. It would be a shame if the were to flame out in the Finals. It’s time
    to show what we have. 50 WILL give us a chance to win every game. Lets start Wed

    Go Hawks!!

  40. Mike says:

    RTF, your assessment of Kane is harsh but essentially correct. Boston is one of 5 or 6 teams in the NHL that is deep enough to key on our stars and still have some firepower in other lines. But in defense of Kane, he is 24 and has a lot to learn. He will also get somewhat stronger over the next 3-4 years. Kane will be a legit all around hockey player in the future…. But he is not Datsyuk.

  41. Animull says:

    Why wouldn’t you have played HAYNES instead of Bollig in 1st 2 games?
    Power play sucks with BOTH point men ALWAYS playing 15 feet in from boards thus not containing pucks in zone.
    Kompton is sooooooo “Lost”.
    And Handjob (zues) BLOWS- useless.

  42. Animull says:

    Slap shot-slap shot -slap shot -slap shot-slap shot.
    That’s all the Hawks do…. Learn one of the other 3 shots -that always hit the net.
    Coaching blows……

  43. Animull says:

    Kane is a soft playing pussy..
    Can’t change ones core.
    Do the math.

  44. Hawkey says:

    Selfish. Amateur. Undisciplined. Dumb. Unconscionable. Inexperienced. Childish.

    Trying to think of the best words to describe Bolland’s three penalties last night. I can’t get over his performance.

  45. JS says:

    Kane had multiple scoring chances yesterday and just didn’t pot one. To knock him after last nights game just means you weren’t paying attention. He also made a couple great defensive plays with back checking. Just because he isn’t a physical player doesn’t mean he is bad. Give him the proper linemates to help create some space and he produces. The line of Kane, Zus, and Sharp has proven to be ineffective in these playoffs, why keep running it out there?

    I understand why Q doesn’t want to play Toews and Kane together, but Kane needs more from his linemates. He can’t touch the puck without having two Bruins draped on him, this should create space for others (Sharp) but they aren’t capitalizing (enough) on the looks they are getting. When does Q go back to what he knows works? Toews between Kruger and Frolik was just ridiculous. Q is out thinking himself and it is bad news right now for the Hawks. Hopefully he pulls his head out of the sand before it’s too late.

    Everyone freaking out really needs to calm down. This is almost the exact same storyline as the semi’s. Hawks were badly outplayed and when they had chances a goalie stood on his head to keep them out. Yes, I understand that Boston is better than Detroit. However, I also understand that the Hawks aren’t out of it until they lose 4.

  46. Phil says:

    I am writing game 3 from last night off as our stinker for the series. The Hawks have laid eggs in each series so far and have roared back with a strong performance. I agree with others here that this has lots of resolve, and this should come to the forefront tomorrow night. Let’s hope the ice is a little better. That looked about as bad as it can get.

    The complaint list from last night is ridiculously long. Faceoffs terrible hence bad starts on power plays. Power play now not just bad , but embarrassing. I think it can’t get worse and it continues to spiral down. Reluctance to shoot is vexing. Setups rushed. They have lost confidence, that a goal scored could be solved. They just need to loosen up.

    I thought Bolland was coming around in game 1-2 at the UC here in the Finals, and then he just blows last night with dumb penalties, and playing with a lack of intensity. Not excusable in the playoffs. I think he is gone next year. Hawks must sign at least 1-2 quality centers especially a guy for the second line.

    I agree that Hossa must play Wednesday hurt or not. Easy for me to say, as I don’t know the severity of his injury. It is such a pity that the Cpt is playing in such a diminished state. Sad for me to see, as we all know his heart is large and he is giving everything he has. No slight against Bergeron intended, but he is not THAT much better on face-offs than Johnny Toews. Injuries though are part of the playoffs. Some of these maladies can be played through where other dings make it tough to bring the A game. Hossa not suiting up last night had to hurt the psyche of the teamd as he was apparently a late scratch.

    Corey Crawford stole us the first game with a fantastic performance. We need him to stand tall tomorrow night. It’s a must win tomorrow and I think the guys will come through. This has been the pattern all year. If the Hawks play really well I believe they will win. Let’s try and enjoy this ride while we are on it. We are IN the Cup finals and we can bring home the Stanley Cup. The boys just need to win tomorrow. Tip of the cap to the Bruins. They are playing well.

    One other thing I have mentioned before. Lucic, Marchand, Rask, and Chara have short tempers and can be goaded into taking dumb penalties and time off the ice. Shaw got in to Chara in game 1, and he triggered Marchand last night. Nice body slam reversal on Marchand by Shaw!

    The boys have to bring the full assault tomorrow, and I think they will.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  47. RyanDale says:

    Agree JS … Q is a bit reckless at this stage and he’s making himself look bad while CJ is looking like a genius. He’s far too good of a coach to be in that spot. Hope he’s got an answer Wed.

  48. Brian B says:

    Something I came across from back in the archives:

    Logan Reilly says:
    July 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm
    Chris Kuc twitter:

    Scouting report on Jamie Kompon from someone who would know: “utterly incompetent in handling power play.”

    I don’t believe we’ve gotten any better at it.

    The end of game flurry has me wondering if we shouldn’t change things up. Open up the ice and try to create more of what we saw in the last two minutes. I don’t think the extra man has as much to do with what we saw there as much as desperation did. This will of course mean Crawford will be on an island and left to man his post alone (insofar as the defense not being able to limit the SOG to 25-30). He’d be asked to do more than he has been. Personally, I don’t think he’ll handle it well, but if we can open up the scoring we have a chance at winning 6-5 instead of losing 2-0.

    Just reaching for straws, I know. But last night’s game didn’t leave me with much else to reach for. We’re not going to out hit Boston, we’re evidently not going to beat them at dump and chase, the power play is FUBAR at this point. What strengths do we have that can be exploited against Boston? Team speed and skill perhaps? If that’s all we’ve got then use as much of it as you can. Losing 2-0 is no better than losing 8-3.

    I know it’s not “playoff hockey”, just not sure what approach to take against these guys.

  49. joey Zamboni says:

    The Hawks tried to win game # 2 in the 1st period & it didn’t work. In game # 3 they were too laid back & allowed Boston to take it to them.

    Game # 4 – Hawks must look back on the last 2 games and learn from their mistakes. Like others have said here “its what Champions do!”

    The Hawks have shown they can dominate the Bruins, they just need the “desire” to do so. They need to get their laser like focus on winning the cup back! Thats much easier said than done, and much easier said & done when I’m safely sitting in my lounger!!!

    Hawks in 7 in front of the faithful feather heads!!!

  50. Ratboy36 says:

    Hossa “likely’ for tommorow night

    heres the lines I think
    20-19-10
    81-28-88
    29-65-25(worked all year)
    67-36-16
    ZUS take a seat
    2/4
    7/27
    8/32

  51. Tom Jaremka says:

    I think that the problem with the Hawks is that they read their own press clippings and believe them. They probably read this blog and read things like, “Hawks will take wings in 5 games and Hawks will take Bruins in 6 games” and think “we don’t have to put forth any effort, we’re better than everybody”.

    So, in truth, the HAwks should STOP reading this blog and get back to playing hockey!!

    For the record……..I picked the Hawks in 5 games over Detroit and 6 games over Boston. Sorry, I am a knucklehead.

  52. Mike says:

    Rat…..I like the shakeup but don’t think 28 at center or 20 on the top line is gonna happen. Use 13 instead of 55

    13/19/88 maybe create some room for Kane
    10/16/81 Energy from 16. 10 and 81 set each other up
    29/65/67 67 can easily take 25s spot on this line
    20/36/28 Again an energy line…..Bolland has GOT to play better

    26 and 25 taking a seat……OR OK use 26 and 36 can have a seat. In the end I think 36 gets the call

  53. RyanDale says:

    Brian, I do remember that quote, good call up by you. I laugh every time i see/hear FUBAR , great word, esp describing PP

    Tom, you’re good… at least you’re not a ca-nuckle…

    Obviously 36s G1 was just an aberration….he’s back to doing more harm than good. But Q loves him…he’ll be in there till the end

  54. JS says:

    Yikes. Between Josi getting 7/28 and Voynov getting 6/25 you have to wonder what Leddy is going to command.

    Also, pretty obvious from listening to the Q presser that he’s completely in his own head. Not putting Smith out in warm ups because they “didn’t want to tip their hand”

    IT’S BEN F’ING SMITH!!!

    What hand are you tipping? This doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.

    Q is coaching like he is the underdog with a less talented teams. Roll the strongest lines you possibly can and make them beat you at your game. Don’t try to get overly cute with the match ups.

    Mike- I think 13/19/88 would create negative room for Toews and Kane. 29/19/88 only scored 4 goals in the last two games against the Kings. WHY WERE THEY BROKEN UP!?!?! AHHHHHHH

    Ratboy- 10 and 20 are both LW. 88 and 81 are both RW.

  55. Ratboy36 says:

    I know their positions,I would just try somthing new.Cause it aint working now.81 and 88 have played together before obvious 88 at center.Yes it didnt work out for too long.But have 28 take the faceoffs and adjust accordingly.28 can hit when he wants and has more offense then a #13 but have him play that role.Since Kane doesnt wanna dig or work for the puck.He can try and make plays.20 can play all positions and maybe create space for 19 and 10.Since Toews numbers have dropped and they like to throw him off the dot.Sharps there for back up.I like your “tipping your hand”,I found it wierd myself.WHY 19 88 and 29 were seperated? The top lines are at a stand still.Neither can make anything happen.I think Qis trying to spread out the fire power so we are not limited.But watch thatll change by 2nd period tommorow.

    I can almost guarantee we will win game 4,Game 7 ticket prices are way too much money for the NHL to turn down.And theyll only go up when that game becomes imminent if it already hasnt to some.

  56. Tom Jaremka says:

    JS……..I think Q is playing “not to lose” instead of playing “to win”. I’m with you……….put every fast, quick and skill guy we have in the line up and skate the Bruins up and down the ice until they puke from exhaustion. We are so good north and south and east and west that we have shown in this series how we can out skate them. Yet Bolland is out there acting like a complete douche and we are falling into their trap of slowing the game down to a snails pace.

    I hope that between now and tomorrow at 7pm the Hawks “wake up” and do what they do best……skate.

  57. JS says:

    I understand what you are trying to say Ratboy… but before we think about bringing anyone new into the mix just look at games from 10 days ago.

    29-19-88 was SCARY. 4 goals in 2 games. Kane was flying because he had space. Bickell has been a no-show this series and using his physicallity on this line might wake him up.
    10-26-81 had a handful of pretty goals and the way they play together on both ends of the ice SHOULD create matchup issues for either one of the top two lines for Boston.
    20-65-25 speed speed speed. Cycle cycle forecheck scoring chance cycle cycle. They might not have scored goals, but they generated chances and their speed is nearly indefensible.
    16-36-67 Bolland has been bad. We can all agree on that. However, when these three were together they worked pretty damn well as a checking line. Give me more, just give me less minutes unless you can tell early on that Bolland isn’t in useless money sink mode.

    Also, something I would like to see (although it probably doesn’t matter if they can’t win a faceoff), when the other team ices the puck and they are gassed. LOAD UP! I believe it happend a few times where the third line on the Bruins would ice the puck and then rather than take the opportunity to try to generate a scoring chance, the 4th line would go out there. While I don’t mind the full “rolling of the lines”, I feel like the icing rule was put in place for a reason. Take advantage of it with a line that can actually score.

    I don’t even want to get into it on the PP. I’m sure it’s too late to make any changes that will matter. But one easy thing to fix is not having your only right handed shot on the powerplay on the right boards. I’m no master of geometry, but I feel like a right handed shot on the left wing gives you a much better angle.

    I’m sorry for posting on this thread so much. I’ve had a lot of hockey thoughts over the last week that I haven’t been able to share because Manchester, Tennessee is where Jesus lost his sandals.

  58. Negzz says:

    I wrote before game-1 that we shouldn’t believe the day-before practice pairings as “Q would have to be out of his mind to break up 29/19/88″ as it was working so well against LA. Bickell was strong when asked to make problems in front of the net for 19/88.. Kane is simply not so dangerous he needs to be split from Toews to create matchup problems for the B’s. Q outsmarted himself as since that move both 29 and 88 have been non-factors. Hawks need a net presence and forceful player on line-1 or forget it. Stupid and stubborn if he sticks to his mistake in strategy.

    The good news?
    * Goaltending: CC has been solid and sometimes great/clutch (can’t believe I’m writing that.)
    * Dominating when motivated: The Hawks have shown they can overwhelm the B’s when they’re willing to make the commitment and sacrifice to do what has to be done. Yes, Rask is on, so what. Bring it for 3 periods and he’ll cough it up one way of the other.
    * The “stinker” provision: Agree with earlier poster who noted Hawks lay an egg at least once a series and typically come back hauling a$$. Let’s plan on this happening Wed nite…

  59. Ryan says:

    As JS, Negzz and others (including myself) have said 29-19-88 should be together on that top line and 10-26-81 on 2nd line had played in the playoffs. Coach Q stated that he wanted to switch the lines back to the way they were in reg season because he felt it balanced the lines. The trouble with that statement is that we hadn’t played our “Reg Season” lines since the Wild series. Seemed like at least 2 of 10-81-88-20 were juggled throughout Det and LA series’.

    I go into game 4 with the following lines:

    29-19-88
    10-26-81
    20-65-25
    16-36-67

    If I am Q I have a sit down with Bolland, Handzus and Stalberg before the game as they are players that could probably get flipped if things don’t work out. If Zeus can’t find some of that good chemistry he had with Hossa you gotta bump Bolland to that 2nd line. And if Stalberg struggles on 3rd line bump Frolik up to the 3rd line and the put 16-26-25 out there sparingly. I have a feeling all the players will respond tho.

  60. Brian B says:

    And why the defensive flip AGAIN last night? Hasn’t that experiment failed once already? Changing the defense just for the sake of change is silly. You already know it doesn’t work, trying it in the playoffs doesn’t make it any smarter.

    Trying to mix the weaker players in with 2 and 7 only makes 2 and 7 weaker players and your defense suffers across the board.

  61. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    The Hawks were outclassed in game 3. And the Hawks were outplayed for major portions of games 1 and 2. The Bruins could have won game 1 but they didn’t…we did. I’m just at a point where I don’t have much hope left. I think Boston will go for the kill in game 4, just like we did against LA in games 4 and 5 of that series.

    Toews isn’t going to step up. We’ve been waiting for that since Minnesota. The conclusion is he is battling injury. He’s very doubtful going to find an untapped energy source in game 4.

    Kane isn’t a great player, but rather a great offensive talent that is reliant on a certain mix of linemates AND the right type opponent. He might come out in game 4 and flash his offensive creativity, but I don’t think it will be significant.

    Hossa is 34 years old and obviously hurt to the degree that it required him to sit out a Stanley Cup Finals game. Therefore I expect a much less than 100% Hossa in game 4.

    Sharp has been the steadiest “core” forward. He should be fine in game 4, but he’s not going to overcome Bergeron, Marchand, Lucic and Krejci all by himself.

    Handzus is finished. We got WAY more out of him than could ever be expected. But the expiration date has hit. He can’t even win a face-off right now.

    Bickell appears to be significantly fatigued. Understandable I guess. Can he dial it up a couple of notches? I don’t know.

    Bolland is a trainwreck who I look forward to seeing traded this summer. He’s a headcase with zero offensive generation value.

    Saad is playing with energy, but he’s essentially a non-factor right now.

    Kruger and Frolik have been enormously valuable in what they do. More of the same can be expected, but on the flipside neither is going to drive the offense.

    Shaw has been our best forward. Which is a both huge compliment and a damning statement all at the same time. You won’t win a Cup when Shaw has surpassed Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp as your best forward on the ice. And Shaw can’t win a face-off either.

    Keith appears to have left his “A” game with the series against the Kings. Maybe he’s gassed.

    Seabrook has been simply OK, but also looks tired.

    Hjalmarsson has been rock solid and the best defenseman on this team throughout 4 series.

    Oduya has been very good.

    Leddy has been a trainwreck. No other way to put it.

    Rosival has been good up until the Boston series, but now has become exposed. Which isn’t surprisingly given that he’s a 6th defenseman going up against an elite team in Boston.

    Crawford has been team playoff MVP. He has been unbelievably sound in net. But is it reasonable to expect Crow to stand on his head in games 4 and 5 AGAIN? That’s an unfair burden on a goalie who is the primary reason why we even made it to the Finals in the first place.

    I still have hope…but my head says Boston closes out this series in 5 games. Meaning. I think this series ends in Chicago on Saturday night. Not called doom and gloom. Rather 40 years of intently following this sport and this team framing my judgment. Hope I am VERY wrong. But I don’t think I will be.

  62. JS says:

    This is way too friggin redundant from the Wings series. “All of these players are overrated and not good enough for a Stanley Cup!”

    The two best teams in the world are playing for the Stanley Cup and if you don’t think this series has been pretty even so far, you are wrong.

  63. KingKaner says:

    How has this series been pretty even so far? The greatest of optimists would not say that.

  64. Ratboy36 says:

    Great points as usual JS.How has this series been even so far? Game 2 should of went to the Hawks but the Bruins got the W.Game 1 was ANYONES Hockey game.Goal post after goal post Monster save after Monster.You notice whos doing the scoring?Toews or Hossa? NO Bergeron or Ference or Jagr NO those top lines are at a stand still.Its the bottom 3 making things happen and their killing themselves to do it.SO last night was a balance shifter,but a couple of chances blown and some penalties not called.That could of been a diffrent Hockey game.Oh and that #81 guy not playing his 2way game which rivals the best didnt play.And we only let them score two.Rask has a bad night last night it would of been a diffrent story.

  65. Ryan says:

    Great point King Kaner the series really hasn’t been even. We won game 1 and had a 2nd regualtion goal taken from us in game 2. We should be up 2-1 in the series.

    We have played poorly in each series how does that magically slant this series in favor of Boston?

  66. Ryan says:

    @Brain B – Completely agree about the D pairings, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Keith and Seabrook, Hammer and Oduya, Rozy and Leddy should be the pairings. We must work from a position of strength. That is why I think we need 29-19-88 on top line work from a position of strength.

  67. Ryan says:

    Just to clarify my earlier point. Game 3’s in this series have been terrible, another bad game 3 doesn’t mean we are done.

  68. JS says:

    Game 1 either team could have won.

    Game 2 either team could have won. Who knows how the second/third period unfold if the Hawks get credit for the goal/non-goal.

    The Hawks were destroyed in every statistical category in game 3 and lost by 2. Many people would (and did) argue that both the penalty on Bolland and the penalty on Hammer could have been not called. I know the 2 goal lead in that game seemed insurmountable, but if you think that you haven’t watched much of the Hawks this season.

    The Bruins made the proper adjustments they needed to and won game 3. Time for the Hawks to shift their strategy and see what happens in game 4. Going back to Chicago 2-2 favors the Hawks, yes?

    Seems pretty even to me.

  69. wall says:

    Amen!!! Rufus

  70. Tom Jaremka says:

    If I listen to all the “experts”, the Boston Bruins are the second coming of the 80’s Oilers. It’s hard to tell who has the upper hand in a series where there are so many momentum swings from shift to shift and game to game. When the Bruins work the puck down low and use the body, they have momentum. When the Hawks skate hard through the neutral zone and create turnovers with speed, they have momentum.

    I’m not sure that any line adjustments will help the Hawks. At this stage of the game it is simply, “who wants it more”? I’ve coached many high school and college games and there comes a time when a coach has to look at the assets that he has on the ice and ask them, “are we good enough as a team to beat our opponent”? In my opinion, we have more than enough talent, heart and desire to beat the Bruins. We have had some bad luck in this series, so far. That bad luck has translated to momentum and victories for the Bruins.

    I hope that tonight before the game, someone stands up in that locker room and makes sure that all the players are on the same page with the same goals in mind. If it’s not Toews, I hope that Sharp or Keith will do it. We need leadership in the worst way. I could care less if Hossa plays or not. This is not about one player, this is about all the players.

    Someone needs to “flip the switch” tonight!!!!

  71. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    My 40 years plus years of intently following hockey either shape or jade my perspective on this Stanley Cup Finals. I continue to think the Bruins win this thing in 5. But IF the Hawks can win game 4 then there is obviously renewed hope. Game 4 is an absolute MUST WIN for Chicago. There is no other way to say it.

    I guess I have been watching a different series versus most of you because Boston has clearly had the upper hand in play with the exception of in goal where Crawford has essentially matched Rusk. But then again, Rusk has not faced remotely the attack that Crow has. We are are the point where the core players either step up or they don’t. If we are to win Game 4 and have any hope, then it can’t be the 3rd and 4th lines doing the heavy lifting once again. Toews, Kane, Sharp, Keith will need to better than and overcome Bergeron, Lucic, Marchant, Krejci, Charo, Seidenberg.

  72. icehogst says:

    the hawks need to shoot more and think less. short, crisp passes leading to a shot and ensuing scrum out front. Skate! if boston sets up across the blue line, chip it deep, get it, one pass, shoot! no ragging the puck-kane- or motionless stick handling waiting for something to happen-keith. initiate, attack and reaction. hawks win the motion game. bruins win the smother game.

  73. icehogst says:

    ……..and anyone who misses the net will be caned in between periods.

  74. Phil says:

    First of all Toni Amonte can stick his Hossa comments where the sun don’t shine. What a POS!

    Some simple things that if they get accomplished will result in a Blackhawks win. Redundant of course to say this is a must game.

    Puck possession with speed into neutral zone with forwards all flying
    Winning puck battles, especially on faceoffs won or lost.
    Shots in the center of the offensive zone.
    Traffic in front of Rask. Shoot along the ice or pick the top shelf.
    Good d zone clearance.
    Forwards with defensive tenacity cutting off passing lanes back to trailing Bruin point men.
    Last and most important. Exert the will needed to win. These teams are pretty evenly matched. I think we can win tonight as the boys have rallied big time after bad games all year.

    LETS GO HAWKS!!!

  75. spike36 says:

    How about switching Sharp to center? He’s winning face-offs and it was the position he played in 2010.

    20/10/81?

  76. elio bevilacqua says:

    ……I’ve been a Blackhawk fan for a long time even though I am from the Toronto area….since the Bobby Hull and Stan Makita era thanks to Hockey Night in Canada…it does appear that the Bruins have the upper hand in this series and we will know tonight how difficult of a comeback the Hawks will have to make to win the Cup……..the Bruins can be beaten and the Leafs almost did surprisingly…..they simply acknowledged their mistakes…..with a mixture of youth, skill and a few heavyweights they stood up to the bullying Bruins…..of course that was the opening round and the Bruins have shaped up since then…..but I believe that if the Blackhawks return to their game of speed and skill they have a chance to beat the Bruins …..it is only a matter of confidence and overcoming their intimidating tactics….good luck Hawks…..

  77. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    The “shoot the puck” argument is over-simplification. In case some of you haven’t been paying attention, the Bruins plop a 6’10” defensive monster right in front of the net and Rask.

    Give Boston a ton of credit defensively speaking. They shut down the shooting lanes brilliantly….Lucic and Bergeron especially….and their defensive pairings tie up the stick and block the lanes very well. And their final line of defense is Charo.

    Not easy to shoot the puck against this team.

  78. Brian B says:

    Rufas you are correct with respect to Rask and Chara, but the Hawks need to be quicker on releasing the puck. Icehogst has a valid point, they’re taking too much time with the puck when the have it on their stick. They need to be quicker and sharper. If you give Rask time to set up he’s really tough to beat.

    My sister-in-law, who hasn’t watched a dozen hockey games her entire life even posted on her FB that the puck will not find the net if you don’t shoot (she was miffed that Kane failed to release a shot by trying to be too cute with the puck the other night).

    Low hard shots with guys looking for loose pucks. You’re not going to blow very many past this guy. We need to keep the puck moving around the net.

    With respect to the PP, I’d fire the PP coach right there in the locker room before the game and tell the team to forget everything they’ve been told and play the PP as if it’s 5×5. It couldn’t yield worse results than we’ve got now. Probably the most talented collection of skill and the absolute worst in the league at PP?? The players are not the problem.

  79. Dave says:

    the bruins swept the pens who were supposed to be the miami heat of hockey what makes anyone think or have reason to believe this season is not over bowman put together a good team but the old adage that a good big man will beat a good small man was written for this circus why is it that when other teams get first round first overall picks they get big strapping players crosby etc the hawks get kane 5 foot eight 175 i know a team has to lose a game but to not show up is gut wrenching the bruins had more shots on crawford during the hawks power play than the hawks did on rask i dont know if i can watch wed i cant take the stress i love hockey been watching and playing since 66 i love the hawks maybe thats why it hurts to see them play like they dont belong in the cup finals DK

  80. Tim G says:

    The ESPN Chicago “ChiHawks” twitter feed just said that Hossa wasn’t on the ice to start practice.

    Lines are reported as

    29/19/88
    22/26/10
    20/65/25
    16/36/67
    13/28/52 skated as a 5th line.

    Wonde if 28 would acutally play over 22. I can’t imagine Mayers provides any tactical advantage. Q just might be trying to give everyone a shot. Who knows at this point.

  81. Tim G says:

    19 and 22 were both just as reported as saying they are taking it with Hossa and he will be playing…

    I guess we will know in about 7 hours.

  82. Tails says:

    @Tim: If you replace Mayers with Hossa or Smith (if Hossa can’t go), then those lines are what I would go with.

  83. Ratboy36 says:

    Hossa played 64 games in 2010 he played 57 in 2011 and played 40 out of 48 this season.Semms like Amonte is correct that he doesnt play full seasons.Amonte is a former Captain of Chicago.SO POS doesnt quite describe good ole #10.

  84. Steven P says:

    Man half the people on hear are already giving up on the Hawks. One bad game and that’s all it takes? Wow..

  85. RyanDale says:

    Alright enough Hossa bashing ……. Amonte is full of shit. …Go look at the numbers . HE PLAYS and plays better than most ever thought about playing….. EFF Amonte

    1998-99: 60 games in his rookie season.

    2009-10: 57 games in his first season with the ‘Hawks. Remember, he missed the first couple of months recovering from shoulder surgery. He certainly wasn’t coasting for the playoffs.

    2010-11: 65 games in a season when he was out with a couple of injuries. Again, most of those injuries came in the first half of the season

    Three seasons out of 14. That is far from a frequent occurrence.

  86. JS says:

    No RyanDale! The only seasons Hossa has ever played have been with the Hawks! The other 12 (?) years of his career don’t matter!

    Rufus- I don’t think you are picking up on what people mean by “shoot the puck”. While you are completely correct about the defensive prowess of the B’s, there have been multiple occasions in which the Hawks have tried to make an extra pass instead of taking a shot when they have an open lane. I don’t think people mean they want the Hawks shooting from beyond the blue line, but rather to fire the puck immediately when they see the lane open up because it’s very rare that it will be open for that long.

  87. RyanDale says:

    I didn’t include this year, giving him the benefit of doubt for missing 8 of 48. You know, since he had that manslaughter thing to worry about!

  88. Dave says:

    lord give me strength to watch another tepid attempt to play hockey by the hawks
    ive seen more enthusiasm and effort in beer leagues and the officiating is better in beer leagues too Dave

  89. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    The officiating has been equal for both sides. And when it comes to late stage playoff games the refs have always let them play. I have difficulty putting blame on officiating so far as the Hawks go. We’ve gotten away with our share of idiot plays.

    I suspect we will see Marchand try to rattle Hossa tonight. Need to be prepared if Hossa can’t contribute and needs his minutes dramatically cut back.

    Key to the game if I had to pick one? Crawford. Need for him to stand on his head yet again.

  90. Negzz says:

    @Tim-G:
    29/19/88?
    22-81/26/10?
    20/65/25?
    16/36/67?

    Q: So, you’re coming back to your senses? BFT..

    Bring it on and see what we’ve got. If we win we’re back and in good position recapturing home ice. If we lose, at least we went down with our strength and swinging hard. As crazy at is sounds when listening to the media/etc, I like our chances tonight, history shows Hawks don’t take kindly to losing “bad” and come back out hard and flying. Let’s do this thing!

  91. JS says:

    Whelp, after that game 4 it’s pretty obvious that this series is far from even.

    (PS I’m so excited to make fun of you guys in the wrap)

  92. Ryan says:

    no shit JS. Rufus, Wall and the rest that said Hanzus is done and washed up are turtling more than LeChoke James right now. Zeus was a beast tonight. And Boston needed the worst sequence in Saad’s career for goal one and the luckiest bounce ever for goal 3. some will still say Boston dominated, cant wait

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