Bolts Better Blackhawks, Series Tied

It took two goaltenders and two Patrick Sharp penalties in the third period for the Tampa Bay Lightning to outlast the Blackhawks and even the Stanley Cup Final.

Chicago had a much better start to Game Two than they did in the series opener on Wednesday, but the opening 20 minutes came to a close with the Hawks trailing by one once again. Cedric Paquette was the only Tampa player to beat Corey Crawford in the first period, scoring the first goal of the night 12:56 into the game. Crawford and Ben Bishop got plenty of work in the first, as Chicago put 11 shots on net and 12 Tampa shots found their way through.

Bishop’s best save of the period came on a great chance for Jonathan Toews with just under five minutes left in the first.

The second period became the track meet most fans expected when the series began.

Andrew Shaw tied the game 3:04 into the middle stanza, tipping a loose puck past Bishop for his fifth of the playoffs. Alex Killorn went to the box only 1:22 later, the Blackhawks took the lead on another stellar play by Teuvo Teravainen.

Set up by Marian Hossa, Teravainen once again stepped up and made a play in the biggest series of his young career.

Chicago’s lead was short-lived, though. Nikita Kucherov deflected a Jason Garrison shot past Crawford only 1:32 after the Teravainen goal. The goal was Kucherov’s tenth of the playoffs and any momentum the Hawks felt from taking the lead was nullified.

With just over six minutes remaining in an up-and-down second period, Tyler Johnson banked a shot in off Crawford from a terrible angle to give the Lighting a 3-2 lead. After the Hawks did an effective job against “The Triplets” in Game One, they made a major impact on Saturday night with two huge goals in the second period.

The third period brought plenty of drama, on and off the scoreboard.

Coach Joel Quenneville mixed up his lines in an effort to create more offense, splitting Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Hossa moved up to the line with Toews and Brandon Saad, where he spent most of the regular season, and Kane moved to the second line with Brad Richards and Kris Versteeg.

Chicago opened the period with a lot of energy and Brent Seabrook tied the game with his seventh of the postseason. Tampa took issue with the goal; Hossa’s stick was tangled up with Bishop’s left skate as the puck flew past him. The goal stood, however, and the game stayed tied.

Then the Patrick Sharp Penalty Parade began.

Sharp was called for a questionable slash at 4:59, but the Hawks were able to effectively kill off the minor penalty. But as Sharp came back on the ice, he immediately turned the puck over in front of the net and, only 18 seconds after coming out, he went right back in the box for high-sticking.

As the second Sharp penalty began, however, Bishop headed for the bench. Andrei Vasilevskiy came in for 1:32 of the power play, and was on the ice long enough to qualify for the win.

A Garrison blast on the following power play was tipped in front of Crawford by a friendly stick and found the back of the net for the game-winning goal.

After the goal, Bishop re-appeared from the dressing room and replaced Vasilevskiy – but only briefly. Bishop soon left for the room again, and moments later Andrej Sustr shot the puck out of play for a delay of game penalty.

Chicago wasn’t able to capitalize on the power play, and Vasilevskiy held strong in the final moments to clinch the victory.

Bishop finished the night making 21 saves against 24 shots in 50:33, and Vasilevskiy was able to make five big saves in 9:13 to close out the game. Crawford made 20 saves against 24 shots in the loss.

There were aspects of the box score that were dominated by the Blackhawks, especially the faceoff circle. Chicago won 35 of 54 draws in the game, led by Toews (11 of 16), Antoine Vermette (10 of 12) and Marcus Kruger (8 of 10). Unfortunately, the final score didn’t favor the Hawks.

Sharp led the Hawks with five hits and four penalty minutes, while Richards led Chicago with five shots on net. Niklas Hjalmarsson once again led the Hawks with four blocked shots, while Duncan Keith and Johnny Oduya were credited with three each.

Keith skated 28:52 in the game and Seabrook was on the ice for 28:43 as the Hawks once again relied heavily on their top four defensemen. Kyle Cumiskey didn’t have his best night and was limited to only 5:08, an evening that may open the door for Trevor van Riemsdyk to make his Cup Final debut in Chicago.

After the game, word was that Bishop may have an issue with his left leg. That storyline will carry through to Monday when the series continues at the United Center.

78 thoughts on “Bolts Better Blackhawks, Series Tied

  • June 6, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Tampa coach is a whiny b_t_h. He’s a lawyer by trade; that explains part of it. Snide guy irrespective of that. Who chews gum like that? And bad hair dye job as well. Q may make strange and incorrect lineup decisions once in awhile, but as far as we all kmow, he’s as classy as they come. Hawks are a LOCK Monday night.

  • June 6, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    PS. Tampa coach actually makes Alain Vigneault likeable in comparison. And he’s on the medal stand of babies.

  • June 6, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Too Bad-could be up 2 zip.
    Hopefully Sharp makes up for the 4 minutes-it would be nice to get a goal from a goal scorer.
    Tab jinxed the Hawks with his last headline about Crow-he has been a difference maker in the past , but a better effort is necessary-I don’t like his positioning on shots towards the posts or wide that get tipped-and I watched the game at a friends and his son was visiting who happens to be the goalie coach for the Capitals AHL team-I asked for his thoughts and he agreed-needs to leave less room on the shot side.
    The 3-2 goal was bizarre. Wouldn’t happen again in 100 tries.

  • June 6, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    ^^snide is right. What was with the covering his mouth when talking with the refs after Seabs goal? Paranoid much? What a douche.

  • June 6, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    My thoughts are all over the place…first off, I’m sad as heck…we had ’em..2nd, Hossa is one slick and, as someone posted, sly old dog. Next thought ..I irrationally but intensely dislike that gum chewing smarmy hinkey lawyer Jon Cooper…Boudreau gave me the creeps but in a funny kind of way, Yeo is a hipster dufus and we put him in his place pronto but this Cooper dude…I see red….don’t like lawyers too much ( who does?)…Q, my man, you gotta beat this gum smacking, overconfident “never played any hockey” marketing ad man pretending to be a coach. I thought we played ok, for a loss anyway.

  • June 6, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Odd and troubling game. Crawford was never comfortable in goal. The Runblad – Cumiesky disaster waiting to happen was not good. And Sharp added to his miseries on the season. At age 33 it’s just all of a sudden fallen apart for Sharp. The youngsters who can skate on the Bolts have given Sharp fits.

    Feel good this is a 6 game Series and win for the Hawks. Assuming Crawford doesn’t play like that again.

  • June 6, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    We did exactly what we were supposed to do………steal a game in Tampa.

    The Hawks need to play better at home. I am confident that they will.

  • June 6, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Tab- Ya had to wake up the “Crow doubters”???

    Toews/Kane better show up soon…

    Crow won the 1st game… Crow LOST the 2nd game… 2 terrible goals– would have been better for Hawks to be down 2 or 3 – so SD could get his feet wet in SC…
    Now if Crow shits the bed again… SD will really have the pressure on

    Just to throw salt on the wounds… Cooper is going to beat Hawks with a goalie off the Bench!!!

  • June 7, 2015 at 12:27 am

    If the new kid plays more for Tampa, he’s going to get plastered with shots and won’t handle the pressure. The old Russians had ice water in their veins. That’s not the case anymore. Another goalie to break. They’ll get him.

  • June 7, 2015 at 12:38 am

    Crawford wasn’t the only one who made mistakes. Yes that was a soft goal but the two Sharp penalites hurt also. Every game has turnovers and mistakes that eventually lead to goals. It’s a team loss. I think the boys are pissed off aboot this game and I’m thinking Toews, Kane, Sharp, etc start to pick up the scoring.

  • June 7, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Suck it, Hawks fans. This team is young and built for another eight years, easily.

    Love ya, Coop!

  • June 7, 2015 at 12:49 am

    Who cares about 8 years right now? Next team to win tree takes it.

  • June 7, 2015 at 12:57 am

    Uh, first, Tampa Digger – blow me.

    Now, that that’s out of the way, (and, *sincerely*, “blow me.”) the Hawks win as a team and lose as a team, but, mostly this one is on a soft goal and a couple of STUPID, unnecessary penalties.

    Anyone else notice Kucherov is a cheapshot artist(/prick)? I would never wish harm/injury on anyone, but I hope somebody busts his windpipe…you know, just to acknowledge we appreciate how he plays…

    No time to panic – back home at 1-1…GO HAWKS!!!

  • June 7, 2015 at 1:06 am

    After getting lucky with the win in Game One, tonight was a real disappointment. CC was barely OK and that is not good enough to win in the SCF. Goals like Tampa’s third will prevent Crow from ever being recognized as great. Those examples of a complete lack of mental focus happen just too often.

    Sharp continues to be an embarrassment – poor character and talent that has clearly gone away. Unfortunately finding a taker for him may be impossible this off season.

    Knowing our big guys have yet to make a contribution and still the series is tied at one gives one plenty of reason for optimism. Glad there is just the single day off.

  • June 7, 2015 at 1:08 am

    Blow me (twice)

    All in one response, all it was missing to show your complete homosexuality was a Lower Wacker or Hancock reference. Enjoy your gay sex!

  • June 7, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Enjoy it while you can, Tampa Pigger

  • June 7, 2015 at 1:17 am

    It never feels good to lose, even when a loss was more or less expected. The only mandate to win this series was they had to win one in Tampa, and they did. Still sucks to lose a winnable game. Toews’ goal didn’t go in, and Kane’s absurd entry with 30 seconds left Got all the way to themed boards but didn’t amount to a goal. They had fleeting chances but their lines got beat overall, that can’t keep happening. Crawford didn’t look as bad to me as he did to the intermission crew, his lack of spazzing out when the puck was behind him in the crease saved a goal, I don’t know what Milbury was freaking out about, but I don’t think that’s the first time that’s ever been said. Off to Chicago with home ice advantage.

  • June 7, 2015 at 3:11 am

    We will not win many games when Kane has 0 shots and our 4rth line is our best line on the ice. Terrific give and go by TT. As Tab suggested, I bet we see TVR for Cumiskey in the next game. The series is still early but the Hawks have regressed since the last several games of the Duck series. I hope they are not taking the Bolts lightly. I agree with Smitty, Crawford will never be considered an elite goalie as long as he lets goals like the third one in. I do not fault him for the other goals. The Hawks need a 60 minute effort Monday night.

  • June 7, 2015 at 3:48 am

    Loved it Dickie Dunn. Now we should go put the foil on.

  • June 7, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Who really thought we would go into Tampa and steal two games? They did not get here by luck. That is a good club in the other dressing room. Walking away with the split after not playing our best game yet, is a win to me.
    JT and PK will deliver. TT is getting a ton of confidence and may end up being the difference maker in these finals.

    This from the captain after last nights loss.

    “It’s not time to get frustrated, it’s not time to give up. You stay with it and eventually something clicks and when it does, it feels really good. This is the time of year where you just empty the tank, throw everything you can at them. You just continue no matter what. You don’t make excuses. You don’t throw in the towel. You keep working for that offense. It comes at a price, too.”

    Go Hawks!

  • June 7, 2015 at 7:27 am

    The 2nd goal was terrible too… yes it was deflected- deflections are hard to blame on a goalie- BUT- he saw the shot was coming… should have been down in Butterfly taking away ALL of the bottom of the net… instead of standing and taking up 2 pads worth of net… bad!!!

    Cooper- must be a great coach… he has taken away Kane/Toews so far…

    Q will have last change… so we will see… but if The $20M duo don’t show up soon- TB will win going away!!!

    Another Jinx… who was the guy here bragging about the triplets w/ 1 shot in Game 1??? What has 19/88 done???

    Now Cooper is going to Butt-hump us with Vaseline —-(as his goalie)- just to make it feel good

  • June 7, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Q might even start thinking about shifting Kane on bottom lines ( A lot!!!)- to get The worst Players against- cuz top 6 are smothering kane!!!

  • June 7, 2015 at 7:35 am

    26 and 5 have to be benched. They get knocked off the puck so easily and too many turnovers for 5 minutes a game. TVR for sure but what about Pokka.
    I know it’s a long shot but he can’t do any worse than 26 and 5. I don’t want to see 44 again though.

  • June 7, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Only observations is . . . Bolts Team Speed makes up for a lot of mistake, chances they take with d-men who not only pinch but carry the puck in and make plays below the dots. Team Speed not one guy allows you to be more aggressive.

    Bolts can push and take a lot of chances ( which they have not been caught yet but will) because the Hawks are NOT FAST as a Team nor individuals. Even putting Tevo and Kane on one line if your watching is no added speed or faster. They are easily caught up to and held, checked or defended. Bolts as a TEAM get back more than any team I ever saw ( seen a lot) when you watch, watch how is is 3 or 4 guys all skating back as a unit, fast, if YOU WATCH HAWKS they skate back one at a time with Hossa first never getting in front of players but close then Toews 10 feet behind him and then Kane 5 feet behind him, that is still great defense but NOT WHAT THE BOLTS ARE BUILT ON. They come up the ice as a unit FAST and get back FAST as they dont have to do what some here suggest “shadow” or worry where is Toews they DONT CARE, in Hockey you just need athletic bodies back on defense . . . even with minor skills once you got position well you won.

    last funny observation since the Hawks are not built to play Physical a la DUCKS or KINGS and are not built to play FAST a la BOLTS they do seem to appear to have challenges, but they are built on skill, sticks and quick to the puck and on four lines. They will out last the BOLTS but at times it their lack of speed will be painful as was lack of physical vs Ducks was painful.

    Hawks are not a good dump and chase or even ship and chase team they need to carry it in . . .if you still think hawks are pretty fast watch how few time on a clean dump in we are first to the puck (only fourth line does it) every other line is late and to win it with a poke check is asking a lot.

    We need BICK back i still fee l he has a concussion and all teams dance around that.

    Bolts playing perfect games but Bishop BLOWS and will cost them the series if he is back in the nets. Must keep Bolts off the power play.

    As Hawks have done already they are offensively the better team, defensively when YOU clog up the middle the only hockey 101 on that if YOU ARE GOING TO SCREEN TO GOAL TENDER YOU BETTER BLOCK THE SHOOT, toews and others last night cost a few goals not Crows. So if your going to pack it in and force them to the outside the middle has to be a wall and right now it ain’t even close and they only got 20 shots? But to me pretty heavy and good shots.

    Hawks will win BIG on MONDAY, real big but this SWEEP I SAW was a drunken stupor.

  • June 7, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Runblad – Cumiesky played horrible period but they aren’t gonna play perfect as we know.

    Hawks can notcleanly get the puck out of our own end. I can explain it but it would be a very long post, lets just say
    1- Our forwards continue to hug the boards to far up towards the blue line
    2- Our forwards are smaller so they cant trap the puck, hold it and proceed to advance
    3- Small forwards means it is a BATTLE every time they get the puck and the D-man just collapse and with SPEED m they see it coming, not good
    4-You can exit across your crease and “off the boards” Hawks now right up the boards is predictable, Hawks in maybe 3 games did exits right in front of Crow.
    5- It is okay not to pass the puck weakly and turn it over, hold it, wait for help
    6- Pass it back behind the net agian, dotn rush
    7- Most importantly bring that forward down lower, make a shorter pass and just make one more pass, Hawks sadly always look for a break away pass that makes some think HAWKS have some speed when it is the PASS that has speed.
    8- Our forwards need to learn to battle lift sticks, and get to the puck with support up the middle

    right now they are easy peasy to defend and they MUST CARRY THE PUCK OUT or it’s a long series.

    Go hawks Bolts will Blow it! Bolts played 2 perfect games Hawks have yet to!

  • June 7, 2015 at 8:14 am

    I thought TVR would play for Runblad, but he might get in for 26 instead.

    Sharp’s game was pretty brutal and I just don’t see him making plays for others, and for a long time now even himself. If Bickell can go, I could see 29 back on the second line and 23 in for 10 on the third.

  • June 7, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Sharp is on wrong line. Sharp is a good forechecker but he is getting worn down. Bikc with Vermette and TNT would change everything! Instantly. Get Sharp with Hossa as Hossa works the boards and even dump ins at times like a masters class.

    Why the Sharp bashing, guy can score, but he needs to be passed to in his spot very much like Vermette who also is called upon to crash the boards on these lame weak timed dump in’s hawks execute or try to execute.

    So when we bash ensure the player is on a line in which his skill set is optimized. If he is like them give us some insight. Sharp has played hard and is on line with TNT who does not forecheck and Vermette who just 10 days ago was told FINISH YOUR FUCKING CHECKS and Vermett is, plus to me he is showing, dare i say it SPEED burst of speed at time.

    TNT is marvelous!

  • June 7, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Rick Bowness is the mastermind of the Bolts, make no mistake about it. Cooper is just the translater. Steve Thomas is no slouch, either.

  • June 7, 2015 at 9:20 am

    MtM- that is what I am worried about… Cooper sees Bishop- not reading the puck/shooter… is going to put in Vaseline… and Vaseline- only has to be OK- with the lack of Quality shots the Hawks are putting on goal…

    MtM- good thoughts -as usual- on Hawks speed, how they are built, sticks/quick… and how they might exit zone…

    At the end of Day- TB is faster… Hawks are down 2 Dmen… Cooper- is a very smart guy… Look how well- his team- has scouted Hawks PP… any time Hawks have pass from Right Half boards to point… TB- is pressing/attacking both Hawk players- cuz … NOBODY in middle of ice… so No where for Hawks to go really.

    On TB- PP- Cooper/bolts.. pressed on Goal line/boards… TB- is swinging Pucks around/behind net to weak side Boards- cuz- Hawks love to sag/play tight box/cheating to puck side— that pass is not stop-able… AND making the Hawk’s PK box… MOVE the most/chase the most/work the most.. If TB attacks from the points… Hawk PK- has very little movement work to do in that sagging box…

    But- The side/side behind net pass- is really smart way to attack/make Hawk PK move/work…

  • June 7, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Iceman, I love Q but let’s not get carried away calling him as classy as they come… I remember him grabbing his nuts and making lewd gestures to the refs not too long ago.

  • June 7, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Tampa Digger, “Suck it, Hawks fans” — what response were you seeking? When you troll expect reaction.

    From ” blow me – Just those two words you say when you cant be bothered arguing with someone. (example) “Stop being such an asshole, your so self centered and” (interuption by you) “oh blow me!” ” – it has nothing to do with my sexual orientation, pinhead.

  • June 7, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Just imagine if hawks weren’t able to use Kanes cap space in the post season (Vermette and Desjardins) and Weber was healthy in round one. This board would have no traffic. In my opinion Hawks were ultimately beaten by a couple of lucky bounces. Look at TB’s goal in game one, Johnsons goal (man that kid can play), and the tip by Desjardins on the PK. Corey gave his team a chance to steal game 1 but did not lose game 2, he just didn’t win it with an average performance.

  • June 7, 2015 at 10:39 am

    The Bolts have a lot of talent and are the best skating team in the league from everything i can see. We aren’t going to win a Cup with them working aggressively on shutting down the Toews and Richards lines and succeeding at that. This series the imperative is for Crawford to stand on his head. He did that in game 1, he utterly sucked in game 2. What worries me the most is that the Bolts are learning on the Hawks more than the Hawks are learning on the Bolts right now. They seemed to figure some things out in game 2 against the defensemen pinching. They have too damned much skating ability to take them lightly at any stage of the game. What I hope can happen in game 3 is for the enigmatic Bickell to get back into the lineup with strict instruction to be a bastard on ice in front of the net. He’s rarely been willing to do that, but dammit all that must be his job description right now. I’d load up Toews, Kane and Bickell on one line. Richards, Hossa and Saad on the other. Sharp can’t compete against the style of play the Bolts bring to the table. I could really care less what his role is in the last 5 games of his Chicago career, but I guess put him on the fourth line. I’d go with Vermette, Desjardins and Shaw on the third line. Kruger, Sharp and Teuvo on the fourth line. And mix and match Kane, Shaw and Teuvo throughout the game.

  • June 7, 2015 at 10:44 am

    I will say this and duck. The Hawks have indeed been blessed with Lady Luck on their side in these playoffs. I agree the Hawks are in a world of crap against the Preds if Weber and Fisher don’t go down. They also benefited from some definite luck in the Ducks series. I’m not a big believer in luck, but I am a believer in the breaks evening out. The Hawks need to know this and I’m sure they do. They have to elevate their game the rest of this series at the forward position and Crawford too.

  • June 7, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Crow was fighting it all night, lets hope he has a better game 3.

    Im soooo done with Patrick Sharp, ive honestly been done with him for a while but wtf.

    Toews and Kane need to be better. Its time for them to show up.

    Ben Biship leg injury is worth keeping an eye on.

    Jon Cooper is a dbag no question.

  • June 7, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Sharp has been a problem for the Hawks ever since his selfish focus on making the Canadian Olympic team and his successful campaign to get his teammates make him look good on the ice via boosting his offensive stats. He has dropped off the face of a cliff at age 33, and it obviously hasn’t helped that his personal life became the stuff of tabloids. Watch him in these 2 games against the Bolts and it is painfully clear he cannot handle their ferocious back checking or top shelf skating ability. Honestly he has been brutal. But he’s a sacred cow on this team and will still dress game 3.

  • June 7, 2015 at 11:04 am

    I’m convinced over-analyzation was born during a SCF. Reset

    Even though TB has had success away from home the UC will do more good for 10/50 and the others than Bolts. Prepare to take advantage of it. Victor H is impressive. Keep our game changers away from him as much as possible.

    Dominating the dot like game2 will pay huge dividends if continued. UC should help make that possible.

    TT can take more mins so let’s use him to max levels.

    Don’t sweat game 2, Plenty of big plays coming that will dwarf anything so far. Enjoy it. SCFs are not a birthright :)

  • June 7, 2015 at 11:07 am

    I’m not really sweating this series but I do have major concerns. But in the end it comes down to the same thing it did against Boston in 2013…Crawford being excellent in goal. He was that it game 1. Even with the crapatular likes of Cumiesky and Runblad on the ice.

  • June 7, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Lawyer, chews gum, hair dye, makes Vigneault likeable. Is he the Joker.

  • June 7, 2015 at 11:17 am

    DD, you nailed him, in the fucking head, in his mind. He deserved it.

  • June 7, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Not sure all the negativity in Cooper. He’s a damned good coach and the fact that he is getting under the skin of some Chicago fans is a testament to him being a damned good coach.

  • June 7, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Thing about them on road, when the started first 2 on road is when they had a good road record. The other one they started at home they didn’t.

  • June 7, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Is Brandon Bollig back with the Hawks? I thought I saw him last night wearing #10.

  • June 7, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Tampa Digger seems cocky. I wouldn’t be all too cocky the way I see it I saw some flaws the Hawks team played in that game and Tampa took advantage. It could have easily been the other way around then Tampa would have been in trouble. The way I see it Tampa needed to win this game because being down 2-0 would have been quite difficult coming into Chicago.

  • June 7, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Relax Hawks fans: paralysis by analysis is catchy here. Keep it simple , 5 game series home ice and a gimpy goalie.

  • June 7, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    It’s the same old story. As time goes on, you know who will pick it up a step or two and start playing. It took me a while to learn it but I finally have.

  • June 7, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    He’s my beef with Cooper the guy talks about everything. His goalie leaves and NOW he cant cant talk,…dbag

  • June 7, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Hawks and Bolts both deserve to be here. They won their conferences for a reason.

    Everyone on this board would have taken a 1-1 split heading back to Chicago. No reason to lose the faith. Kane and Toews should be split up and they won’t be kept off the scoresheet for long.

    Fourth line played well. Sharp had two bad penalties but his line is still better than the Lightning’s bottom six.

    By the way Milbury and Pierre were talking about Vasilevsky, I thought Ken Dryden was tending their net! He made five (5!) saves. Hawks will get to him or Bishop as the series moves forward.

    Let’s go Hawks!

  • June 7, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    (Morrison – “You gotta twist them and f*ck with them…”)

  • June 7, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    TAMPA DIGGER: Let me guess–you’re 17 and started watching hockey two months ago, right? Only a young fool–or outright ignoramus–would talk so much smack after winning ONE game that was a must-win.

    RUFUS: Toward the end of the regular season, you said that TT “shouldn’t even be playing in the playoffs.” Yowsa.

    VERSTEEG: The guy plays half his shifts on his knees, and is frequently on the brink of taking a penalty for doing stupid shit, like in last night’s game when he was on the ice at someone’s feet and was hacking their ankles with his stick. The reality is that we’ve played our best playoff hockey with him in the press box. We need to return to the lines of the Wild series. Those were our best four lines since 2010, I believe.

    BICKELL: If he can’t go, why not replace him with a similar player: Hartmann? That guy was rough and physical and would likely do what Bickell seems reluctant to do: crash the net. Plus, putting him in would keep the lines the same as before except for that swap. And yes, I know, “How could you throw a rookie into a SCF game,” etc. But Bickell, aside from some hitting (which Hartman can also provide), hasn’t done much all playoffs. If nothing else, the kid will bring some energy.

    GAME THREE: We need to return to a tight defensive game and shut them down, let the breaks open for us.


  • June 7, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Morrison-Cooper as the Joker? Now that is genius! I think he is. Rufus thinks he’s a good coach. If you look up his autobiogaphy he started by coaching his sons high school team. He has never played any hockey really ( local minor league only). His philosophy is “it takes one year to fiqure it out and in the second year you win the championship”…I think he is the first “Google it” coach! He is surrounded by true ex-players and a crackerjack team that advise. Good owner, compared to Rocky, well liked by the fans but I suppose its easier to be a nice guy if your worth hundreds of millions. Steve Yzerman is the real genius behind it all. If Coopers the Joker, then we are the competition …Marvels Avengers! We definitly have Iron Man, Thor and Hawkeye.

  • June 7, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Tampa troll. Small mind. Enough said.

    Yes, keep it simple, indeed. We gave them game 2, after we took game one. We took one in their house, which is what we wanted to do. Mission accomplished. Now we go home and take care of business. The Bolts are a very good team, young and fast, not to be trifled with, but not to be feared either.

    Their coach – his coaching resume aside – he’s just one of those guys that can’t talk publicly without watching himself talk. It seems like he’s got this “look at me” filter going at all times which makes him seem to some as insincere and cocky, probably the lawyer in him. And the gum chewing – so what. He’s just a nervous amateur trying to look experienced, trying to fit in. But even the overmatched can succeed. It’s our job to make him stand at the podium in defeat. And then, and only then, will I be truly curious about what he has to say.

  • June 7, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Tazer and Kaner are the dynamic duo. Batman and Robin.

  • June 7, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    It stinks to lose but I think the boys will respond well from this loss. They were down 1-0 and 3-2 and fought back. I liked the ending with Shaw starting some crap. They’re pissed off about the game and that’s good.

  • June 7, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I’m not going to over estimate TB, but I’m not going to under estimate them either. They are good enough to win this series, good enough to be Cup champions. But so are the Hawks. So it’s best 3 out of 5 and either team can win any of the games – home ice or not. This is the way the SCF should be – tough on the fans of the teams vying for the Cup, but good for hockey fans in general.

    It’s not fair to pin the hopes of success on one guy, but that’s what playing goalie is all about. The goalie may not have to win the game, but he can’t lose the game. A goalie can play great all game long but if he gives up a soft goal – he played poorly. Not fair I suppose but that’s the way it is. Hopefully CC gives up no more soft goals.

    This is either team’s series. This will be nerve wracking to say the least. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    Go Hawks ! ! ! !

  • June 7, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I see you’re worried a little more about Tampa now, Mr. Ebony. :)

  • June 7, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Rufus- your Sharp bashing is old, tiresome, and too far reaching for you to ever confirm or backup.

    On a positive note, thanks for omitting your latest favorite word ‘dalliances’…
    it wasn’t helping your case

    Sharp will play G3 because he should. Get over it.

  • June 7, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    …..another loss that can be directly attributed to Crawford….fortunately the Blackhawks are built to win despite of him…..the best offense will win the cup….Go Hawks…….

  • June 7, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Toews and Kane are both too good to be Robin. Batman and Superman are more fitting to be honest.

  • June 7, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    Hawks in 6. That switch they hit needs to be reset 3 more times.

  • June 7, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    WALL – great comments and thank you, I love your insight on Bolts Power Play and the use of dropping down behind the net, seems Ducks did that a little too.

    I just re-watched the game and I am SHOCKED on the amount of high quality shots the BOLTS are getting, not a lot of shots but heavy shots, close in between the dots, amazing pressure and like WE say the Bolts are so fast back to defend ( it don’t matter who ) they can press and drop down and pinch and smoother ya.

    1 – This Cooper is either the best coach ever, I hate his press conference but love the style the team plays? SO i just don’t know I do know Steve Yzerman and would think this is his team, built in his vision. Quick smart and motion!
    2- I did not witness the Bolts being this Fast /Quick vs Rangers then it hit me, like a Jerry Korab Cross Check, they where playing the Rangers who are a really fast team too, so the Speed difference was not so obvious as vs. hawks!
    3- The Bolts lose if Bishop stays in the net . . . period. VASILEVSKIY Vaseline as you say wil give the Hawks fits, as you say with the “poor shots” we get off!
    4- Shocked after a second viewing of the game on how the Hawks struggled to get the puck up and out even on line changes and in between line changes by the bolts and with open ice, really odd. I still think Monday Hawks will move their feet more and begin to play the body more on defense and win by 3 goals!

  • June 7, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    In Crows Defense, I have never seen in 50 years the “quality” of shoots this Bolts team gets off, they just don’t settle for shots from the blue line, they really execute very very very well below the dots, in the crease and as WALL has said behind the net and not just on power plays. CROW is facing some heavy shots, This Bolts team is young so we’re lucky it’s not Perry or Kesler pulling the trigger at close range! The only good news is they don’t get off a lot of shots, but to me they don’t waste shoots or waste possessions.

    Crow is a top 10 goal tender and top 5 on most nights and they’re few great ones, the three great ones are now eating nacho platters and blooming onions at Appelbee’s.

    Hawks set up defense is average, once a team establishes position and possession Hawks are just okay. Hawks great at back checking, great sticks and skates on entry but once they’re in, Crow has his back to the wall, that crease is so crowded it’s a fire hazard!

  • June 7, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Kane it weak on the forecheck, real weak and weak on back check, so Hossa needs to up there with Kane and Towes to be effective.

    As most know, i think Saad needs to be no where near Toews or Hossa he needs to step up! Own a line and the responsibility!

  • June 7, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Question for the Salary cap junkies or just who would you KEEP?

    Shaw or Saad?

    I think SHAW has a big ass pay day coming.
    SHAW is one guy I fear losing . . . he has really settled in and playing some smart hockey, he has flashes of sped so few penalties and man he is delivering and all nhl teams want him!

    Our fourth line all post season has out played all other lines!

  • June 7, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Surrounded by forest fires up here due to lighning strikes on Saturday..lots of smoke, the sky is red and dark all day…everyone over 70 and under 2 evacuated and the rest of us told to standby. So can I be evacuated to Chicago pu-lees? If you think about it, Lightning strikes and red sky? Freakin’ me out! Whats it all mean?

  • June 7, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Rick Bowness is the genius behind Cooper? Ha ha ha ha ha. He used to be Vigneault’s chief Lt. in Vancouver. He passed along his hair dye to Cooper. How many Stanley Cups has Bowness orchestrated? Give me a break. Steve Thomas’ claim to fame arrested in alley while w Hawks relieving himself. Brandon Bollig obsession last playoffs aside, I’ll roll w Q thru thick or thin. I don’t see a team coached by those 3 jamokes winning the Cup v Hawks. No way.

  • June 7, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    PS. Welcome back Mr. Rufus — great to see the rapid fire negativity, five posts. Where are you when Hawks win? And as others said, Sharp had a bad game; done over with. Sharp has been solid on third line overall. Expect a big game from true pro like Sharp tomorrow.

  • June 7, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Mike, “Shaw or Saad? I think SHAW has a big ass pay day coming.” – I don’t know that it will (ever) come down to a choice between these two…but if it did, my choice would be Saad – pay for skill. I’m not under appreciating Shaw. He has been very good, and he is the only Hawk who plays that type of game. As far as compensation, I would be careful – remember, for a great playoff run Bickell cashed-in for about twice (maybe more?) what he’s been worth. Doesn’t Shaw have another year left on the extension he signed?

  • June 7, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Sharpy and 19/50 stayed for questions after. Why didn’t Keesler Racki.

  • June 7, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Wow you would have thought the Hawks lost by 5 goals by all the fawning over how great the Bolts are. How could the Hawks ever skate with these guys????What I saw was a team that scored a crap 3 goal and a weak ass 4 goal tipped by 11 in our own net. The Hawks had all the momentum until the officials decided ruined a great game by calling a weak ass penalty on Sharp and then another to allow TB the go ahead goal. With all the crap that is let go during the game how convenient for TB to get 4 minutes PP after the Hawks tie. The officials looked they were also trying to find an excuse to call back the tying goal. Complete clown shoes!!!

  • June 7, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    MudTurtle – I was never really not worried about TB. Going into the series I felt less pensive about TB than I did going into the other 3 series, but still did not regard them lightly by any means. In fact I said I felt more nervous because I didn’t feel as nervous as I did about the other 3 series – if that makes sense :) – like I knew I shouldn’t take them lightly but didn’t have any first hand knowledge of TB like I did about the W.C. teams. I knew the Preds, the Wild, and the Ducks pretty well because I had seen them play a whole bunch of times over the season, following the W.C. more than I do the E.C. So when I found out the Hawks would play the Bolts in the SCF, I didn’t have any “oh no” fears, not because they weren’t warranted, but because I didn’t know the team very well.

  • June 7, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    agree that too many on this site are a bit hypercritical. I hate losing as much as anyone and am always paranoid as this is sports and one never knows what will happen. With that said the Hawks dominated at the face-off circle, had the upper hand in corsi and it was a one goal game with crow letting in a weak goal and Sharp getting back to back bad penalties which ultimately caused the winning goal. This team has five hall of famers and maybe six if Seabrook gets in . I wouldn’t write them off just yet!

  • June 7, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    EbonyRaptor – I understand exactly what you mean. I just brought it up to have a little fun with it. When I find myself with optimism I try to counter it with pessimism. Being a Cubs fan has made me fearful of another shot of disappointment when it comes to Chicago sports.

  • June 7, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    GoldenBladz, “until the officials decided ruined a great game by calling a weak ass penalty on Sharp and then another to allow TB the go ahead goal” — really??? In my opinion, Sharp took a STUPID, unnecessary penalty slashing 200 feet away from his goal and then immediately, one that was perhaps “accidental” (the stick rode-up to hit an opponent in the face – it happens), but you’re supposed to control your stick. Maybe the penalty killers were a little tired at that time(?), but it was the PK unit that allowed TB the go ahead goal.

    It was just one game, and the Hawks are in position to take the next two games at home, if they show-up and “play their game”.

  • June 8, 2015 at 4:27 am

    DD most penalties taken in the offensive zone could be called stupid but that penalty was a weak call and so convenient for TB as it was right after the Hawks tied the score. The officials let so much crap go in all of these series and then call that. Sharp definitely has done much and needs to have a much better game at the UC.

  • June 8, 2015 at 4:41 am

    Corr…sharp Hasn’t done much.

    My point was it was a light tap like many others during the game. It wasn’t like Stoner ramming Kruger from behind and gets 2 min and then cross checks Shaw in the face and gets nothing

  • June 8, 2015 at 7:18 am

    The guys are back in town and came home with a 1-1 split. This works well for me and should be good with everyone else. Yes, the Hawks could have been up 2-0 and also could have been just as easily down by 2. Margin of victory very slim in both contests.

    Hawks have not played their best hockey yet in this series to my eyes which bodes well looking to the next few games. Q gets last change at home which should help. Bolts have what appears to be an injured starting goalie. Crow should play better than he did Saturday and despite CC not being at his best the Hawks lost by just 1 goal.

    Bolts have scored 2 goals where a forward shoulders Hawks d man off before either player has touched puck down between the rings. Bolts get that puck and make a play to score a goal. It was Keith in game 1 and Cumiskey in game 2. Hawks better be ready to bang first on these plays in upcoming games.

    Swig meet up was fun as usual but we didn’t get the win. Sorry guy, the streak has ended. Wall you were a disappointing no show. Just kidding, but it would have been great to meet you and others. Thank God for Uber that night….

    Can’t wait to be at UC tonight. If the Hawks raise their game which I expect them to do, they can put some real pressure back on the Bolts. These are 2 good teams and this should be some great hockey to watch. I still think the Hawks find the way through in 6. Lets enjoy this ride while we are on it.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • June 8, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Mook, Please don’t say “Only observation is…” as your opening words. I don’t think you’ve ever had one observation or thought on here.

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