Comeback Wasted, Hawks Fall in OT

A furious comeback wasn’t enough, and one final, costly turnover handed the Anaheim Ducks a Game Five victory and 3-2 series lead.

The game’s first period was one of the worst we’ve seen in a long time from the Blackhawks, who put only three shots on net and didn’t generate anything offensively. Cam Fowler started the barrage with his fourth of the playoffs at 5:10 into the opening period, and Ryan Kesler extended the lead to 2-0 only 32 seconds later.

When Sami Vatanen made the lead 3-0, many fans watching in Chicago gave up hope. Every aspect of the first 20 minutes was dominated by the Ducks, and Chicago looked to be done.

But the second period opened with a different Hawks team on the ice. Coach Joel Quenneville mixed up his top two lines, but it was the third that get the scoring started as Teuvo Teravainen launched a missile that slipped through Frederik Andersen only 71 seconds into the period to get Chicago on the board.

Teravainen again factored into the offense as the third line made an impact again in the final minute of the second period. He found Brent Seabrook wide open and the Hawks defensemen put a tough angle shot past Andersen with 25 seconds left in the period to cut the lead to just one.

Chicago went to the dressing room with momentum after out-shooting the Ducks and handling the puck for most of the second; it was a night-and-day difference from the first.

The third began with the Hawks again controlling the puck but they failed to convert. When Patrick Sharp failed to clear the puck with just over five minutes left in regulation, the Ducks made the Hawks pay once again. Ryan Getzlaf made a good pass to a wide open Vatanen, who found a wide open Patrick Maroon by the side of the net. The goal felt like a back-breaking score; the Ducks hadn’t done much offensively since the first period ended.

But in the final two minutes, Jonathan Toews refused to let the game end that easily.

With Corey Crawford on the bench for the extra attacker, Toews drilled a one-timer past Andersen at 18:10 to cut the lead back to one.

After the Ducks iced the puck, Crawford returned to the bench and Chicago went back to work. This time, Toews shot the puck from the goal line to Andersen’s right and banked the shot in off Anaheim’s goaltender to tie the game with only 38 second left on the clock.

The game headed to overtime with everyone in the building stunned, and the Hawks feeling the momentum.

But 40 seconds into the overtime, as his linemates went for a change, Bryan Bickell failed to get the puck deep and it killed the Blackhawks. Ryan Kesler led a 2-on-1 break and put a hard shot off Crawford that bounced directly to Matt Beleskey in front. Beleskey’s shot was on point, and the game was over less than one minute into the extra session.

For the first time in five overtimes in this postseason, the Hawks failed to win in extra hockey.

Bickell led the Hawks with five hits in 14:37 but did nothing else to contibute in the game. A critical error on his first shift in overtime handed the series lead to Anaheim as the series comes back to Chicago.

Toews finished winning nine of 18 faceoffs and with two goals in the final 1:50. Patrick Sharp led the team with six shots on net and added two assists and two hits to his ledger on the third line that was so effective in the second and third periods. Antoine Vermette was the busiest Blackhawks center at the dot, winning eight of 23 faceoffs. Vermette also picked up an assist and two hits in the game.

Teravainen skated 16:03 and showed a growing confidence that makes his Game Three scratch even more painful.

Seabrook was the only Blackhawks player with more than one blocked shot (he was credited with two), and also had a two-point evening with an assist and his goal in the second period. He skated “only” 22:57 in the game as Chicago once again relied heavily on Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Keith skated 27:23 and picked up an assist, while Hjalmarsson skated 25:34 and blocked one shot with an assist as well. Kimmo Timonen looked old and lost again, finishing minus-two in only 8:06 on the ice.

In spite of allowing five goals, Crawford kept his team in the game with a number of big saves. He made 23 saves in the loss, but the last found Beleskey’s stick for the game-winner. Andersen made 24 saves in the win.

The Blackhawks will return home for a must-win Game Six at the United Center on Wednesday night.

Toews ANA gm 5

170 thoughts on “Comeback Wasted, Hawks Fall in OT

  • May 25, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    — forgive my oversimplification, but, Bickell BLOWS!

  • May 25, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    I’ve always hated Mike Milbury and I’ve always stuck up for Bryan Bickel. But tonight I’m with Milbury, who was merciless in his post-game critique of 29’s boneheaded failure to simply dump the puck into the opposing zone so Chicago could get a line change. We all saw the result.

    Bickel has been atrocious and now he’s cost us a critical 5th game in one of the tightest playoff series the Blackhawks have ever been involved in. Jonathan Toews picked-up this club and carried it on his back to get to overtime. Can’t we just get a routine dump in from one overpaid, under focused, under achieving forward? No?!

    This player has been a liability all year. There’s just something zombie-ish about Bickel, like he’s on Quaaludes out there. He can’t complete a play, he can’t get off a shot, and I don’t care about his hit stats because they don’t seem to matter during the game. Reservations in the press box for #29 and then it’s out of town for good, please.

  • May 25, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    So frustrating to see Sharp and Bickell forget the the active sticks of Anaheim and not just go for the safe play. Those goals were preventable and once the turnover was made, seemingly inevitable… I know they ‘need’ Bickell’s physical presence (though it has amounted to exactly what?)… but I’m tempted to advocate for Versteeg in game 6…

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:02 am

    That was painful. Certainly a game we should have won. Anderson did not play well but we let it slip away. Again the Captain was special. It is painful to think about the precious cap space committed to Bickell and Sharp and how little they are producing. Sharp is supposed to be a scorer. Secondary assists are not enough. They need to deliver and Kane and Hossa must find a way to contribute offensively. CC also needs to be better. Those big rebounds are killers. The weakness after our top 4 D can be overcome but the big $ guys up front will all need to deliver. This series is still there for the taking.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Were going to win game 6 and whoever wins game 7 is going to beat the East team.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:08 am

    ANA was up 3 game to 2 and didn’t win game 7 at home against LA.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Morrison: you’re exactly right. Smitty: love your optimism about series still there for the taking, wish I had that optimism right now. FTR: Let me push you over the edge of temptation – sit Bickell and dress Versteeg. Sit Bickell permanently, I do believe there’s something wrong with that guy

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:18 am

    Brian Bickell has failed at everything he does except pile up scads of dough in the bank, a million more than Q, each year. But for him to essentially cost us the game after evening things out with a herculean effort from the Captain and the team, How disheartening it is for the fans. A tremendous comeback setting us up for a Game 6 win at home to advance to the final. I went totally beserk on that second goal by Toews…my cardiologist would not have approved, but screw him. Put in Carcillo for Bickell if you want hits, plus the guy can score from time to time and has playoff experience. Really bodes well for TT…I have been very skeptical but have been won over big time from his play in this series. I never doubted we could comeback, just knew it was our way but to get filleted by a “half hearted who gives a damn I’m too cool, and I can’t concentrate” play after that comeback is beyond the beyond. Can we keep took awhile but he is Blackhawk material for sure. HNIC crew made me sick sick sick with their constant fawning over the Ducks and constant put downs of the Blackhawks…their glee at the outcome was truly shameful. Oh well…we win at home, then Game 7 and then on to the SC Final.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Man, 29 is snakebit. He can not catch a break, he’s beat up and the only physical presence the Hawks have, he’s putting up big hit numbers, setting up in the goal mouth and nobody’s getting it to him. Certainly he’s performing worse than his contract would warrant, it’s just a bummer to see this guy underachieve and be the goat.

    Can’t blame this one on Crow, hopefully the Ducks start shooting worse, it’s feeling like Nashville where they just couldn’t miss the net. He was unshaken in his interview, which for me has been an accurate barometer of his play, if history serves he will be sharp in game 6.

    This has been the Ducks’ year, and the Hawks have had to play from a position of spoiling it. Their regulation unbeaten streak is incredible, all arrows pointed toward them before the series and despite the Hawks’ annoyance it’s pointing even upper right now. We saw a wonderful, unexpected effort from the Hawks after a brutal 20 minutes. Nice to see 19 catch a couple breaks too, his mustache is unfortunate but his shots weren’t, finally.

    This was honestly the first game I saw that made me feel like the Hawks could actually play with the Ducks, other than game 1, both losses. In this one they deserved a loss and got it. But dominating the Ducks for the last 2 periods in a game, in a non elimination situation, was an eye opener. Time for a hot streak, or some golf for the Hawks and some relief for my poor liver. I don’t think the Hawks do it, but I finally see that they actually could. Maybe I’m just torturing myself, but hey, at least they didn’t torture us too long and lose in triple OT.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:33 am

    I am almost 45 years old and have lived in Chicago all of my life. I have never liked the blackhawks but what I witnessed tonight took the cake. I was watching the game at my favorite watering hole when the Hawks got a power play. A couple seconds in an Anaheim player shot the put the length of the ice and what do I hear? A man in a Kane jersey screaming where is the icing??? Really? Seriously? I waited a couple more minutes before I called him on it. Sir, I said, how long have you been a blackhawks fan? His response… since I was 12 (he looked 25 30). My next question… Mind you he has a Kane jersey on. You know there is no icing on the shorthanded team right?? Um no! Another question… What position does Patrick Kane play?? His response was um defenseman. Wow really are you serious?? My point….. 90% of Blackhawk fans are straight up posers who know nothing about hockey! The other 10% I have absolutely nothing but respect for. But the other 90?? Google the blackhawks and study what wiki says for two hours!! Posers!

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:52 am

    Lots of up and downs in this game. As the the positives; Toews is a beast! Tuevo is starting to look like the player many of us felt he could be.

    Negitives; Bickell please show up! Sharp please can you make an appearance this series! Kane we need you!

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:17 am

    *Every team* has fans like you described above. But to come here and troll is gutless. I follow this blog regularly. I rarely post because I am a lurker at heart; most people here will forget more about hockey than I will ever understand. The author of this blog and most people who regularly post are genuine, insightful and have something positive to contribute. “That guy” you met doesn’t read this blog. Go back to your basement.

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:20 am

    I’ve watched the replay several times, and it looks like Bickell really loaded up to get it deep and (again) whiffed on the puck. That’s happened a few times during the playoffs. I just don’t get that. Something is going on with the connection between the head and the body there. I’m guessing he feels worse than any of us though.

    With that said, and with all of the frustration of the loss, I still am amazed by the team’s overall resiliency and their ability to fight back. Toews amazes me to no end, and I have not given up hope. I think the fight is there, and I’ll never be a fair weather fan. I’m frustrated as hell by the inconsistency, but with these guys you never can think they are totally out. I’d rather be a Blackhawks fan than cheer for any other team. Yeah, I’m being all golly gumdrops here, but I’m not going to give up on this bunch. Yes, they’re professional athletes that are expected to perform at a high level and are compensated well for it. But at the same time I don’t ever doubt their heart. I can’t say that about all sports teams. I shall remain optimistic.
    Go Blackhawks!

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:26 am

    Hmm. I’ve posted on this forum for at least 2 seasons, maybe 3? My post is again awaiting moderation, while Roy’s cogent, interesting thoughts are on display. I’ve even had one or 2 moderated out, and I spend a fair amount of time per post, and rarely repeat post. Certainly I get a little silly, certainly sarcastic, but I’m generally respectful in disagreement and never as bitchy and foul mouthed as several other frequent posters. It’s your site Tab, you can do what you want, but I’d like an explanation before I bug out.

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:27 am

    TT best game in the NHL. He actually was getting in there with the body as well. That looks promising.

    If the schedule ever favors a Hawk come back and more Black Hawk magic, it is this one. We win at home and then we have two days off before returning to Anaheim where we know we could win. That will give the boys an extra day of rest before we win a great game 7 victory.

    Go Hawks!!!

  • May 26, 2015 at 2:11 am

    Hard to sleep when feeling such seething anger and frustration towards Bickell, who gifted the victory to the Ducks. Inexcusably inept. If the Hawks had finished the comeback, no doubt it’s over Thursday night, but instead it’s huge momentum for Anaheim—they got the W despite their goalie letting in two softies and a huge collapse at the end of regulation. I don’t see the Hawks drawing any positives from the way the game ended—Bickell deflated his teammates’ spirits and let Anaheim off the hook; rendered the comeback meaningless. Maybe in the off season he can get together with Chris Campoli and compare stories. Hopefully at an undisclosed address, which coincidentally is where I’d like to see Bickell playing next year so $4 million can be put to better use i.e. Saad or Kruger or Oduya or combinations thereof.

  • May 26, 2015 at 2:22 am

    After watching the recap of tonights game (live in sweden so the game ended 6 in the morning)

    I agree in dressing versteeg and benching bickell. Bickell is clearly not working against the ducks.

    TT is starting to grow imo. He’s looking for the easiest way to goal.

    I’d like coach Q to try with 81, 19 and 88. the second line 86, 91 and 20. But thats just my thoughts. We need to get kane into the game. He and toews have given us magic before. Feels like hossa is gone sometimes…

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:10 am

    Very close game, Ducks still look stronger and more driven than the Hawks. That 1st period was an absolute massacre.

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:54 am

    Blackhawks didn’t deserve to win that game and they didn’t.

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:08 am

    Considering every analyst as well as many of us feel Kane should play with Toews its good to hear that is the feeling in hockey crazy Sweden too. Loved the lets go hawks chants in the third period. Win game 6 and we can pull this series out by the skin of our teeth.

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:19 am

    2 goals in 30 something seconds two games in a row……

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:36 am

    Why not dress another D-man. Can’t be as bad as 26 or 44. Play Kane with Toews for goodness sake. His talents are wasted playing with Bickell and Richards. Dress Hartman if you want some physical play. The game 3 benching of 86 and 80 looks even worse now. I know a lot of you have coach Q on a pedestal but I don’t. If we lose this series this is another one firmly on his shoulders.

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Notes from Last night:
    1) TT proved he belonged
    2) further begging the question why he and vermy got sat in game 3…
    3) Like Redtop, I hate milbury and have defended bicks… but that was just bad and milbury was right. just chip it in deep let your team get the change… dont get cute.
    4) What has been up with Crawford’s positioning. I’ll admit im more of an armchair GM then a armchair coach, but on 3 goals i can clearly think (Despres in G3, and Marron/Beleskey last night) he came out to attack the net front presence or face up the shooter and was WAY out of his net allowing easy shots and rebound chances on empty nets in key situations… Again, ive never played goalie, nor do I think i know much about it, but Ive never noticed him ever doing that before.

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Why haven’t they put TT out on the power play ???????

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:46 am

    Im amazed that the focus is on the Bickell play-yes he hasn’t been physical or skilled enough for the most part but as the Canadian team said he could have been simply been going by a directive by the coaching staff to get pucks at a potential’y rattled goalie (his shot and fanning on half of them is bothersome)
    It was a game loaded with mistakes.
    Hawks need to get off to a good start and win Game 6 in regulation

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:48 am

    Let’s get this out of the way…it would have been great if the Blackhawks had won this game. But I feel that fighting back in Game 5 from 3-0 and 4-2 to get to OT makes me more confident going into game 6, rather than letting that awful 1st period carry through to the end.

    There’s been no game-to-game momentum as the series has gone back and forth. We always expected the Blackhawks to win Game 6 at home. Now it’s a must win, so it should strengthen their resolve and get them to Game 7.

    Go Hawks!

    BTW Tab great board, I’ve enjoyed your recaps, the comments and have learned a lot. Thank you!

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Frustrating game although you can take a few positives away… First, once the hawks got down 3-0 the color guy said “they may be down 3 but this Chicago team will not panic.” And they didn’t.

    How about some love for TT? His goal was lucky but he might have bought some of that luck by getting Andersen leaning with his no-look, no-look, no-look SHOT. His assist to Seabs was also sick. Love the hands on that kid. Looks like he is finally up to NHL speed. Him, Kane and Paranin should be fun to watch in full light next year.

    Toews… just wow.

    Unfortunately the tire fire that is 5-6 D continues as does the ghost of Brian Bickell. He looks like a shell of the guy from 2013. At least the OT ended mercifully early.

    Nick – the Awaiting Moderation thing is forced on the site by WordPress. I did a little internet sleuthing and the blog host has this control feature to allow blog administers to prevent abusive, profane or whatever other kinds of comments on their board. Tab is pretty good about posting the moderated comments but he has no control over what gets caught by the filters.

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Noonan- The focus was on bickell because even though “It was a game loaded with mistakes”, as you said, they all get wiped out when OT starts… fresh slate to me. and yes, the directive may have been to put the puck on net, but he hit the D-man in the shin… not put the puck on net. if the gets it on goal and Anderson his some nuts stretch pass or even if the other 4 guys “aren’t just going to the bench” i would say “fine not on bickell”. Bickell not getting the puck deep, mid-change, directly let to that chance. and in my first post i also questioned Crawford positioning on the play (hoping someone with a better eye can elaborate on that for me). And the one bad thing for Bicks… he is one of the few players who look overpaid. He caught a free pass in the regular season for lackluster play, cuz they paid him to show up in the playoffs, but that said….he hasnt…

    Oh well. Must win wednesday.

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:03 am

    They asked coach Q why he didn’t replace Crawford with Darling after those first 3 goals in what, 7 minutes? Q said they had invested too much in him.


    Do you want to win the cup?


    Do you want to somehow continue to attempt to justify spending 6 M on Crawford?

    I would have yanked Cro after the 3rd goal.

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:16 am

    The first and third goals weren’t on crow to me… he was screened pretty hard on both of them… and the 2nd goal was flukey…

    I understood keeping him in… the 4th and 5th goals he hand more to do with to me…

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Tab- Title should be Hawks get Bickelled

    Morrison- the difference between LA and Hawks -is LA didn’t skate 29 and 44…

    TT- should absolutely be on PP… now that I really don’t get…
    TT- behind the net with time and space= goals
    Perhaps the Hawks will adapt the Russians 2 men under the Goal line PP next year (Panarin can teach)- Ducks are in every shooting lane… and Ducks just attack and Overload the D sides when Puck is along boards… Hawks need to simply throw blind passes to open areas on weakside of ice- and it will be Easy two on one … or one on none… TT gets this- the Hawks coaches must not.

    Handcuffs- hits when the puck is gone (about a second -gone)… Ducks hit as the puck is leaving stick or on the stick…. in time- very little difference,,, fractions of a second… in effect – BIG difference…

    Handcuffs= lazy, slow, underachiever (unless it is a contract year)

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Kid-Crow made a couple of great saves in that time period of the game to keep them respectable. (if at the end of the period you decided to rest him for the last 2 games that’s different)
    I would love to see statistics of goals scored on Hawks (average wise) for 44s minutes
    played. I know he was on for 2 yesterday. How would it compare to other d-men? Just curious.

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Great comeback by Toews and the boys after an atrocious first period. TT was the best forward on the ice for the Hawks last night. It is amazing how he creates space for himself and his passing vision is fun to watch. Add to those attributes his quick stick, skating ability, no look shots and hockey IQ and we are watching the emergence of a star. Next year I would like to see him paired with 88. When 19 tied the game I thought we were on our way to the Cup Finals. The Duckies were completely deflated and we could have put them away. Then Bickel happened. You can’t blame the loss only on Bickel but his play during this entire season and playoffs has been very poor. The guy is a possession killer and his effort is suspect. As bad as 44 has been at least he gives 100%. I do not expect 29 to be on the team next year.

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Sharp AND Bickell were losers during the regular season and they’ve proven to be losers in the post. Their collective laziness/stupidity cost the Hawks at least 2 goals in game 5. Sharp’s zero back check on anaheim’s 4th goal and Bickell’s trying to make up for his lacking by shooting from the blue line on what should have been a simple dump in.

    Sharpie’s excuse for remaining on the roster used to be his important roll as a team leader – that all went out the window after his (alleged) infidelities. Plus I’ve never seen a forward miss the net altogether (and at a shot angle impossible for any chance of a rebound) more than this guy – who obviously doesn’t feel the need to practice and fix the problem during the offseason. Kane clearly worked on his backhand to become his most reliable shot – this guy, on the other hand, continues to lead the league in attempted shots on net with garbage for production anymore.

    Screw another teammate’s wife Sharpie and have another jumbo Maki roll to prep for a game Bick – and keep up the good work sabotaging a team of Champions.

    Time for these clowns to go.

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:41 am

    Smitty- thanks for the assist!!!

    The issue- how trade-able is Crow… not only in value… but I hear he has some pretty tough NTC… so the Hawks – will be “lucky” to move him -imo

    I don’t know if I said this here or on another blog… (so excuse the repeat – if It was here)… I predict Bickell will be out of the league in 3-4 years or less!!! that is how bad he is skating.

    The positives… I really think the Hawks could be better next year if they are able to move the above- and just get a couple of “Frolik” types, and either keep Oduya or add one middle 4th/5th type- solid D-man…

    But moving Crow- I think is going to be harder than anyone thinks because of limited market, NTC, and a lot of GM’s are probably starting to realize the “Moneyball” metrics on goalies/salaries… (something I have been bitching about for a while)

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:43 am

    I agree with lots being said here, I think the Hawks leadership has their heels dug in too deeply here trying to save face on poor decisions. The contract for Bicks is nearly as silly as Crow’s, so they need to learn to trust rookies like TT and Darling a little more. They can do it for a lot less.

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Nick – I posted an explanation of awaiting moderation. It is currently awaiting moderation.

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Which reminds me, why is Kimmo still around? Are there seriously no defenses to be pulled from Rockford that could be at least a little bit useful?

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:51 am

    44 is -3 against the Ducks averaging 9 minutes a game, #4 – 5 over 30 minutes a game.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:08 am

    86 looking like 88 out there.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:12 am

    My concern is the Hawks are one of the most talented teams in the NHL but they don’t and can’t they adjust. They continue to work the wall weakly on the exit, every time. They continue to look for the “break out” and not keep more guys inside the blue line and safety and simple puck support. Hawks have too many unforced turnovers ( always do, Hammer the biggest offender ) some where forced but most all I saw just sloppy with the puck in our end. A dozen times the puck was cleanly passed up to a winger cleanly to have the next pass be a wild errant, blind ,frantic pass that is picked off even Toews and Hossa literally everyone!

    One answer is really size, we need a big body or two in the middle of the ice who can face our goaltender, collect the puck absorb a hit and make the quick clearing pass! We need basically more puck support. Hawks could not look more un-organized on the exit and if we’re paying attention that ENTRY even on a power play is the worse in the NHL. They look for the bomb if it’s not there it’s a sack!

    Cumiskey played well in our end and again showed his foot speed and turns, he at least made them miss and is gaining confidence but still too small! We need some size on the both sides of the puck.

    Gotta hand it to the DUCKS not only do they forecheck they actually finish the checks and get the puck very well played and consistent and make note” all teams in the west know the hawks weak spot (size) and all west teams are going to get bigger and faster.” This can not be blamed on our defense they are provided half the offense.

    As i said the day Toews was drafted he should have 40 goals year and I said last time he can score and score more, we don’t need him as a role player or support like Hossa he needs to be the destination the leader the scorer and he has all the skills. When he looks to the net to score noone better, when he’s skating around looking for the pass or wating for wingers to catch up well he’s not playing to his skill level.

    Funny, After Toew”s first goal I saw Coach Q yell in Toew’s face in a good way don’t pass. I want you to shoot. don’t pass, get the puck to net, and so Q knows!

    Our 4th line now look average, which is still good but they are worn out and with reason. DEZI is playing slower and less physical and Marcus is banged up big time but SHAW continues to get better, He’s a player. TNT played very well with a weak look away goal. But most everyone looked and played tired, tired like a half step slow not exhausted but 1/2 step is the game in the NHL.

    Hawks have no home ice advantage but should go down swinging but they really have not BEAT the DUCKS YET they won a few but they aren’t beating anyone.

    Andersen is average and can be beat on “heavy shots” like Seabrook and Toews first goal and even on light look away wrist shots but TNT. To me that is a shame he’s average, even at warm up i saw at least 12 shots in row get by him, he was ready to be beat we let him off the hook.

    go hawks

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:13 am

    his series has been distressing for the Hawks since game 1. Other than a couple periods of burst the Hawks haven’t played great. Anaheim on the other hand has had downright dominant stretches in all 5 games. Last night’s first period was ridiculous for Chicago. I’ll say this too…Ryan Kesler and Corey Perry have been forces of nature on the ice. We can all hate on those two which is natural, but their respective two-way games have defined this series for Anaheim. Kesler in particular seems like a man possessed to finally win a Cup.

    Crawford wasn’t good enough last night. Bickell was atrocious and REFUSES, absolutely REFUSES, to park in front of the net anymore on a consistent basis. I have immensely tired of his game and the two years of excuses…he needs to be benched for game 6. Bowman will have to be Harry Houdini to find a taker for his $4 M per season cap hit in the offseason.

    I’m not going to miss Sharp. I was sickened by his selfish open lobbying to make the 2014 Canadian Olympic team, to the point where it deeply affected the play of the Hawks on the ice as Sharp was successful in getting his teammates to let shine on his ice to the sometimes detriment of good fundamental TEAM play. And I have been saddened by his fall off the cliff at age 34 this season. His off the ice daliances notwithstanding. I just hope Bowman can find another team to take his $5 M plus cap hit per season.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Kid – no, you can’t throw a Rockford d-man into the Western Conference Final and expect him to float. If you think Timonen is bad, one of the Rockford guys would get turned inside out. So, yeah, 44 is the only option available unless you want Rundblad back out there (no thanks).

    Good article from the Globe and Mail. He referred to Bickell as a passenger and an anchor in the same article. Harsh, but true.

    Let’s delay the trade Crawford offseason discussion for at least another 2 weeks. We have two more games to win this week.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Bick can not be blamed for the game. But all the Hawks can be BLAMED FOR NOT MAKING EASY PLAYS and I mean easy, those power play entries and those exits out of our zone are the examples of looking to make a bigger play again welcome to the ICE CAPADES.

    But as fans this “Series” allows YOU to really evaluate the hawks players, how they play vs. solid talent. What happens in the regular season is not guidance of playoffs. In the regular season they get math ups that make most of them look awesome. But now . . . not soo much.

    This gives us a sneak peak into the next 5 years, teams getting bigger, dump and chase and all 3 guys funnel to the net, no one slowing down for drop pass, or along fading out along the wall but to the net!

    BICK I think is no BUFF (obviously )but i think he is asked to do a lot, and just because a guy is BIG does not mean he is a GOOD FORECHECKER, or FIGHTER he is neither. But due to our lack of size he is called upon to do a lot and is really the only guy to “finish checks” He should alway be in front of the net, let Hossa and Toews work for the puck too.

    Hawks system is built on curling off the “attack” and getting back on defense. They don’t want to get CAUGHT, You’ll see Hawks 12 inches from finishing a check but curl up ice or turn, We need to finish checks on the Ducks D getting too much time too! And funny OUR Core FOUR DEFENSE MEN can handle the odd man break so it’s not like they are covering for a poor core four?

    This could be a rare year for the Hawks, I DO NOT SEE THEM GETTING BETTER NEXT YEAR so this is the YEAR . . .Ducks easy to beat in two games.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Agree with all the Bickell comments. Said several times, if it were not for his size, he has been holding back his linemates…..whoever Q pairs him with. Trade him for a 5th rounder please. Sharp, playing with Bickell, has been no better. I hope Sharp finds himself as a man possessed Wednesday.

    44 may be the smartest hockey player in the league…….but unless you can execute you are a liability. The spirit may be willing………..

    Wall, I agree, the Hawks could very well be better next year. They will gain in size, speed and youth. While losing some experience, there are plenty of vets and leadership on this team.

    This series is not over. And just like the last 2 minutes of regulation, anything can happen.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Crow ain’t going anywhere . . . Darling will literally “fall apart” in a full 82 game schedule. Goal Tending is not the issue, clearing the crease, blocking shots not Screening your own goal tender and weak exit ARE THE PROBLEM.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Bickell’s failure to get the puck into the Anaheim zone is just the blatant example of his overall caliber of play. I believe he hasn’t scored a goal the entire post-season. Why did Q start him in the overtime? Why not start Towes’ line — the goalie must have been terrified of Toews after the last minute and a half of the game. We’ll see if Coach Fresh Legs makes the obvious line-up change tomorrow night.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Mook- I dont blame him for the bad game… but he was the culprit of that last play, and thus takes a bunch of the blame for the loss to me. wrong time to try to do what he was doing… just chip the puck in… get the change… hit the reset. period…

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Anaheim’s D and goalie are average at best. Coach Chubby Face had that petrified look on his face during most of the last two periods. He has a long history of blowing series’ leads. It will all come down to Game 7 Saturday night.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:54 am

    MTM- Hawks “could” be better- if they can move the right contracts- once again- don’t know if Crow is even in the “mix” from SB’s point of view… 2nd- who is SB going to be able to land- assuming – $10-$15M are shed??? (any combos of 29,23,10,50)

    Lastly- it might not matter what the anyone does in the off-season do…
    Looking at Ducks Cap for next year… they can be MUCH better than this year… have lot’s of money, Young D, — so if they choose to spend- will be even better next year!!!

    By the way – their goalie- is WAY LESS than CROW- in Ability, Salary, and Age!!!
    “Goalie Moneyball”!!!!!

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Mook – the only reason Bickell is called in to finish checks is due to the fact that he has nothing else to contribute. He provides no protection for a big man and if a big man can’t play big, they’re in the wrong sport.

    Bickell’s mistake to shout instead of dump in at that point in the game is as stipid as you or I not looking both ways before crossing the Kennedy at this point in our lives.

    He only checks to save his career – he just started that halfway through the season after he (and everyone else) realized that he wasn’t anywhere close to being as good as his last pre-season spurt.

    My theory is that the guy only come alive in the playoffs because he knows his “aggressive” play will never turn into s fight. During the year that guy is scared shitless to go home, yet again, with another black eye after being used as s punching bag while waiting to get his one punch in that never seems to come.

    Hawks are champions – he is not a champion …not is that pretty boy Sharpie who shows most heart when he retaliates with a slash here and there.
    Both Bick and Sharp look to shoot EVERY FREAKING TIME DOWN THE ICE – yet have the worst scoring per shot percentages in the league – like Ovechkin in reverse.

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Sooooo I’m irritated but not totally on the ledge.

    Bickell yikes. I mean really. Sharps play was very very stupid as well.

    In a sport with this much parity there can be a thin margin between winning and losing and that was last night to a T. With the exception of the 1st period the Hawks were the better team with out a doubt. However they did make mistakes and they paid for them.

    Anyone but Bickell isn’t an unreasonable request at this point.

    The Hawks have scored 9 goals in the last two games which is encouraging. They just need to get their act together puck management wise and they can probably sneak out of this series.

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Tough loss yesterday. When the Ducks made it 4-2 I thought the game was over but
    Toews finds a way to get into OT. What can you say about Toews that hasn’t already been said just amazing. The best captain (leader) in sports. We will respond in game 6. Somebody asked me why we don’t play Versteeg for 44 I know Verstteg is a forward and 44 is a d-man but would we do that? A Ducks fan told me the Hawks in 7 because of their goalie. Go Hawks the mighty Blackhawks.

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:13 am

    MTM- and you are right… Goal-tending- is NOT the issue…
    It is the skaters in front of the goalie… Turning over the puck, not scoring on PP, etc….. Not enough Talent around Goalies…

    I have bitched about the “what if”- Hawks had Kesler and no Crow? would they be better??? heck- what if Hawks had Brookbank/type and Frolik VS. Crow??? I think Hawks would be better with either of those scenarios…

    29 skating with 88- has become this years Zus skating with 88… not working…
    Kimmo- is equivalent to Bruno skating ability (that didn’t work)
    Rosey-out (no backup)
    Vermette, 10, Hoss… all look a little tired

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Mook…how can anyone say Darling would fall apart. Im not saying he is the next Ben Bishop but the comparison is eerily similar and Bishop had no track record either or else The Blues or the Senators wouldn’t have traded him. Bishop seems to be doing quite well for himself once given the starting job.

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:25 am

    HOF – “Blackhawks didn’t deserve to win that game and they didn’t.” – debatable…
    after the miserable first period Chicago turned it around/dominated most of the time. The two goals in the final two minutes should have added to the momentum they grabbed. I guess I agree with you if your reference is to Bickell’s careless play at the start of OT.

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Which of those goals last night did Crow have a chance on? Even on that last goal, Corey tried really hard to kick it past the oncoming forward, but it got his blocker and not the pad.

    Hawks didn’t get enough pucks to the net, plain and simple. Andersen was a mess last night and will likely be the reason that Anaheim doesn’t win the Cup this year. Hawks couldn’t put a single shot on him in overtime after the disaster which was the final two minutes for him.

    No more supporting Bickell. I feel like the effort is there, the body just can’t do it anymore. I feel like the contract was the right move at the time, but it just hasn’t worked out.

    I’m not throwing dirt on this Hawks team yet. They are fire with their back against the wall. Andersen better be ready to steal one of these last two or it will be the Hawks advancing.

    How stupid do Quenville’s moves in Game 3 look now? TT is a thing and the sneak peak we got when he shifted with 88 was pure joy.

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:33 am

    And anyone who bitches about Toews not scoring more…keep in mind that opposing teams put their best players against him and lower ranking teams play the Hawks like it’s their Cup all season long – and yet he still manages to be superman, despite playing against some of the best defensive forwards in the world…night after night after night.

    NUF with the Toews comments.

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Mike the Mook, “BICK i think he is asked to do a lot” – and, the minute he signed that $4 mil contract he agreed…and all evidence since supports that he has reneged.

    Maybe Dale Tallon would appreciate him…

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Saying a team does/doesn’t “deserve” to win a game is ridiculous.

    The Blackhawks handed Anaheim a 3-goal lead.
    The Blackhawks erased a 2-goal deficit in the final 1:50 to force overtime.

    They EARNED a chance to win the game.

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Another gut wrencher. I was so sickened by the fawning announcers on TV that I synced up the radio to WGN following the first period meltdown stretch. I just muted Milbury and Jones at intermissions. Troy Murray had perhaps the greatest radio line of all time after Toews tied the game. “HOLY CRAP!!” Instant classic.

    Horribly shocking and unacceptable start for the Hawks last night. They had to know the Ducks would be flying out of the gate. While the comeback was heroic and almost resulted in a stolen game, it was just too much of a mountain to climb. I liked the no quit attitude though through 2nd and 3rd periods.

    Both keepers were not good last night, but despite the outcome Corey was way better than Andersen imo. Finally the Hawks via Seabs and Toews blast some one timers at Andersen. Guess what, goals!! Andersen does not move quickly and can be lit up. Ducks save him by blocking loads of shot attempts and keep his vision clear. I count 3 softies by Andersen last night.

    Refs random penalty calls have to make it hard on the players to know what a penalty is. How Seabrook escaped without being penalized after chopping a guy down on what appeared to be a breakaway is beyond me. Seabs even had this look of “really no call?” on his face. How does Cogliano after delivering a hard elbow from behind to the back of Keith’s head into the glass not get an elbowing penalty? This was a calculated attempt to injure a player. Sorry for the rant, but at least I got that out there.

    A shame that Hawks have to skate Timonen. Q can’t give him more minutes because the longer he is out there the more vulnerable the Hawks are to getting scored upon. Extra minutes will not make that guy any faster. The guy is simply unable to play at professional level due to physical limitations. A sad reality, but one we are stuck with I guess until the final whistle blows in these playoffs. Wish there was a roster alternative, but I think we would have seen it by now.

    This series as a close as we thought it would be. More to come tomorrow in a game I think the Hawks will win somehow. Game 7 is a wild card. If the Hawks just keep their concentration up for 60 minutes they can prevail tomorrow. This is a battle of resolve. Both teams have plenty.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Few day after thoughts:

    As bad as the 1st period looked for the Hawks, the 2nd was the complete opposite. The Hawks down right dominated the 2nd frame and outplayed the Ducks in the 3rd. We should give the Ducks credit they are a quality team and made a smart play in OT.

    This roster is flawed this team is not nearly as complete as Ana. The Ducks have 2 quality centers. Richards and Vermette have played well be neither of them are the quality that Ana is icing. Not the mention the Hawks are skating replacement level players on their bottom paring. Too many Hawks have failed to show up in this series; Bickell, Sharp account for 10 million bucks, both are skating bottom 6 minutes and neither should be back next season!

    Crow has played Good, his numbers don’t say as much but Ana has had quality chances and Crow has made some tough saves. Anderson on the other hand looks like he has gotten worse as the series has continued. The problem is Ana has done a good job keeping the Hawks outside and blocking shots so Anderson has had the easier series so far.

    The Hawks big guns need to show up or this series is over! If winning a cup was easier the Blues and Nucks would have atleast one so far!

    Go Hawks!

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Blackhawks are 12-1 in Game 6s under Q and this group of stars are harder to kill than John McClane. Yippee-ki-yay, motherfuckers; bring on game 6.

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:55 am

    One thing I love about the Hawks is their resolve. Toews is the perfect example of this. What I don’t understand is how they can have periods like the first and put themselves in the hole. I’m afraid that the roster decisions that Q made in game 3 will come back to bite us in the butt. Maybe this postseason will end the great Bickell myth. Go Hawks we aren’t done yet.

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Let’s review some facts here:
    1. The HAWKS are NEVER out of a game.
    2. It takes 4 wins to move on to the next round.
    3. The Ducks have a tendency to NOT finish off a team and move on.
    4. The Ducks goaltending has suddenly become “regular”.
    5. Let’s win game six because anything can happen in a game 7.

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:13 am

    JS- I put (in part) both of the last 2 goals on Crow… he was way out of his crease, which allowed easy put ins (one on the pass to maroon, one on the rebound). Not the most egregious mistake, but a mistake never the less to me… I know he TRIED to kick it past Beleskey, but he didnt… much like Bicks TRIED to get the puck in the zone.

    the other 3 were explainable why he didnt make the save (2 screened, 1 flukey tip)

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I understand all the caterwauling – I do. I’m as emotionally invested in our beloved Hawks as the rest of you guys are. I ride the rollercoaster of these games with white knuckles and it stinks when the Hawks lose.

    But Jeebus.

    Deserve versus not deserve? As the Clint Eastwood character in Unforgiven said “deserves got nothing to do with it” At the end of the game, the team with the most goals deserved to win the game. Hawks have deserved to win 2 and the Ducks 3 so far.

    I wish they had won last night, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that our Hawks are a wonderful team with the heart of a lion and this is good stuff.

    Go Hawks ! ! ! !

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Meh, roster isn’t that “flawed.” Aside from catastrophic injuries on the blue line that really no one could foresee both on the NHL squad and in the minors its a pretty solid line up.

    Otherwise, Sharp being an idiot and not managing the puck properly as well as Bickell having a massive brain fart were the biggest differences in my mind. They also gave a lot away in the first period which has nothing to do with the roster and more to do with poor puck management (theme much) and not manufacturing any shots. Another “should have bad a better result” game.

    Wednesday should be an interesting one. I’d like to reiterate that Anderson has given up 9 goals in the last two games and if they can get pucks to the net and manage it better in the neutral zone then they are in good shape. Simple stuff just need to execute.

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I’d like to know where Roy gets his stats regarding the 90%-10%

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:21 am

    SSHM- yep- the Ducks around Anderson have “sheltered” him… and If they win- that will be the reason… versus Hawks- coughing up the puck and leaving Goalie exposed to Higher Quality shots!!!


    Tab- great calling out of the “Deserved” comment…

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:27 am

    I forgot to add this in the previous –

    The Ducks are a good team. The Hawks are a good team. There are momentum swings in the game and a team on a roll can make the other team look bad, as witnessed in the 1st period yesterday. But that doesn’t make the one team THAT much better than the other team, as witnessed in the 2nd period yesterday.

    Mistakes happen – part of the game. Stan leaves Q without reliable 5/6/7 d-men. Q benches 86 & 80 for no logical reason. Crawford doesn’t play perfect every minute of every game. Other players make poor spur of the moment decisions and bad plays. Hey – it’s never going to be perfect. But we’re heading into game #6 of the WCF with Stanley Cup dreams very much alive.

    Black and Red till I’m cold and dead. Proud to be a Hawks fan.

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:31 am

    It was a great game. Showed the resiliency and attitude of this team.

    It’s obvious to me that Timonen is a huge liability when he is on the ice. On hits he delivers, he goes down, on hits received, he goes down. The last goal in regulation he was out of position. He was a very good player, but now, I do not think he is capable of playing in the NHL. I personally think that was the last we see of him playing. I suspect TVR is about ready to join.

    As stated in other posts today, Bickel’s mistake cost us the game and I am sure he feels worse about it than any of us. However, none of us make the money he does. No goals in the playoffs in 18 games? We let it slide during the regular season, saying it is okay for him to slack off because he show up for the playoffs. Well I for one am waiting for Playoff Bickel. Maybe the idea of putting in Versteeg in his place is the answer, or maybe a sit down with Rocky would help. I am not sure.
    It is all hands on deck for the next two games and as a fan, I expect all of the players to leave everything on the ice.

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:37 am

    The positive that I took from last night was that Andersen came back to earth. If the Ducks had lost that game someone I can only imagine the calls for his head. If we can get game 6 on Wednesday then we have a great shot. We can’t have any more stretches like the first period when we were lucky to get out with only a three goal deficit – if not for Crow it could have been 4 or 5. It’s time for all hands on deck and hopefully we will see some contribution from big guns that have been pretty silent like 10 and 81. Also last night wasn’t 88’s best game.

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:41 am

    ER – Very well said! Lets get game 6 – I like our chances in a game 7 with an extra day of rest.

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Kimo just doesn’t have it anymore sadly. Put in TVR and hope for the best. Hawks always had to win game 6 and they will. Leave the lineup alone now unless there is an injury other than Kimo. T2 played great.

  • May 26, 2015 at 11:07 am

    And seriously, who would have thought that Johns would be injured off and on all year and not get a call up, that TVR would be catastrophically injured and not be able to get his legs under him and that Rozy would turn and crack his ankle in some fluke injury instead of a slow painful awful to watch waste away.

    Timonen was a gamble but some days the bear eats you. Tough to toss the GM under the bus. He isn’t omnipotent. Richards has paid off and I can’t complain about Vermette. It will in all likelihood be a noticeably different team next year. Wuddyagonnado.

  • May 26, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Tab and Wall,

    When you have a horrible first period and then make a horrendous play in the first minute of overtime … losses happen.

    When you make those types of plays the other team takes advantage and they deserve to win. The other team executed, they deserved it. The Blackhawks didn’t execute (referring to the whole 1st period & the bad play right away in OT), they didn’t deserve it.

  • May 26, 2015 at 11:17 am

    If the Ducks lost last night Gibson starts game 6, no question in my mind. We will learn how good Freddy Anderson is tomorrow night.

  • May 26, 2015 at 11:26 am

    For any of those who might be interested in excellent stats the following link details shot locations / blocked shots/ goal locations for both teams as well as detailed shift and event info

    This link gives details on player matchups, TOI, and Corsi

    Worst Corsi players last night were:

    Seabrook and cough

  • May 26, 2015 at 11:37 am

    Andersen has been exposed as being vulnerable. Many of us thought it would take a few games to see this revealed and it is here. These teams are neck and neck down the stretch. While not often mentioned I see the Ducks as a tired team, just like the Hawks are. Ducks lost defensive structure and neutral zone wall that has kept the Hawks bottled up all to frequently in this series as the2nd and 3rd periods progressed last night. Ducks have put heavy mileage on their forwards skating balls out to blow up Hawks D men. They are skating back heads down with the rubber legs more and more as this series has progressed. They will continue to press the physical edge, but they are paying a price.

    86 to the 2nd unit power play PLEASE!

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • May 26, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Saying the Hawks did not deserve to win that game is ridiculous. Most teams down by 2 goals with 5 minutes left would pack it in. Not the Hawks. This team has more heart than any team I have ever seen.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I wonder if Hossa is hurt. Usually he is a beast to move off the puck. Not the last several games. We need a big game out of him tomorrow night.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Phil & 1961 — spot on points.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    How about we all vote on the following: Who should Q dress Game 6? A) Bickell B) Versteeg C) Hartman D) Carcillo E) Seventh D-man. Let’s make this a fun endeavor.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Now that we pried Kimmo from the flyers, I am wondering if there is any chance we can get Pronger. He hasn’t played since 2011, so a number 3 pick should reel him in.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    I vote for young cannonball C) Hartman. Worst case scenario, double shift Kane & Sharp & Saad intermittently.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    61 you are apparently still butthurt from the thrashing you took about your insipid comment about “any Rockford dfenseman should be in the lineup”. Any time you want to stop trolling that’d be fine because I’ll be right here to respond to you.

    They played an awful 1st period. Had they played better and not been down 3 goals, their resolve in the last two minutes might well have led them to victory. Anaheim scored three and they deserved it, they played better.

    Then in the OT the Blackhawks made a terrible play, the Ducks capitalized, they scored, they deserved it. It wasn’t luck.

    Why do the simplest things constantly need to be explained to you?

    Stick to your lame blame the coach schtick, it’s what you’re good at, and always good for a laugh.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Hof- Did you forget to take your meds today?

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Iceman- I would dress Hartman also but put him on the 4rth line. I would move Shaw to bickel’s spot.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    61, no meds, I just hate clueless and you fit the bill. Why do the simplest things continually have to be explained to you, seems odd for someone pushing 60 to not have a basic understanding of so many things.

    Stick to your blame the coach schtick. It appears to be the only thing you’re good at.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    1961- had same thoughts on Hoss… either hurt or Ducks are that good/quick…
    In Hossa’s defense… Saad- is young and fast… and never seen him NOT blow by/thru D … as little as he has … so gets me thinking the Ducks/System is really taking away speed and that good…

    Ducks D seemed to be “Old” a couple years back… now they are actually pretty young… and they have plenty of Cap space to be even better this year and next…

    Only negative for them- is there two 3 best Forwards are at peak… so window could/should be closing on them Physically – but next two years – they look primed to be serious contenders/favorites (barring injuries of course)

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Hof- I might consider it lucky that BB’s slap shot of a dump in bounced off of a shin pad and directly onto a stick. Probably a 1 in 100 occurrence, but it only takes the one.

    The boys will be ready to play tomorrow and if needed, we have SWIG for Game 7.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Wall- seems pretty obvious to me that what the Ducks are doing in the neutral zone is giving the Hawks fits. The D men are having absolutely no passing lanes to try to spring a forward. Hawks seemed to adjust a bit in the second but you still see instances of them just going back and forth between d men looking for any sort of day light.

    And when they are in the offensive zone, outside of TT, no one seems to be able to find the soft spot in the coverage. Frustrating as hell to watch.

  • May 26, 2015 at 12:48 pm


    Anytime you claim the Hawks “don’t deserve to win” after they battled back to force OT, you are going to catch resistance…

    This team has shown great resilience over the years and last night was no exception!

    2 more wins to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals! Go Hawks!

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    JS- did you ever see the Russians run that Box n 1 PP??? with 2 forwards below/on goal line… really was interesting- forcing D to turn their backs to the potential back doors and one timers… also, allows for lots of “legal” pick plays too…

    surrounds net w/ three players (versus the umbrella- which surrounds the PK)

    what I really like is it SHOULD be harder to pressure the Hawks PP on half boards- cuz PP should have more passing options from halfboards.

    In Basketball- it is well known fact that 3 point shooting percentage is way higher when the ball goes from inside out (or near basket to perimeter)
    because D loses their Men-cuz attention is turned inside (backs to perimeter shooters)… and the Shooter is more square to the pass and Goal…

    This is the same concept- on this PP… if you had Kane/TT type passing from near goal (where all eyes would be on them) to roaming guys near circle/slot… they would be in great position for one timers and back door plays. with D’s backs to them,,, and in shooting position/facing the net.

    The Pass from TT to Seabrook- really made me wonder about possible success/advantages of that set-up.

    JS, MTM, B and B, anyone have any comments on that?

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Junkie, good comment and yes I expect to get resistance. Doesn’t mean I won’t say I think Anaheim deserved to win and I am the furthest thing from an Anaheim fan. And yes I understand the Blackhawks have tremendous resolve and I hope they can pull it off, but I am prepared to give credit to another team and not constantly look to pin the blame.

    I got resistance all year long with my stance about not rushing prospects. The guy I take issue with is constantly wanting to insert x prospect of y prospect or z prospect into the lineup, including wanting to insert “any Rockford defenseman” in the midst of the WC Finals and now Hartman. So I espouse resistance to that train of thought and that of his continual fall back theory of “it’s the coach’s fault”.

    No coach is infallible, no coach has all the answers, but to suggest a message board poster who wants “any Rockford defenseman” inserted into the lineup has a better grasp than the coach, well … no.

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Any TT haters out there? This kid is the real deal!

    I am glad the Hawks don’t pay much attention to some of the stuff said on this blog site.

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    @ HockeyJunkie – Teravainen haters?

    I’m glad you don’t pay much attention to anything said on this blog site

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Going a step further on the let’s kick Bick thread…I’ve always seen him as an average player who had an above average run in our 2013 cup win. That’s it. He was on a line with Toews and benefited greatly from that gift. I was completely surprised when they gave him 4M per after 2013. I didn’t think he was worth it, but they obviously thought so. That, too, was a GM gamble, though not nearly the head-scratcher that the Timonen acquisition was, but a gamble just the same. He has great potential, and a terrific shot when he can get it off, but why he plays such a small game when he’s such a big guy is a mystery to me. That play he made last night cost us the game as some have pointed out here, but the puck could have bounced in the other direction instead of right onto a Duck stick, which also has been pointed out. If we had mustered a full 60 minute effort instead of sleepwalking through the first period and getting ourselves into a huge hole, than maybe we wouldn’t be pondering the enigma of Bickell.
    Hopefully, lessons learned by all and we have a great bounce back game tomorrow and then lay it all out for Game 7.

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Tab- Pretty sure it’s a shot at Rufus who said some of his usual garbage about TT being overhyped and he sees nothing in him.

    Wall- can’t say I’ve seen much of that PP strategy. Perhaps I can do some youtube searching for it. I’ve been known to be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that there is more space behind the net on Olympic ice, so that might make having two players below the goal line more of an option. And with the wider rinks, the defensemen in front of the net can’t chase out as easily to pressure the person behind the goal line without risking getting pulled way out of position.

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:30 pm


    I have seen the TT haters go silent on this site since he has been given more quality ice time. It was a matter of time (pardon the pun) for him showing his talent.

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    If anyone has a problem with TT, they’re not a very good judge of raw talent. That pass to Seabrook from behind the net was genius (also brilliant the way Seabs positioned himself so he could receive it). And just wait until he gets more experience and puts on a few pounds. He’s Got Game!

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    JS- width and space behind net- yes that is probably a factor…
    but getting tired of watching 4 ducks overload the strong side (puck side) when puck on halfboards… and two Hawks on PP weak side- 70-80 feet from the puck… with no chance in Hell of receiving the puck or supporting Hawk with the Puck…

    really poor

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    This comes up every few months, but it is worth repeating…and no I don’t think Bickell is worth his money…

    Bickell was coming off a Cup run where it appeared the light finally turned on. He had scored 17 points in 23 games (9 goals and 8 assists). He also parked his butt in front of the net and got some of those goals. This was coming off a regular season where he was not dominant, but showed a strong cycle game with linemates Shaw and Stalberg. Additionally, he ended the Cup run with a pretty big knee injury…but played through it. So he played hurt and scored a giant goal in the Stanley Cup Final…played with Toews and scored some big goals…The light looked bright. HE WAS SOUGHT AFTER. Big player who could score. 4 Years at 4 M. Per was probably a draft team discount because I bet he had offers higher than that…and potentially longer. This was the same year of Clarkson at 7 years, 5.25 per. So…I get the contract. It was a point of contention on this board as soon as it was signed. At the time, I was surprised the Hawks could afford to keep him and was okay with it as Bickell had just played well. Clearly 2 years in, the deal looks bad and Bickell is not worth it…but this doesn’t just stem from his failed attempt to get it deep last night. It mostly comes from 2 years of the same (and maybe worse Bickell) than what he showed in 2013.

  • May 26, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I love it when Tab gets salty with the Hoi Polloi. Of course the playoffs do bring out a whole new dynamic to the board.

    I’m pretty sure if the Hawks were paying attention to any message board chatter they would not be in the position they currently find themselves. They have better things to do to prepare for the Ducks. Things like sleeping and eating good crap. The rest of us on the other hand…

    The Ducks will try to grind the Hawks offense to a halt yet again tomorrow clog the zone, force dump ins and limit chances. The UC gets rocking when the team gets flying around, when the game turns into a grind, not so much.

  • May 26, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Another nugget for those who continue to bash the Timonen trade – just last year he averaged 22 minutes per game in 77 games played for a team that made the playoffs (and played 20 minutes per playoff game too). Was it unreasonable for SB to think he could give the Hawks 12 – 14 minutes per game? He fell off a cliff but who knew because he hadn’t played. A calculated gamble and one that certainly hasn’t paid off but at the time did not seem crazy.

  • May 26, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Wall – haha yes, it’s horrible to watch the Hawks PP currently. The Ducks are moving amazingly well as a box and cutting off almost all of the “easy” passes. I think the Hawks have to lean more towards having two point men high and making seam passes from the halfboards to the opposite point. Right now they just seem to be getting it to the point man on the near side and he pretty much has no options besides dumping it down where the Hawks try to fight for the puck but somehow get out numbered and lose it.

    On Kane’s PP goal the other game, he did something like this with Richards. Richards knows how to create the lanes, which would be really valuable if the Hawks could get the puck off the boards.

  • May 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    @Chevrier – frustration w/ Timonen has nothing to do w/ his play last season and everything to do w/ the fact that they overpaid for a guy in his 40s who hadn’t played a game in the NHL this season before the deal. The player he was last season and the player we’re watching today are two very different individuals; his layoff appears to have meant “you’re retired already” to his body, but his mind didn’t get the memo. He’s been bad.

    But that, of course, is a statement we can make in hindsight. I wasn’t a fan of the picks Bowman gave up at the time and still struggle to justify the contingencies based on team performance in the postseason.

  • May 26, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Wall is definitely on to something with the ‘forwards below the goal line’ PP strategy. Think “Gretzky’s Office”. A lot of what made the Great One great was how d-men did in fact turn their backs to the 195 feet of ice behind them when trying to do something about #99 behind the net. If any NHL club could employ this as a PP design, it’s us and TT and 88 are born to it.

    Hoffy, I read your posts all the time and you know your stuff but don’t get too thin-skinned. You’ve got no additional mileage to make repeating the deserved-to-win thing. Keep to wit and humor in retorts

  • May 26, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    And whoever it was said “maybe we can get Pronger too from the Flyers” ha ha!! good one!

  • May 26, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    There are two points that get up regarding 44. First, how could Bowman have been so stupid to acquire him? Second why is he sill playing?

    On the first point, all the Hawks needed before 32 flipped the orientation of his leg was a defenseman who could eat a dozen to 15 mins per game and don’t f up. Based on his history it was reasonable to expect he could fit that need. In practice it’s been the Hindenburg. Oh the humanity.

    On the second point, there is literally nobody else who can fill in. Tab would you throw Pokka or Paliotta out there against the Ducks?

    Is Pronger available?

  • May 26, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    I will always remember reading somewhere after the 2013 playoffs that Bickell was likely to a get GM fired – referring to the good timing of his new found performance, his free agency status and the demand for big guys that could score. We are lucky the commitment was only for four years. He will be tough to move but I certainly hope Stan finds a way. The return is irrelevant. He has proven to be a waste of cap space and a roster spot. Certainly were it not for the contract he would have been sent down some time back. The last guy to screw up so badly was Campoli and I don’t think he has played a game in the NHL since.

  • May 26, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    @ Chev, yeah you’re right with your points and funny how some things just do not work out. The Hindenburg LOL that’s about it.

    All we can hope is Timonen pulls a rabbit out of his hat for Game 6 and hopefully beyond. I’m not counting on it and I doubt anyone else is either but there’s always hope.

  • May 26, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Chev… Funny post!

    I think SB was “loving the idea” of the Timonen of Old… Now he is just “The Old Timonen”.

    Pronger is not available due to his “loopiness”, but would still be an upgrade.

  • May 26, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    On the plus side at least Stan can take vacation during the draft since the Hawks won’t be selecting until the 5th round!

  • May 26, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    SSHM, humor noted but as it stands now they’ve got pick #54 2nd round for the great Kevin Hayes plus their 3rd, 4th, 5th, two in the 6th, and 7th.

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    GOLDENBLADZ I’m just saying, that me personally I would dread starting next season with Darling in the net as the fixture the go to guy or starter. I am also saying 82 games and playoffs is a lot of GAMES, time for a guy who has some issues to have well more issues. I wish him well and yes we can always point to a case in point or example of him being BISHOP . . . but my gut says KEEP CROW.

    I love MIKE SMITH from the YOTES . .. to me i would get him, I’m sure this board will have comments but get MIKE SMITH and we’re back in the saddle. Btu Darling count me out.

    I hate this cap talk, to me the Hawks will get marginally better and the competition in the WEST and WILD and PREDS and KINGS and JETS are getting more than marginally better, period. Thats why Toews need to like be the player he can be, like last night, no fluke, but when he is scoring and looking to score that changes everything.

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Andersen was shook up. The fact that we let him off the hook by not extending the game in OT was criminal .

    Game 5 can give you reasons to believe, or reasons to doubt.

    I get very uncomfortable when 44 is out there. Like never before.

    I see Game 6 as ours, in 60 min. Then it’s anybody’s guess who the hero/goat will be
    on Sat night.

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Three letters for the Hawks to prevail in the series!
    The Blackhawks clearly need some fresh legs on defense. I think Choach Q should insert Trevor VanRiemsdyk into the line up! In his 18 games with the Blackhawks he was patient with the puck and didn’t force passes simply because there was pressure coming. He showed flashes of offensive effectiveness while still maintaining a game that erred on making the safe play. His fresh legs and consistent play are much needed on to support the Hawks big 4 or Defense. If indeed he is as healthy as appears to be with the “Black Aces.” It is time for a T-V-R return!

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Hey 61:
    a) If the Anointed One deems your opinion incorrect, you are trolling.
    b) In fact, why don’t you censor yourself so that we don’t have to bother responding to your highly Triggering Hate Speech against Our Coach?
    c) Don’t let’s get caught up in the individual risks and benefits of dressing 44 vs. a dead horse; just admit that what is usually the case will a priori definitely be the case this time.

    Confess your thoughtcrime!

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    WALL – TNT to SEABROOK was really a great play really by Seabrook who dropped down and found that space and a sweet quick pass by TNT. BUT we both noticed is know the Hawks Cycle Power play is the trend and strategy. Hossa may be our only player who can dominate the wall and hold the puck on a power play so “motion offense” back to nba terms is what they seem to THINK they are best suited for. Hawks are not small but we are not big so movement is key, but YES if we can really move our Defense men “down” to the dots and get a 10 foot shoot or 5 footer like Seabrook we’d be more productive on power play and if our D-men drop down then that would take PRESSURE OFF TNT who would get killed behind the net if he did not have an outlet? Right now as you noticed we get like a 17 footer off, or blocked from the blue line, and Keith needs to pump fake, over skate, and try to get it off from Berwyn. I say more below the dots, also like Toews first goal, Ducks are great at this, they get in the seams and take it to the net between the dots and get “crisp” HEAVY SHOTS to the net, Hawks not so much? Ducks love when the Hawks skate 15 feet from the net, along the boards, it’s hard to get the puck to the net from there even in pee wee hockey. Hawks core four d-men are mega talented on offense they hit the net and you gotta know where they are at, at all times. Plus as I’ve ranted the Hawks back check great so Yes the d-men can take smart chances?

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    With Bicks play getting worse as we go along, I think his value gets less and less. It might end up being a situation of having to send a lower rd. pick and him to a team with salary cap room or need to get to the bottom of the cap, and getting nothing in return other than cap relief, don’t be surprised, TALLON PLEASE ANSWER THE PHONE. And put me down for the Hartman for Bicks for game 6-7, really, it can’t possibly be worse, and might need to move Shaw to that line like somebody suggested.

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    So the overarching conclusion is this…the Hawks are in serious trouble in this series. The Hawks have largely been outplayed in each of these 5 games, Anaheim is damned good and Anaheim is playing like their hair is on fire trying to get to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 8 years. Can the Hawks still pull out this series? Yes. Will they? I put the odds of that happening at no more than 25%.

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    Forgot, I can see TT having a Adam Oates type of career, only hope we can get a Brett Hull type player to play with.

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Voting update re: who should dress A) Bickell B) Versteeg C) Hartman D) Carcill0 E) Seventh D-man — three (3) votes for C); zero (0) votes for A), B), D) & E). Still plenty of time to vote! Voting booths remain open until tomorrow’s pre-game warm ups, twenty-three hours or so to vote. Don’t be shy!

    By the way, tomorrow night’s referees will be Kevin Pollock & Wes McCauley.

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    T-V-R should Dress!

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Iceman…obviously you didnt read my post…near the top.

  • May 26, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    …. quick update voting: 3 votes for C), 1 vote for D) and 1 vote for E) ….

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Hey FTR, why don’t you and your best buddy go annoint yourself to a few Ice Hog games next year …. then you can both sing “Any Rockford defenseman should be in the lineup” in two part harmony. You’ll look so cute together …

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    re: TVR should dress – he’s barely skated since surgery on April 3…

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    FTR- Yes, The thought police have discovered my transgressions. I must confess or Big Brother will make my head right.

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    ^ Welcome Big Brother’s help. You clearly need something.

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Hey Tab, TVR could dress tomorrow night. Quenneville said it’s being evaluated whether he’s a possibility or not. So maybe he’s in?

  • May 26, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I’ve done a lot of reading, but this is my first time posting.
    Everyone knows that you win and lose as a team. What this comes down to is whether your teammate is an asset, or a liability.
    It is extremely difficult to make any argument, based on performance, other than the fact that Bickell and Timmonen are liabilities each and every time they step on the ice.
    Unless one of you can produce a logical and effective argument to the contrary, then the logical and only reasonable decision for this team is to replace those two with other skaters, and give those skaters, those teammates, a CHANCE to become an ASSET.

    I vote for ANY of the available called-up defenseman, and Kris Versteeg.

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    If you wants hits and distractions put in Carcillo. Daniel has good playoff experience ( remember what a pest and effective player he was in 2010…sure caught the eye of the bosses at Blackhawk HQ ).,.and he can score a goal here and there.

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    stats tell some interesting stories

    – Hawks out Corsi’d the Ducks 66 to 54 meaning 12 more shots directed at the Anaheim goal.
    – Anaheim blocked 21 of the 66 Hawk attempts while the Hawks blocked 11 of the Ducks 54
    – Hawks had 4 more scoring chances but in the high danger areas Anaheim had 4 more (this is typical Hawks. Has been all season and makes Crawford better than some think he is – Hawks consistently give up more “high chance” shots than their opposition
    – Hawks had more offensive zone starts, 26 – 16 which is a nice sign – They were getting far too many icing calls against previous to this game
    – Hawks got owned on the Hit Sheet 41 – 23 and thumped in the FO circle 39 – 26 (should not be happening when you have a Toews and Vermette on your team)
    – 5 on 5 the Hawks were outscored 5-2. Not a good sign. They lead pretty much in all stat categories except goals against.
    – Seabrook was the only Hawk D with more than one blocked shot (2) – Despres had 6.
    – Oduya and Seabrook should never be paired together even strength – 33.33% Corsi together – that’s pathetic – Oduya had a horrible night excepting when he played with CUMISKEY? WTF?
    – Seabrook had a bad night defensively. Best EV Corsi playing with Timonen?? Double WTF?
    -Cumiskey played very well in his 10.8 minutes – Timonen again was not good in his 7.8
    – Keith has been an absolute beast – logs the big minutes in all situations and still comes out smelling like a rose – Every Dman’s corsi shoots skyward playing with him.
    – Ducks had 3 of 5 goals right out front in the kill zone – Hawks had zero – Hawks badly need to crash the FN net and quit being so polite
    – Hossa played 10.4 minutes at EV – Saad played 13.3 and Toews played 14.9 – I would say Mr Hossa might be struggling most with the amount of playoff hockey being played
    – for those bemoaning TT’s lack of involvement on the PP take some comfort in that only one forward, Kane, got more ice 5 on 5.

  • May 26, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Sure we had a bad first but the Ducks had a bad second and we got the edge in the third. It was a clean slate going into OT. The fault lies squarely with Bickell. The only thing he is good at is walking his wheelbarrow full of cash to the bank, to the tune of a million more than Q makes per year! It was a half hearted, no thinking, who cares, I’m too cool play on his part that cost us the game. Otherwise the stats are way skewed on our side to win that game.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Stats also show Bickell was far from the worst forward 5 0n 5 last night.

    That dubious honour goes to Marion Hossa.

    Kruger and Desjardins were runners up in the Yeesh category.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Comments are all over the place…for games 6 & 7 we have to ‘dance with who brung us’ as the saying goes.

    All this talk about dressing this guy or that guy that hasn’t played for awhile or has not dressed for even 10 regular season games, let alone game 6 of a conference final, is an absolute joke. Are those of you making those comments for real?

    One thing for sure…the word ‘scratch’ and TT will never be found together in the same sentence again.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Q is thinking of dressing a guy who hasn’t skated in an NHL game since November and has NEVER skated in a playoff game? Maybe the Hawks DO READ THIS BLOG.

    The NHL is a world away from the NHL and the playoffs are a whole different animal. If Q is dead set on sitting Timmonen, his only options are Cumiskey and Rundblad. If he skates both of them, they CANNOT be on the ice together and they need to be paired with 7 and 2, sparingly.

    TVR is a promising D man, but to throw him to the wolves could kill any confidence that he has and hurt him for next year, especially in a deciding game.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    small request: know how to spell the players on the Blackhawks’ names.


    Thank you.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    small request: know how to spell the players on the Blackhawks’ names.


    Thank you.

    Did you know who I was referring to Capt. Spellcheck? Funny that you don’t say boo when anyone else does the same thing.

    Still sore at me over telling the truth re the BS Timonen trade I guess. Allow me to retract as a gesture of respect. HE’S AWESOME and it’s amazing that he was secured for only second and third round draft picks.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Reg the voice of reason. The Indians want anyone but Timonen at this point. TVR hasn’t played since what November? And he will be run out there against the Ducjs in game 6 of thr WCF? WTF. Kane just came back from a long injury and really didn’t look like himself for at least a week. And he’s one of the best players in the world. So a rookie defenseman who hasn’t played a game in half a year is going to step into game 6? I am a rose colored glasses optimist in almost every regard to the Hawks but this is crazy talk. Timonen looks like a my toddler playing with the kitchen knives every time he touches the puck but TVR can’t go out there.

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Guys enjoy game 6 and remember it’s been fun and a privlege to see this team over the last few years.
    Tab thanks for the chance to listen/respond to a wide variety of people and about a topic of interest to all.
    (Still have Hawks in 7)

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Use the PP behind the goal strategy on a audible.

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Were working on it.

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Let’s take a deep breath everybody and come out firing on all cylinders. We have to support the team no matter who’s out there. We will find a way to defeat the Ducks, but hopefully no more OTs it’s to nerve wracking. Go Hawks.

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Alberta, I think the truth is that even SB is shocked that Kimo is as bad as this. I am sure that he did his homework on this guy, but sometimes trades just don’t work out.

    If things were reversed and Kimo was playing 20+ minutes a game and was a +2 for the series, we’d all be saying how we fleeced the Flyers, but this is reality and the truth is that it just didn’t work out.

    But because SB has improved this roster over the last 2 years, we are possibly going to a 3rd Stanley Cup final in the last 5 years AND we have a lot of young talent(TT, Saad, TVR) that will continue to help this team in the future.

    At least SB was willing to TRY and make this team better for the playoff run. Desjardins was a good trade and he has helped this team a lot. NOT EVERY TRADE IS A HOMERUN!

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Alberta…Tab has always, …always, corrected mistakes in spelling on names…definitely not picking on you or your opinions. There are a lot of spelling and grammar errors on blog sites due to many factors and most are forgiven but the spelling of players names is where he draws the line, out of respect and integrity to this site…its Tabs name behind the Committed Indians.

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Were going to take it to another level/gear now. These kind of games, where are backs are against the wall, are more fun (Hammer).

  • May 26, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Iceman’s earlier mention of the game six referees is a huge factor. NHL officiating is the worst of any major sports, and their influence on momentum and the outcome of the game cannot be understated.

    Wes McCauley is the new Bill McCreary, the best of the worst the NHL has and the most predisposed against the Hawks. Every time he officiates a Hawks game, his disdain for us is apparent, so don’t expect anything but the short end of the stick from this pompous and biased Hawk loather. Anaheim will continue to have free reign on contact with Crawford, late hits, high elbows, etc. while we’ll get nailed for questionable hooks and holds. McCauley will reveal himself to be the 7th Duck on the ice, assured. The ONLY blessing of having him for game 6 is that he won’t get the assignment for game 7.

    As for Versteeg’s reappearance in the lineup that some have called for, I pray that won’t happen. His career is effectively over as far as I’m concerned. His effort and ability is no longer NHL calibre, and too often he emulates Sharp by skating around at half speed with his stick way up off the ice while waiting for someone else to do the dirty board work he cannot do.

    I’m hoping the perfect replacement for Bickell will be…Bickell himself. If anyone has something to atone for from game 5, it’s him, and just maybe he’ll be motivated like we’ve not yet seen this year. Hawk fans have had some seriously ironic game-winning goal scorers the last 2 seasons (Handzus vs LA game 5 last year; Vermette game 4 this year), so maybe this will be the moment in the Life of Bryan.

    While it’s unsportmanlike to say, I would give anything to see Ryan Kesler get carried off the ice on Wednesday. I have no respect whatsoever for him after his little mockery of Brent Seabrook in the first period of game 5. It went unmentioned on the Canadian feed, but with Anaheim dominating us all over the ice, right after the whistle blew to stop play, Kesler skated towards Seabrook in the corner of the Hawk zone. Kesler acted like he was going to throw his shoulder into Brent, but stopped just short of doing so while skating away arrogantly (a la Tie Domi) as if he had just scared and intimidated Seabrook. I hope Kesler’s rewarded for his arrogance and all-too-big ego with a trip on a stretcher. Go Hawks.

  • May 26, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    57 in for 44, and 42, yes 42 in for 29! 23 plays with his stick in the air too much, and always tries to be too cute. 42 will hit, and shoot!

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  • May 26, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Hawks will take game 6 by two or more goals. The Ducks will go to a game 7 with thoughts of their recent playoff failures and fail yet again losing to the Hawks. See you in the finals boys.

    Oh yeah, no roster changes the last two games. It is too late to have any effective changes for Kimmo. Plus, there is no way Steeger should replace Bickell. On ice adjustments and more time for the lines and players that are clicking.

    My joke about getting Pronger was just that. I am actually glad the Hawks made the Kimmo trade. They made that trade and the others taking a shot at improving. At least they went for it rather than sitting on their hands. Better to swing then to never lift the bat off your shoulders.

  • May 27, 2015 at 6:30 am

    155 comments…..WOW
    And it boils down to this. If the Hawks win tonite, we play game 7 as many predicted. If we lose, the Ducks are simply the better team…..this year……this series. Whoever said we always HAD to win game 6 is exactly right.

    The reality is that the Hawks are as close to a dynasty as you are going to find in the NHL in the Cap Era. That is a testament to Rocky, Tallon, Bowman, Q and the players. The other reality is that it is a game. Tomorrow we all get up and go to work.

    Tab, thanks for a great great blog

  • May 27, 2015 at 7:05 am

    I’ve seen Bickell compared to Chris Campoli a couple of times. For pointless reasons, I will defend Campoli by saying that his play was not nearly as poor. After Toews’ legend continued to grow after the amazing shorty that put the Hawks into the overtime. Campoli tried to fire the puck high along the boards to get it out of the zone. One of the Canuckleheads (Burrows I believe) reached up with his hand, pulled the puck out of the air, dropped in front and charged the net, beating Crawford. It was a good play by Burrows. I think that Bickell just whiffed.

    Go Blackhawks in Game 6. Win or lose, I will cheer for this team no matter what. And I would love to see Bickell rebound and have a good game (if he actually gets let on the ice).

  • May 27, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Moment of pause:

    Rundblad is awful – a liability.
    TvR hasn’t skated much since surgery on April 3. He he didn’t play 30 games this year between Chicago & Rockford.
    Timomen will be making licensing money from this summer’s Jurassic Park reboot.

    Not great options for a 6th dman… but it’s what they’ve got to work w/ now that Rozsival – and Johns – are hurt.

  • May 27, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Voting update: A) Bickell (2 votes) B) Versteeg (1 vote) C) Hartman (3 votes) D) Carcillo (1 vote) E) Seventh D man (1 vote). Also a write-in vote for Nordstrom.

    Espositive has raised a salient point — Wes McCauley’s disdain for the Hawks. This all stems from the Tom Lysiak incident of over thirty years ago; Wes’ father, John McCauley, was in charge of the officials and if memory serves correct, rendered the harsh judgment against the Hawks. The Hawks receive a fair deal from most of the refs b/c this is ancient history; however, to Wes McCauley, he is carrying on his father’s legacy. Let’s hope it doesn’t affect the outcome. He did ref the triple OT game and the Hawks were able to overcome his presence.

  • May 27, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Okay, just read that Q is considering playing TVR tonight. I am assuming that will mean Kimmo won’t play. If that is so, that is two years in a row that Q stayed with an aging veteran until the Hawks were on the brink of elimination. Zus last year and Kimmo this year. That is fricking SAD!!! Why change now? He did not recognize the issue 3-4 games ago while it was so obvious to everyone else Kimmo was a liability? Come on!!!! TVR’s condition improved so much in the last week? I don’t get it.

  • May 27, 2015 at 8:52 am

    My opinion for the last dressed spot tonight… I WANT hartman, but its probably bickell. and i’ll take bickell over 42, 13, a dman, etc…

    they just need to get bickell away from Kane… maybe 10-91-88, 29-80-86?

    or why not… 86-91-88 (in second line minutes), 29-80-10 (in lesser minutes)

    Just ideas i guess…

  • May 27, 2015 at 9:33 am

    I’m not a Bickell supporter and do hope he’s moved next season but I predict he will be positively noticeable and more effective tonight…hope it’s true and not merely wishful thinking.

    Can’t wait for 7pm…GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • May 27, 2015 at 9:37 am

    All this talk of lineup changes. This team should skate as is with the forward combos. The back pairs can mix and match, but Timonen is an open sore that won’t heal till off season, as sad and painful to watch as it is. I just cringe when I see 44 out there with the broken record going round in my head of saying “please get him off the ice as quickly as possible.”This has been going on EVERY GAME now for 3 series. Hard to believe, but his play is still trending down. I believe he is the least capable d man that I can ever remember wearing a Hawks sweater. That said watch him pop in a huge goal or something to blow everyone away. I can wish can’t I???

    Guys need to put in 60 good minutes tonight. An early lead will get the crowd full into it, and it will be jammed packed at the UC tonight at 22,400 plus. I am liking what I reading concerning PP structure that models what the Russians were up to. Makes some real sense, and the Hawks have the guys to make that work. Nice input there guys. Special teams will win or lose this one tonight. Both teams are somewhat beat down physically. Saad, Hossa, Bickell, Vermette, Richards, Toews need to finish checks with authority. I see Ducks d corps losing a step in the past few games. They aren’t the quickest guys anyway. I just hope the Hawks have some gas left in the tank to exert their will on the Ducks. Get this to game 7 and it’s up for grabs. Who could ask for more if we knew at seasons start our team would be there with a shot a Cup finals within grasp?

    As crazy as it gets to watch these games, this is high drama world class sport, and we should take it all in, and enjoy the ride while it’s here. Rarefied air.

    They can do this!

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  • May 27, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Booman, will you be surprised if Q plays TvR and sits Cuminsky????????

  • May 27, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Why hasn’t anyone menyioned why Q didn’t start the 1st line in ot! Toews never saw ice in ot! Terrible mistake by Q!

  • May 27, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Yes, losing the game 45 seconds into overtime is wholly on Joel Quenneville…


  • May 27, 2015 at 10:30 am

    I wouldn’t mind these lines for a period (or three) tonight:

  • May 27, 2015 at 10:37 am


    I still can’t shake that game 7 giveaway to Burrows, that lasting image will always remind me how much I dislike Campoli. That and him wanting insane money from the Hawks and Stan telling him to go pound sand lol.

  • May 27, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Mike- Not even ” fresh legs” would make that move.

  • May 27, 2015 at 11:00 am

    SSHM, while that Campoli play is also etched in my memory, Burrows(as much as I can’t stand the little hair puller) made a really nice play to keep the puck in the zone. He then teed up a slap shot with puck standing on end, and with head down buried it top left corner. Perfect location that was pretty lucky. Tough end to a series which revealed the resolve and no quit attitude this team still has.

    Tab, I could live with those lines you drew up.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • May 27, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Yes, NWI. I made the comment to a friend as the OT began. Strange the Q’s not starting the period with Toews, especially after he single handedly gave us life a few minutes prior. Didn’t even have time to process it before Bickell harpooned the momentum. Hard not to indulge in the “if only” regrets even though I know it’s a waste of time and space. Let’s hope that’s all behind us now and wiser heads will prevail on the ice and behind the bench.

    Tab, I like tour line combo’s too. Shaw and Desi might be the answer to get Bickell going. Though I doubt Q would agree with us.

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