Corey Crawford, Blackhawks 1 Win Away

People will tell you Corey Crawford isn’t an elite goaltender. And there are times he makes you want to pull your hair out. But on Saturday night, Crawford was every bit of the Cup Champion netminder the Blackhawks needed in leading his team to a huge Game Five victory in Tampa.

After struggling in the first period in the Stanley Cup Final, the Blackhawks got off to a much better start. An early – and awful – turnover by Crawford almost gave Tampa an early 1-0 lead but he was able to recover and make a big save.

On the play, the recipient of Crawford’s mistake wound up injured. Nikita Kucherov drove hard to the net and crashed over Crawford and into the post shoulder/neck first. He labored to the bench and did not return to the game, taking a key member away from the Lightning’s touted “Triplets” line.

Moments after Crawford’s gaffe, it was Ben Bishop’s turn to make a terrible play on the puck.

Patrick Sharp’s fifth goal of the postseason was his first since Game Two of the Minnesota series, and gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead 6:11 into the game.

Tampa rallied well after the Sharp goal, but Chicago finished the first dominating the play.

The second period opened up and became a track meet once again, including one stretch of more than eight minutes without a whistle. In the middle of the period, a failed clearing attempt came back to bite the Hawks. Jason Garrison made a beautiful pass to Valtteri Filppula, who scored his fourth of the playoffs.

Only 32 seconds after the Filppula goal, Brandon Saad was sent to the penalty box for slashing. Chicago killed off the minor penalty, the only power play of the night for the Bolts, and the second period came to a close with the game tied.

And for the fifth time in as many Cup Final games, this one would be decided by one goal.

Kris Versteeg had a great, energetic night once again and led a charge up the ice early in the third. Versteeg, who led Chicago with four shots on net in the game, put the puck on net and Bishop kicked it out front, where Antoine Vermette was waiting.

Vermette’s fourth of the playoffs became his third game-winning goal of the playoffs as Crawford and the Hawks were able to hang on against a resilient Lighting charge in the third. Vermette is the first player in Blackhawks history to have two game-winning goals in a Stanley Cup Final, making the trade Stan Bowman made to acquire him at the deadline incredibly valuable.

Andrew Shaw, Marcus Kruger and Andrew Desjardins played another strong game. Shaw led Chicago with five hits in more than 15 minutes of ice time, and Kruger was credited with one blocked shot, two takeaways and won five of nine faceoffs in the game. Desjardins, another of Bowman’s deadline acquisitions, put three shots on net and had one takeaway in another excellent effort.

Teuvo Teravainen skated 14:04 and picked up an assist on Sharp’s goal, making him the playoff point leader among rookies.

Jonathan Toews was also credited with an assist on Sharp’s goal and won 14 of 24 faceoffs in only 16:51 on the ice. Coach Joel Quenneville truly rolled all four lines in Game Five, with Toews being the ice time leader among Hawks forward; ironically, it was Vermette (12:15) who skated the lowest ice time in the game.

Vermette picked up one blocked shot and two takeaways with his game-winner. He also won eight of 11 faceoffs in the game.

Patrick Kane was once again held off the scoresheet by Victor Hedman and the Lightning, putting two shots on net in 15:48.

Niklas Hjalmarsson was once again a rock on the blue line for Quenneville, leading the game with seven blocked shots in 28:19. Duncan Keith blocked four shots in a game-high 29:23. Brent Seabrook picked up two hits, two blocked shots and one takeaway in 22:57, and Johnny Oduya matched Seabrook’s box score in 24:19.

Trevor van Riemsdyk skated 8:01 in the game but made a big play to clear a bouncing puck out from in front of the net in the third period. Kimmo Timonen got eight shifts (5:05) in the game.

Crawford made 31 saves against 32 shots, while Bishop made 27 saves against 29 shots.

On Monday night at the United Center, the Blackhawks will have a chance to raise the Stanley Cup at home for the first time in 77 years.

Crawford Toews gm 5

77 thoughts on “Corey Crawford, Blackhawks 1 Win Away

  • June 13, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Pete/Peter, you wanted Karma.

  • June 13, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    We havnt won anything yet.

    Lion in the Savanna.

  • June 13, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    How bout those “Killer V’s” – Versteeg from Vermy!

    Mo – Gotta give you credit with the early call re: games 4 and 5. Need to play the best game of the year on Monday night.

  • June 13, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Or vice – versa – Vermy from Versteeg.

  • June 13, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    That was one hell of a hockey game. I have never been more on the edge of my seat. So proud of this team and what they did down in Tampa tonight. The D-Corp was great, and I mean that about the bottom two as well. They were solid in limited time, and this time of the year that means the world.
    That brings me to Versteeg. I finally feel like he is on the right line. Not good enough for the top six, and too soft for the 4th line, I had a feeling he would shine tonight.
    Teuvo is a smarter at 20 than most guys are at the end of their careers. Shooting that in on Bishop and skating right up to his face was a veteran move.
    1 more win gentlemen! This is what it is all about.

  • June 13, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Have to admit that after poor efforts in games 2 and 3, CC has been rock solid for the past two games. Here’s hoping he can help make it three in a row on Monday. Would be nice to see a little more support from the offense. Not sure what it will take to get the second line going. Who would have guessed we could be at this point in the SCF with so little production from Kane. Lines 3 and 4 have been amazing.

  • June 13, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Well I guess there will not be any Versteeg bashing tonite…the guy did everything out there, offensively and defensively, really skated well, really picking it up these last 2 games. Crawford, what can I say, he has been our guy all year since October. One cool cucumber I tell ya. Hedman and Bishop #1 and #2 crashing into each other in no where land, Sharpie, a seriously deserving Blackhawk, waltzing in….we need a musical score to go with that scene.

    Repeating an earlier sentiment…I’m not going to jinx anything, not going to take anything for granted, keep things positive, send out the best vibes possible. Its our way of contributing a molecules worth of having omething to do with it all.

    Lions..we are the Lions, beset by jackels and hyenas and Coopers.

  • June 13, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    The “Healthy Scratch Line” of Versteeg, Vermette, and Teravainen got the job done tonight.

    Great win by the Hawks. This win means nothing if you don’t get another.

    One more game.

    Let’s go Hawks!!!

  • June 13, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    A Q for Q…just what the heck is it you write in that little notebook everytime the opposition scores?

  • June 13, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    A Q for Q
    Answer – need to check what mining man had to say about that one on Committed Indians.

    How about all the Vermy critics now!
    Great game! The boys are really focused.
    Lastly, F U national media and the way you have covered this series. Hawks have been given little to NO respect all the while they conducted themselves with nothing but class and respect for their opponents. You will be looking to suck whatever you can when the Hawks are carrying the cup and you need your story.
    Go HAWKS!!

  • June 13, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    (Morrison) “Oh, that’s just great, Anita! We could sew that thing up (Monday night), you know. – We oughta cream those guys! – That’s terrific.” “There’s a carnival-like atmosphere here. The crowd is gathered and, well, you can feel it, there’s an air of expectancy…” (“I don’t believe a word of that Florida shit.”)

    Frolik Navidad, “Great win by the Hawks. This win means nothing if you don’t get another.” — that really captures the spirit of the thing. GO HAWKS!!

    Tab, GREAT blog – I don’t say it enough, but please know it. It’s appreciated.

  • June 13, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    (Kucherov – punching Kane, cross-checking Keith, cheap-shotting Oduya…well, “karma”, OR the system works? “He is (injured) because he had no honor, and God was watching.” “Oh, well.”)

  • June 13, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Why do these terrible thoughts flash in my mind shortly after a great Game 6 win by the Blackhawks . . . 1971 Game 7 vs. Montreal and Hawks lose after being up 2-0 at home; 2014 Game 7 vs. LA and Hawks lose after being up 2-0 at home. Hey, it’s only Game 6 and neither team has been up by more than a goal in this series. Okay, flush the thought.

  • June 14, 2015 at 12:01 am

    And…… Jon Cooper you smug SOB … TOO MANY MEN with the extra attacker and 8 seconds to go? Play your little lawyer mind games with the media all you want.
    Hawk fans aren’t buying!
    Go Hawks 1 To Go!
    Not since 1938……….

  • June 14, 2015 at 12:01 am

    That was the Hawks best “over all” game in this series. The handled the Bolt’s forecheck as well as we could have hoped, getting boxed in only a handful of times. And the Hawks forecheck was better tonight than in the other games.

    All 1-goal games so nothing is a given. TB plays well on the road and they’ll show up Monday night intending to win and force a game 7. But, if the Hawks play as well or even better than they did tonight they should have a pretty good shot of closing it out in front of the faithful.

    But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s still a battle to be won against a very game opponent. This is exciting. This is fun.

    Go Hawks ! ! ! !

  • June 14, 2015 at 12:32 am

    Can’t win the cup without winning more than 3 games. Cleared the 3 game obstacle.

    This series will feel like a lost cause if/when the Hawks lose game 6 at home. Especially if it’s by more than 1 or 2 goals. TB has the Blackhawks right where they want them. Ok I’ll stop now.

    This was a win for the ages among many, which will amount to nothing without another win in 2 tries. Still haven’t seen that tired, beat down team I’ve seen reported but maybe this game was the last hurrah. In any case, what a pleasure it has been to watch these guys. This team has shown flashes of elite defense throughout the regular season and playoffs, and adequate offense. It would be great to see the offense become elite in their last chances of the season, let’s see how the bones roll. Good luck, TB.

  • June 14, 2015 at 12:33 am

    I’m postponing a buisness trip by 24 hrs. to Flin Flon, Manitoba so I can stay at home and watch Game 6. Be damned if I watch this from a Motel room. If it goes to 7 games I won’t have a choice, will be there, but I figure its too important and historical an event. Odds have to be in my favour, right?

  • June 14, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Mining Man, if the Hawks win the cup, I’m going to put an extra “u” in every favor and color I write, maybe even in every honor I report about, in your honor. My keyboard is ready, hope the Hawks are.

  • June 14, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Boy named Sioux…reason why is “the past is prologue” …but we also have 2010 and 2013 in our favour so “past is prologue” there as well…worst case its a wash so your statement of “flush the thought” is bang on. ( never got over 1971 until 2010…I was in high school, now I am the high school! )

  • June 14, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Nick in San Diego..You are a man of stout character! Good vibes indeed.

  • June 14, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Tab, thanks for the three articles on how this team has been put together, you would almost think that the front office knows what there doing.(contrary to the “doom and gloom squad”) What a team performance that game was. Outstanding play by the 4th line makes life so much easier for rest of team. Kruger and Desjardins relentless pursuit of the puck and tight stickwork /checking frustrated TB all night. I am not big on Versteeg , but he played well all night, and that was quite the effort on Vermette’s GWG. Hossa getting back to save icing call and then retaining possession at the end to delay pulling Bishop shows the character/determination of this team. Gotta love CC sucking Kucherov in so he could “submarine” him into the post and out of the game. (joke) Hawks peaking at the right time as I see this as their best game of the series. TB will come out fast and hard Monday, but the same Hawk effort should give same result. 15 down, and the hardest 1 to go. Well done boys! Go Hawks.

  • June 14, 2015 at 2:01 am

    Jax, what are you talking about. That was a clean slew foot tackle.

  • June 14, 2015 at 2:09 am

    Could not have happened to a more deserving turd.

  • June 14, 2015 at 2:12 am

    Kudos putting Sharpie on the 1st line. Kudos to Q keeping Vermie together with TT. Versteeg for Bickel on the third line was a great move. Steeger assisted on Vermie’s GWG. Kudos to SB for picking up Vermie at the trade deadline..That move really strengthened our chances to win the SC. I said at the beginning of the playoffs that our third and 4th lines would be a big factor in winning the SC. Bring your best Monday. TB may not go down easy, but the Hawks will find a way to win. There are 238 players in NHL history with 3 SC rings. 7 Hawks have the chance Monday night to join elite company. Go Hawks.

  • June 14, 2015 at 2:47 am

    DD, its in the Hair.

  • June 14, 2015 at 3:20 am

    And just 5 years ago you would have never thought Hossa would be one gunning for it. Unreal.

  • June 14, 2015 at 5:32 am

    Can’t believe the announcers early in the game pumping up the play of Tampa’s 4th line when the line they should have been talking about was the Hawks 4th. Great game for them, 50, & 23.

    We have 1-2 games left in what has a very frustrating season to watch. With the ups and downs we have had, it is hard to believe we are one win away from another cup. What a team!!!!

    It is hard to watch thinking that Sharpy’s days as a Hawk are probably over within the next two weeks. I can’t imagine the emotions going through his mind knowing the same.

    Go Hawks…they are focused on one more shift, one more period, and one last game before hoisting the cup; an amazing feat given the myriad of ups and downs this year.

  • June 14, 2015 at 6:03 am

    ER, agreed. The best game overall by the Hawks. I said before the series, this would come down to the Hawks 3d and 4th lines, depth at forward. The Hawks bottom 6 have been OUTSTANDING so far………but the prize still must be earned.

    I am gonna look at Kane’s performance like this……He is neutralizing Headman into a one dimensional player to the benefits of our other forwards.

    I suspect a few nerves from the Hawks and an all out attack from the Bolts tomorrow night. Dmen, rest up please.

    Go Hawks.

  • June 14, 2015 at 6:03 am

    ‘The “Healthy Scratch Line” of Versteeg, Vermette, and Teravainen got the job done tonight.’ …… Great line FN!

  • June 14, 2015 at 7:01 am

    I agree with comments that national media types don’t want to see the Hawks win. I have no idea what series they’re watching.
    Cooper? A media darling? Insincere and arrogant at podium … The last thing that comes to mind is pro hockey coach! Give me Daryl Sutter and coach Q any day. smug POS lawyer….

  • June 14, 2015 at 7:24 am

    1 -Bishop as I predicted will “hand” Hawks a game and he literally did that last night.
    2- Crow was outstanding, calm in the net, no wasted movements at all BUT can he actually pitch another one goal or shut out Bolts in Game Six? No . . .but no goaltender can have 3 games like that. Bishop will play the game of his life Monday.
    3 -As predicted Vermette and our 3rd line would be the difference in the series and finally SHARP has been moved up where he belongs and Versteeg played very well. A word on Versteeg, he did an outstanding job with the puck, he is able to hold the puck almost hossa-like, but what he does real well and no one sees is on those “continuously lame and predictable” outlet pass around the boards he actually has a strong lower body and holds off the Closing / Crashing Bolts player, he can control the puck in tight and is strong enough to get it, control it without his head down and swipping at a bouncing puck.
    4. I would hate to lose Vermette next year, he has shown he is extremely “coachable” and is playing at a higher speed, better close on the forecheck, great anticipation and he is the best dot player we have “better than Toews” V ermette wins 75% clean and can generate offense from his crisp, clean draws, tape to tape, no scrum. TNT made the goal happen by going to the net drawing that extra defender and left Vermette open. Hawks horrible going to the net but that play is one exception!
    5- Hawks played a more daring and trapping and pinching first period, they are clearly not comfortable having defense down below the Bolts goal line. Bolts do it , brilliantly they really play with 5 forwards, a book coming on that! But first period hawks actually closed off ye ole time and space, and created a lot of problems for imo an over rated core defense of the Bolts.
    6 -Detroit shut the BOTLS s out twice so as I watch the Bolts again are one to two layers away from dominance, they have a ton of really good talent, but need one more great one.
    7 -Hawks got the lead and went into D -mode in the second and paid the price.
    8- Vermette and the 3rd line got the quick go ahead goal and from them on Bolts looked like the tired team for the first time.

    Note -it does not take much pressure (first period) to “throw off timing” to ” disrupt the flow” of the Bolts, watched Wings do it and it’s actually easy but you need 2 forwards and 1 center who are in synch, very much like our 4th line and our 3 rd line last night. You must make Bolts d-men hurry a little, they can not hold that puck head up looking down ice for 5 seconds, Disaster. Hawks in the first got bodies to the man and the puck, then got a goal and went back into a more low risk offense. Hawks hate risk . .. they still turned that puck over like grade schoolers. TVR is looking better, when he gets the green light on offense ( hawks may never give it to him) lookout,that is his value, he need to bulk up a little for his height he’s not physical at all, but that can be learned and muscle can be added.

    Go hawks

    I see a high scoring game monday , 5 to 3 Hawks I’m Hoping.

  • June 14, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Kane’s Enhanced performance early was partially due to his “time off” to REST and RECOVER while the rest of the NHL was running on fumes. Kane Enhanced performance early on was also due to Coach Q inserting him “randomly” into lines ( great idea) so Kane was not on the ice alway always with Toews and Hossa facing the opponents top line. So he got some favorable match ups and a lot of it is the favorable 2 tier defensive pairing Kane faced. Hedman plays Kane like all teams should, PLAY HIM NOT THE PUCK, simple. Like missed tackles in the nfl!
    Kane’s lack of defensive effort stands out a deep defensive minded Hawks team, I hope TNT does not follow that pattern /influence.

  • June 14, 2015 at 7:40 am

    I remember 1971 too . . . That the Canadiens were even in the Final was a fluke. They had finished third in the Eastern Conference but pulled it off. That shot heard around the world was the “omen” of the disaster to follow.

    Bolts will play a great game Monday, but as they PRESS Hawks should get lucky with a few more odd man breaks, if the puck is on the right guys stick Hawks could pull it out. Again how can CROW have 3 games in a row, again NO ONE DOES, if he DOES CROW goes down in history, big time. I would LOVE to SEE CROW win it by himself,
    and he should get The Conn Smythe Trophy for his Stanley cup performance over anyone on the hawks by a loooong shot, if the Hawks win monday and he holds Bolts to 2 goals or less! He is clearly the Conn Smythe winner

  • June 14, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Versteeg, Vermette, and Teravainen without Sharp is clicking, but it really is Versteeg who made the difference. Again when you put a Versteeg on a 3rd line or even 4th line those are the working lines that means your not playing in the shadows of the top 6 and floating and watching where they are! You are called upon to work and know where you are! Versteeg for his size is “masterful” and controlling the puck and using his lower body again a Mini-Hossa at times he lacks speed but last night he had it all going on. That line will be the difference on Monday. The 4th line is always a key line for every NHL team way too obvious but it’s those swing players on the 3rd that give ya an edge. TNT had a few easy opportunities and rushed his shot, not sure if he felt pressure or confidence . . .but so gald he is getting ice time win or lose that is a huge value to his and Hawks future.

  • June 14, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Hawks were committed to play a defensive style and then counter. Hawks d men and forwards really cleared pucks away from Corey in a masterful way. Shot blocking was excellent and overall the guys really closed down passing lanes save the lone Bolts goal. Hawks moved the puck with much crisper passing and the guys had some real jump in the skates. Love the 3 and 4 lines doing the heavy lifting, and ultimately its skating 4 good lines that makes this Hawks team so tough. So great to see Vermette with another game winner. He is the player most of us thought he would be when acquired at the deadline and shows what strength down the middle means to a hockey team. Desi too. Tip o the cap to SB for pulling the trigger to strengthen this team for a serious run at the Cup.

    Corey was very good, and it is just shameful that he continues to get backhanded compliments when the Hawks win and the other team scores very few goals. I can never remember another keeper that gets such little respect for doing his job and wins games for his team. It is incredibly disrespectful. Every series this year CC has been hounded by the media for 2 lousy games that were played IN THE MIDDLE OF FRICKIN APRIl! Can you imagine what it would be like when you show up at work and every day you are judged that way? Corey takes a great attitude and it is to his credit that he remains stalwart in the face of such insulting questions. I want to see Crow with the Cup raised over his head in the worst way. He just battles and wins.

    Hawks post game comments revealed some slight giddiness, but they know the prize will demand another big effort. Bolts are beaten down and injured, but they won’t easily go away. It will be very cool to be at the UC tomorrow for a clinch game. The Cup will be in the building. If the Hawks stick to the formula that embraced last night and play good team D, the result should be positive for us.

    Yes, I remember watching the disastrous fog game against the Habs on TV that was played at the Stadium back in 71. That one still hurts. This Hawks team we can/should be very proud of. They know what it takes to win, and they play for each other as all great teams do.

    Enjoy the buzz everyone and lets get ready for tomorrow. These are special times.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  • June 14, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Not sure it matters to anyone here but SHAW has raised his level of play to a new level. He is NOW not just a net front presence but he has honed a skill with the stick on tips ins, he is my exactly my size so i know how hard it is to stay on your skates vs big d-men. I think Toews has been in the penalty box more than Shaw so his control of his “play” is remarkable. His forechecking skill is unmatched and make the rest of the Hawks look somewhat weak.

    I think this kid is the future, if he can stay under control, while he will never be a 30 goal scorer NHL is built on the bones of these type of players. Night in Night out!

    So don’t here his name mentioned here too much SHAW deserves a lot of credit as the emotional leader of that 4th line. Marcus is getting banged up and Dezi makes few mistakes, smart guy with limited skills but hides them well!

  • June 14, 2015 at 8:45 am

    MtM and Phil… great observations… Crow was great…. and I will add … If Kutchercockoff is out… Crow should get MVP for injuring him… Cuz in my eyes TB/86 has been there best forward… that kid can play…. Nikita is one of there fastest, great forechecker, and great at deflecting pucks. HUGE loss if 86 is out!!!

    3rd/4th lines were great… In memory of Sr. Brad “Roll 4 lines”!!!

    MtM-Yes, Shaw has taken play to a new level… and agree with TT comments… I will add- TT is way better in forecheck/ and stick play than I ever expected… agree he rushed some things (kinda like Saad used to do a lot)… but TT- continues to impress…

    At end of day- incredibly Neutralized top lines/players (both teams)… and Hawks bottom lines are “winning” the battle- for now… AND TB/86 loss will be HUGE!!!

  • June 14, 2015 at 9:11 am

    I will cry when 81 retires… The “old man” literally left 2 TB guys eating ice in the last minute chasing down that would be icing!!! not even close… the guy is a machine!!!

    His relentless back-checking… what can you say…

  • June 14, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Great game by the 3rd and 4th lines!! Great pressure all night and great work on the 2nd goal. Monday night could be HISTORY happening in our modern era!!
    A Chicago Blackhawk team winning the CUP in our home town and on our own ice is going to be unbelievable!!

    Finish ’em off!!

  • June 14, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Last night’s game was won by the Dmen. 4 was absolutely unreal last night. Crawford made 32 saves last night and would have had to make 42 saves if it wasn’t for 4 blocking and redirecting shots. 7 was physical along the boards and fast on Tampas rushes. 2 and 27 solid as always. 57 gave us eight mistake free minutes.

    Anyone notice how well 86 forechecked last night? Not only did the third line dominate puck possession, they also stalled any counterattacks with a great forecheck.

  • June 14, 2015 at 9:34 am

    FN – “Healthy Scratch Line” – Good one :)

    conspicuous by absence comes to mind … Bueller?

    Not to be too melodramatic, but in addition to the prestige that comes with winning the Cup, this is also about legacy. If the Hawks win, they secure their legacy as one of all time best teams over extended time (disclaimer: not using the word “dynasty” here lest I be accused of denuding the the historical definition of the word), whereas not winning the Cup would relegate the Hawks to something much less.

  • June 14, 2015 at 10:07 am

    ER, that’s my sentiment as well. This could end up resonating far and wide. I have tried to both not address it, for fear of jinx, and enjoy every small step along the way.
    I am positive though, win or lose this year, this group has marked me in ways that I never expected. Some of those go beyond the ice. An unforgettable group with a very rare opportunity Monday. If that reads melodramatic, so be it. It’s honest ;)

    Phil, nice CC comments. I will take 50 in a game 7 against anybody and not feel a bit troubled.

    44, was nice he happened to be shifting for gwg. What a great game to watch. I was almost disappointed at their late penalty, robbing us of the last seconds of excitement like game 4. Almost!

  • June 14, 2015 at 10:26 am

    RD-Re: “robbing us of the last seconds”… you are a sick man

  • June 14, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Whatever the outcome of tomorrow night’s game and eventually the series, I’m thinking back to ALL the bitching and moaning there was on this site about Vermette and his admitted very slow transition to the team and scant early productivity. All those ready to ship him out of town must be the one’s who have the experience of easily made seamless job transitions in their lives moving to a new city, working with totally new people and a new system, all in a job where the expectations and demands of the new boss and the public were significantly heightened.

    All those ‘fast-food eaters’ who were ready to scratch him for good should be stepping up now and eating crow. Vermy has delivered on the biggest stage, and beyond the clutch scoring, has been a beast at the dot and plays a consistent, dependable 2-way game. Just what a depth center iceman is supposed to do.

    And Hammer…there is no better pure ‘defensive’ player in the game. He is the ultimate lock-down d-man.

    Just what the doctor ordered in my book.

    ONE MORE…LET’S GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • June 14, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Karma on kucherov. Good call there for sure. Hawks are rolling now. I thought desi played just fantastic. Saad is a star. Hammer played great. Did you guys see kruger dive headfirst inti that scrum. Awesome. what a game. I am confident the hawks are better than the bolts. Go hawks baby. One more win for the ages !!!

  • June 14, 2015 at 11:04 am

    June 13/2015 @ 6:39 pm ( comment on How the Hawks were built -Forwards )

    WALL… quote….”prediction Hawks lose big tonite…luck is finally going to run out”


  • June 14, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Martin: great post

  • June 14, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Good stuff from the masses. Wall, glad you were either wrong about the luck running out or successfully executed a classic reverse jinx. If anything that was the biggest lucky (stupid) play in the playoffs. Combined with Crow’s brain fart/takeout two massive strokes of luck that may have decided the game.

    FN, the healthy scratch line. That is so good I wish I had come up with it.

    Phil – I drew the short stick in our ticket group and do not have game 6. I expect to live vicariously through your full, detailed report. Have fun out there soldier.

  • June 14, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Go back a little further and you’ll find the same people bitching about Richards (coming in to play after a very short summer following last June’s SCF game 7) and Johnny Oduya (clearly playing with an early season injury. You’ll find plenty of knocks against Desjardins. Some professed that TT was already a lost cause and would follow Hayes, Piri, and Morin out of town. Of course, we’re still waiting for RTF to identify his trusted source who confirmed the Patrick Sharp locker room soap opera. But, perhaps my favorite is the guy who posted “I can’t wait for this season to get over with” during the late season rough stretch.

    Not to jinx anything, but there’s several bitchers and whiners that have no business attending next week’s million fan SCF victory parade.

  • June 14, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Pete – I noticed Kruger’s dive and he almost got to the puck. It reminded me of a regular season game when Kruger went in feet first instead. I wondered what the heck he was doing. It’s not soccer. The puck went to anudder Hawks player who put it in for a goal. I can’t remember who got the goal, who the opponent was (perhaps Columbus), and if it tied the game or gave them the lead late in da tird period. The type of effort Chicagoans know and love.

  • June 14, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Hats off to the Hawks team defense for holding Stamkos scoreless the ENTIRE series.

  • June 14, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Iceman – Thank you

    Good on Sharpy to put on the strong forcheck/race to the puck, which caused the collision between Bishop and Heddman. Sharp also made an excellent move to avoid it and then gathers up the puck to go in uncontested.

    Question to all of you.
    What do you think would have happened had it been Sharpy involved in the collision? Would Bishop have gotten up nearly as quick?
    Me thinks not. I believe we really would have seen Coopers lawyer skills come to life!


  • June 14, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Tab…….Ben Smith played 61 games for the Hawks this season, is Ben Smith eligible to get his name on the Cup? I know the rule is that you have to have been on the game roster for41 games, but can he get his name on the Cup even though he was traded?

  • June 14, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    There’s always one player on the opposition that gets under my skin during the playoffs. In 2010 against Philly it was Pronger. And I remember the lovely feeling I had as I watched Byfuglien knock him on his wallet. In 2013 against Boston it was Marchand. Seeing that rat-faced prick get knocked over by anyone always makes me smile. This year, I can’t say there’s any player on the Bolts that makes my blood boil. Yeah, dirty little Kucherov in a neck brace is a nice visual, but not something I was pining for. But then there’s Cooper. As I said in an earlier post, he’s one of those guys who absolutely knows he’s on camera, watches himself, thinks he’s so smooth, when in fact he comes off as a 24-carat phony. It’s the practiced lawyer in him, always playing to an audience of one – himself. A guy who wouldn’t know sincerity if it came up and bit him on the ass. There is still a lot of work to do and we can’t get ahead of ourselves here, but here’s hoping that sincerity will finally introduce itself to him as he stands at the podium after a Game 6 defeat.
    Monday’s upcoming game reminds me of a line from The Godfather. It’s the cemetery scene when Tom Hagen turns to Michael and says, “You know how they’re gonna come at you?” This is a very good Bolts team, in spite of the blowhard barrister behind the bench, and we have to be at the top of our game to finish this. And I know the boys don’t need to be reminded of that. Wish I could be in Chicago to see it! Go Hawks!

  • June 14, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    That’s a good question, Reg. I don’t think he would. The Hawks would need to petition the commissioner for permission.

    Ex 1:
    Cam Barker 51 games for the 09-10 Hawks; not engraved.

    Ex 2:
    Jack Johnson 61 games for the 11-12 LA Kings; not engraved.

  • June 14, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Hope they can do it at home-called Hawks in 6-
    Vermette looks like a different player the last couple of weeks-love it.

    The people on the site who have tickets-enjoy being in the crowd-you must be pumped!

  • June 14, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Or the quote from Wall after Game 1: Tampa in 5.

  • June 14, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    1961- White jerseys: in Detroit
    2010- White jerseys; in Philadelphia
    2013- White jerseys; in Boston

    Can we do it in our Red colours? That would be so fitting a finish for these guys.

    1934…have pic: they are in the colours on the ice
    1938- not sure

  • June 14, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    MM- please ask JS to “explain it” to you…

    I will make my next prediction for Game 6 @ 6:39 pm Monday!!!

    stay tuned

  • June 14, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Got tired of media pumping Bolts. Much better watching with sound turned down. D much quicker getting pucks out than previous game. needed the extra day of rest. Q would say you can’t teach Vermette’s anticipation. Crow has proved critics wrong again. Three in six.

  • June 14, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    So Morrison…are you and me going to pipe the Blackhawks onto the ice for Game 6…we would look stunning in our kilts and bagpipes…maybe Nick in San Diego can do the drummer role to make it “the out of town contingent”…we would of course need to fortified with plenty of single malt scotch beforehand. Should take security at the UC about 18 seconds to throw us out but it would be glorious.

  • June 14, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    ….and don’t forget the Lions mane shoulders and headress!

  • June 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Frolik……..thanks for the research. I did not realize the facts about Cam Barker and Jack Johnson……..interesting.

  • June 14, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Tab…Wow , what a great link and a great read …thanks a ton.

  • June 14, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    1934 Chicago Blackhawks…we won the cup in double OT 1-0 against Detroit
    #7 was Lolo Couture
    #2 was Taffy Abel
    Charlie Gardiner #1 was the only goalie to be engraved on the Cup as the Captain.
    1st game also went double OT, which we won 2-1….some things never change!

    1938 -Iron Mike Karakas in goal wins us the Cup but during the series he broke his toe and we had to get a replacement goalie. We found a minor leaguer named Alfie Moore, in a bar, and three sheets to the wind, got him in and he won us the game. Karakas got back next game with a special reinforced skate. The rest is history.

  • June 14, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    One more win to go to raise the Stanley Cup. Hopefully it happens this Monday in front of the home crowd. Go Hawks the mighty Blackhawks.

  • June 14, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    mudturtle, your recall is spot on. It was indeed in Columbus and was ruled a goal by Ben Smith after Marcus went Lou Brock in the blue paint to tie the game at 2 in 3rd. We were eventually victimized by Morin and J. Johnson in a 9 round SO Loss.
    Being at the game I was dumbfounded how we got away with that tying goal, until i saw the video later showing Smith’s stick. Still very unusual.

  • June 14, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Their best game is yet to come aaaaaand a goal by Kimmo to put an exclamation point on this crazy season.

  • June 14, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    ……a win tomorrow at home would be the epitome of the Blackhawk dynasty…2010-2015… doesnt get much better than this folks……go Hawks…..

  • June 14, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    So the zone exits looked a lot better… Lots of swinging the puck on 180º turns to the middle of the ice, banking off the boards rather than sliding it along only to be cut off at the point / half-wall. Hawks mixed it up and overall got a much much better zone exit. This success was inversely proportional to the stress level for Hawks fans watching game 5. Of note, when they returned to the board exit, TB scored their goal..

    I predict TB doubles down on the D pinch along the boards in game 6. It goes one of two ways: either they make it look a lot like game 2, 3, hem the Hawks into the zone while generating a lot of quality chances… or they get burned up the middle with a lot of odd man rushes. I believe Q made the adjustment – but watch for even more zone exit set-plays in game 6 to counter the d-pinch…

  • June 14, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Mining Man –
    Here’s hoping your Flin Flon business trip does not get sidetracked by a hockey game! Say hello to the Bobby Clarke family when in Flin Flon. I believe Clarke once said that you can stand on a ladder in Flin Flon and see all the way past Saskatchewan into Alberta!

  • June 14, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Thanks RyanDale. Sadly that was the last game with Clint Reif. :(

  • June 14, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    RIP Clint Reif
    I’m sure every one of your Hawk Teammates are trying to win this in your name as well.
    I saw a pic of Joel over the last few days with his warmup jacket on (post practice I presume) On the chest right below the Indian Head were the initials CR.
    Heartwarming. Classy. Blackhawks.
    Go get’em.

  • June 14, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Tony- with you 100% on the Cooper. He is the perfect adversary for the Blackhawks and Q…polar opposite. Leader of the jackels and hyenas against the Lion.

    Boy named Sioux…staying home for Game 6 now. if it goes to 7 then I will indeed be in a motel room in Flin Flon. Regarding Bobby Clarke’s comment I think there is Wal Mart in the way now! Actually its a very rolly polly rocky place. roots of ancient volcanoes long gone, lots of barren outcrop. Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting still going strong with the triple seven mine. Its still a bit of the wild wild north west.

    Was stuck alone in a motel room in 2010 as well. When Kane scored I stood up from my chair and was as confused as anyone else for a bit then went ape crazy for the celebration. Lets win this in our Red jerseys at the UC so I can go ape crazy at home with my family, dog and friends. As can we all, unless you are one of the fortunate to actually witness this at the game itself. That would be a lifetime memory.

  • June 15, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Mining, this must be a fashionable fight. Its drawn the finest people.

  • June 15, 2015 at 8:53 am

    To have one’s name engraved on the Stanley Cup certain requirements must be met. A player must have at least 41 games played with the club or one game played in the Stanley Cup Finals. However, in 1994 a stipulation was added to allow a team to petition the Commissioner for permission to have players’ names put on the Cup if extenuating circumstances prevented them from being available to play.

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