Not So Quick: Blackhawks Force Game 7
Down 3-1 in the series, the Blackhawks needed their stars to bring them back in the series.
And Patrick Kane has been an absolute beast since the puck dropped in Game Five. With two goals and three points in Game Six, Kane and the Hawks will come home to play Game Seven at the United Center, if you love as much as we do, make sure to check www.slotzo.com/slot-games
The Kings got on the board first as Dwight King gave the home team a lead at 17:03 into the opening period. The Hawks didn’t have a bad first period, out-shooting the Kings 9-8, but bad communication on a dump-in led to Brent Seabrook, Michal Handzus and Johnny Oduya all have a good look at a wide-open King.
Chicago came out and dominated the second period. Kane scored a power play goal to tie the game at 1:12, converting a pretty give-and-go with Jonathan Toews. Less than two minutes later, Ben Smith gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead. Smith banked the puck off Jonathan Quick’s skate and into the net for his fourth goal of the playoffs.
Both teams put 13 shots on net in the second period, and Corey Crawford was up to the challenge. At the end of the period, Andrew Shaw was pushed into Quick and the skaters on the ice engaged in a “polite conversation” after the horn. As Quick skated to the LA bench, Crawford chirped the opposing goaltender and made contact with him.
The third period opened with the Kings bringing sustained pressure. Drew Doughty tied the game at 5:32, and Alec Martinez scored a power play goal with Toews in the box 2:06 later to give the Kings a 3-2 lead.
But the Hawks didn’t give up.
And Kane took over.
Kane carried the puck along the boards and flipped a ridiculous pass to Duncan Keith through traffic, and the Hawks defenseman buried his fourth of the postseason to tied the game at 11:34.
The game remained tied for four minutes, until Kane, Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw went back to work.
Kane circled the zone and flipped a shot past Quick to give the Hawks a 4-3 lead at 16:15. It was Kane’s eighth of the playoffs and gave him seven point in two games with the Hawks’ backs against the wall.
Los Angeles wouldn’t go away quietly, and the Hawks were able to survive a crazy late push by the Kings with Quick on the bench to emerge with the win. The flurry of saves at the end by Crawford were reminiscent of Marc-Andre Fleury’s efforts at the end of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final, and capped a big night for Crawford.
The Hawks netminder made 26 saves in the game, facing 21 shots in the second and third periods. On the other end of the ice, Quick allowed two of the Hawks’ three third period shots to get past him; he made 21 saves against 25 shots in the loss.
Coach Joel Quenneville once again mixed up his lineup. The game started with the same defensive pairings as Game Five, but Sheldon Brookbank was inserted into the lineup in place of Kris Versteeg. Brookbank only skated 5:09 in the game, with a few of his eight shifts coming at wing and others as a seventh defenseman. Brandon Bollig remained in the lineup and skated only ten shifts.
The Hawks were much better at the dot in Game Six. Smith won all five of his faceoffs, and Shaw won six of nine. Toews finished the night winning 14 of 28, while the Kings’ Anze Kopitar won an uncharacteristic seven of 22.
Michal Rozsival led the Hawks with six hits and Bryan Bickell had four on the night. Brent Seabrook had two assists, three hits and two blocked shots in the game, but was on the ice for two LA goals; Martinez’s shot got under a sliding Seabrook and through Crawford to give the Kings a brief third period lead.
Since Quenneville put Saad, Shaw and Kane together, the Kings haven’t had an answer. Saad has four points in the last two games and has opened the ice up for Kane, who has once again put himself at the front of the Conn Smythe discussion. He now has 18 points in 18 games, and is tied with Toews for the postseason lead with four game-winning goals.
Toews picked up an assist to give him 16 points in the playoffs, and Saad now has 14 points in the postseason.
Patrick Sharp skated only 15:03 in the game, spending most of the night on a line with Smith and Marcus Kruger. He picked up an assist on Friday night, his second point of the series. Sharp and Kane led the Hawks with five shots on goal each.
Keith led the Hawks with 24:56 on the ice, while Doughty led all skates with 26:10 on the night. Both defensemen played at a Norris Trophy level in the game, and Doughty did everything he could to end the series on his home ice.
Chicago is now 11-1 in Game Sixes under Quenneville, and 8-0 on the road.
The eyes of the hockey world will be on the United Center when the puck drops for Game Seven on Sunday night.
99 thoughts on “Not So Quick: Blackhawks Force Game 7”
Great game by the boyz. Kaner was a beast. Micheletti……… Urrrrrgggghhhh!!!!!
Too much to put into words right now.
That’s hockey baby!
Great game! It will be interesting to see if Q sticks with Brookbank again in game 7.
Let’s go Hawks!
Sorry to inform you that Mining Man’s head exploded at the end of the game….Mining Man’s dog…Scamp….p.s. really like the headline “Not So Quick” nyuk nyuk nyuk
What an incredible series this has been. Hopefully we can advance, because Sunday night is basically the Cup Final. I don’t see the Rangers taking either team out, regardless who advances.
If we play smart, focused hockey, we can’t be beat. Can’t wait for Sunday!!
All I said before this game was let them hang it all out and don’t let it be like 2012’s game 6; now all I can think is, don’t let it be like 2011!
It is a shame this series is not the SC Final because this is truly some fantastic hockey to watch!
“I don’t see the Rangers taking either team out, regardless who advances. ”
Mark, with the extra rest, Lundqvist, and the new speed game the Rangers are playing, I think the Final will go at least 6 games and you just never know when King Henrik will steal a game or series.
Love the aggressiveness on our D-men joining the rush. That’s how we play. That’s the point of having mostly smaller, mobile defensemen. Take advantage of it. Go get ’em! Attack!!!
For LA being as physical as they are, I give them credit for not being dirty. They play clean, hard-nosed hockey. Usually after 6 games, at least some players on the other team piss me off. But LA is just freaking good. Respect.
Off-topic: How has hockey not caught on in LA yet? Just won a cup, then the California series, plus so many celebrities in attendance must be good word-of-mouth, and they’re playing in one of the best playoff series in recent memory. But the TV ratings are inexcusably, inexplicably bad.
These Hawks are unreal. Win or lose, I’m very proud. But let’s crush them.
Game 7 GWG: Patrick Sharp.
a legend at 25 yrs of age
that was one helluva game, pace was surprising to me.
new line has been really fun to watch
CC played much bigger than .897
I hope 10 scores the winner in g7
2 off ice comments. God Bless all those Hawk fans on the road but especially those few that simply refuse to sit anywhere else but behind our bench!! I don’t care how they get them, what they pay, or who they are. That’s just a damn strong statement. I like it.
It’s a shame games are not being aired on NBC every night. I suppose it’s all set in stone before the teams get there but the NHL/NBC are letting one slip here. I know some folks who are still without nbcsn who live in major US cities
wall, ~ 30yrs? you musta been a late bloomer! But glad to hear you have it under control ha! Enjoy g7 pal!
Travis~ sorry bro, didn’t mean to piggyback but I hope you are right!!
Travis – agreed on the Kings being physical and clean. I wish that Bickell or BB or Bollig would take some out of Doughty (he’s been incredible). But, the hook and jab by Stoll after Kane scored was pretty lame. Shaw got in there an gave him a face full of glove, but it was bush league.
What a treat to watch such good hockey. Fun. Can’t wait until Sunday.
The blatant dive by quick when Hoss touch him a little, then another adaptive dive when his own player hit him, when Shawzer was there/quick didn’t see who touched him… takes another little dive, then whines/but gets a bullshit weak call for his team after the scores, coincidence. Then when Kaners scores Quick looks at refs for a second like he wanted a glimmer/because he couldn’t go outside the blue paint. Wow you talk about getting the sunshine a little more then you deserve regardless if your a top goalie. Really Crow should have gone Emery Karate on hm. I mean who really got a little hit high/to head behind goal area and consistent penalty calls wear theres contact with a goalie in this series, just like Hoss with a little hit into Quick, then Quick TAKES A FING DIVE. Does the league even take note/remind who is taking dive on purpose or its ok because we have to play through the letting it go penalties/playoffs.
The announcers are awesome.
During the Olympics, I said I didn’t think Doughty was that good. I was wrong. He is playing at an incredibly high level on both ends of the ice.
There have been a number of ridiculous saves on both ends of the ice at the end of the past two games.
This is an honest question as I started paying attention to hockey in 1994. Is Patrick Kane already the greatest American offensive hockey player ever? We can’t go by goals or points…yet, but his work with any space is awesome, stick handles, creates for himself and teammates, and plays his best in the biggest games. Blackhawks fans are fortunate he has the Indian Head on his sweater.
No worries RD, great minds think alike ;)
Yeah Morgz, I saw that little hook too. Didn’t seem to bother Kaner too much! There’s always a thing or two in a series, i.e. Quick’s flops, but overall it’s a hard-hitting and respectful series. Great for the game.
Hi board. Great posts!
I’ve been receiving lots of complaints about my commentating. I actually know a lot about hockey, but I don’t have time to talk about it because I’m so busy numbing your brains by listing hockey cliches with Milbury-esque charisma. Or greatly exaggerating how great certain plays were, and how great the players are who made the great plays. You know, like Roenick, but with less personality.
For example, I know it’s important to mention that a defenseman has no stick. I know it’s important to mention things that happen off-camera, or draw attention to details on replays. But it’s just so easy to mention that great players make great plays in great moments. And great moments are when great players make great plays.
Sorry, but I am a low-hanging-fruit kind of guy.
Thanks for the comic relief Joe
Crawford came to play, needed that, and LOVED his bump of Quick after net scrum and end of period.
Sharp is simply in cold mode, can’t get a break, and I could not believe he missed that oppty on the 2 on 0 feed from 16.
Still shaking my head on Q’s personnel decisions.
Great hockey. Wow.
many of the posts a few days ago we’re about next year-Tab the title captures that wonderfully.We have all summer to talk about what might be-ankle sprains!
88 has decided to be the difference maker, not many can do that at will. Crow stuck it in the fans ears. I’m excited about Sunday. 10 and 81 will rise to the challenge.
Seabs gave his all but he looks totally gassed (and or hurt) Leddy looks anxious.
Finally the game was great to watch. Loved it.
Somehow when the Blackhawks play the Kings, the Hawks make Jonathon Quick look very “average”. To me, right now, this guy is over rated. He’s good, but not great. The USA didn’t win a gold medal with him and his team ain’t goin’ to the Stanley Cup finals, either. Viva La Crawford!!!!
Clarification on the Q comment:
* Love the mojo with 65/20/88 but that STARTS with pulling 26 off Kane’s line, yes? Seems I’ve heard that suggestion before.
* What exactly is being accomplished with 52 and BB deployed as they were? I mean, I prefer 17 to 23 but split as wing/D for 5 mins?
BTW- Thanks to whoever posted Bluto’s speech.. was great pick me up before game 5 and is now and hereafter series pre-game ritual for me and my 17 year old son. Classic.
Had to watch a shoot em up movie after that GREAT game. But I am completely baffled. I thought
Maybe Regin plays, Versteeg sits…….No
Maybe Brookbank plays, Rosy sits……No
Maybe (Maybe) Nordstrom plays, Bollig sits……No
My mind is blown…..Brookbank for Versteeg??? I guess Q figures he could use him a forward or defense…..or maybe just 5 minutes split between O and D…..can’t let Leddy have too many minutes ya know. So along with Bollig’s 6 minutes and Zues’ 9 minutes we basically played with 9 forwards.
Hey we won so I guess this was the right strategy. But eventually those huge forward minutes are gonna catch up to our guys. Hopefully we can gut out a huge win tomorrow. Go Hawks
Incredible drama. These last 2 games are what this game is all about. I went to bed with that OMG warm feeling one only gets after watching your team come through with a win on the big stage. Woke up with it too!
I thought that was the best game the Hawks have played in the playoffs this year. They put together 3 good periods. Yes, some errors along the way, but that is to be expected. The drive to compete though by the Hawks was very high.
Patrick Kane and Johnny Toews reputation for being money players is becoming mythical. For all the disrespect Corey Crawford gets he raises his game on the big stage.
Kaner last night played like he was possessed for the second straight game. The 2nd line must stay together. As I said a few days ago LA has no answer to those guys. Kaner has found some ice to skate with the puck and that means trouble for any opponent. Give Shaw and Saad credit for helping to create that space. Well stated by Tab about Kane’s pass to Dunc’s to tie. That was sick stuff.
Good comments Mo about Quick. WTF does he think he is? Must be reading his press clippings. Excellent goalie yes, but there is alot of ego in there. Good on CC for getting in his face at the end of 2. Corey has game, and getting after Quick for whacking our guys is all about team. What was with the no call after Martinez clocks CC behind the net in the 1st? Both teams got away with many no calls by refs, but Kings ledger was much longer as it always is. That is how they play. Hawks took hits to make plays.
Hawks team speed minus Rozy, Zus and Bollig was on display the past 2 games, especially last night. I still say speed, skill and grit trump the board bashers like LA.
I managed to perfectly sync up WGN radio with the TV last night off opening puck drop. Just pause the tv on your dvr just before puck drop and let the radio catchup. When John says the puck has drop hit the dvr play button, and you are there. Yes, there is a delay of about one and half minutes as the radio feed is very much behind, and you can’t look at phone for all the text messages coming in from nervous friends watching the games. I just think Troy and John call a better game. Also remember smart phones can get the WGN radio app for broadcasts. NHL Network and NBC hockey pundits all picked Kings last night. HAHAHAHA!!!
Game 7 at the UC tomorrow guys. We got what we wanted, a chance to let home ice advantage give the boys a boost. That’s all us fans can ask for. Momentum has turned IMO. Kings hung heads skating off last night, but they will bring a full effort no doubt tomorrow. The Hawks though have found their game and look dangerous again. Still don’t understand how Regin does not play last night, but the Q calls will always remain weird.
Lets Go Hawks!!
You are welcome Negzz for inspiration by Bluto. Did anyone like the link to the Hitler- Leafs missing playoffs Youtube video? Negzz, if you liked Bluto’s speech you will love that one too.
Lets Go Hawks!
Travis- great post at 12:38
California is a weird place- I remember being there once on business… went out to a nice Bar for dinner/watch a game- in a decent area… go inside and 40 TV’s with MMA/UFC stuff??? Most people have better things to do… like refinance their homes (because they EXPECT/and are Entitled to them going up 20% every year so they can buy a new Porsche)… LOVE the weather/beauty… don’t like the People!!!!!!!!!!!
Back to Hockey- I don’t know who is more stunned me or the Kings!!!
Kings have the Hawks right where they want them- On the Road- Game 7…
Hawks58- Rangers are a real strong/deep team… those boneheads at intermission keep saying the WCF winner will be the heavy favorite… I disagree- I said at the start of PO’s… the two toughest teams the Hawks played from the East were the Habs and Rangers… Did anyone see the 1st game of that series? Rangers made 4 behind the back- no-look passes thru the slot for goals!!! (from different players)- looked like 4 Kane’s out there… playing with some great chemistry… and Hagelin/Kreider are really fast… Hawks can never figure out St. Louis (Martin)
Still wondering why Brookbank dressed… look at the ice times of the Hawks defensemen. He took a handful of shifts on the blue line, which gave the Hawks’ top 4 defensemen an extra shift or two off in the middle of the game. Subtle but could pay dividends in Game 7
I actually thought BB would get more forward minutes than he did. For whatever reason, BB dressed. At least he can play multiple positions and take minutes from other players. I wished he played a little bit more, but I still think his minutes were more effective than Versteeg.
Remember when Rufus said Patrick Kane wasn’t a playoff performer? heheheheheforever (side note, it wasn’t just him, but I remember him saying it the most)
Patrick Kane is the most special athlete this city has seen since Michael Jordan. The pass on that Keith goal was so absolutely spectacular that it may have been his best play of the night. It was also pretty amazing that Keith knew to jump that lane. Please don’t leave us Kane… ever. His quotes after the last two games throwing Zus and Q under the bus were pretty cool too.
Save percentage can be misleading. .897 is not good, but I thought Crawford was spectacular. The end of the second says all you need to know about Crow and why his teammates love him so much.
Handzus- leaves King open in the middle of the ice on the first goal against, mirrors Hossa on the PP goal against and leaves the middle completely open. If he can’t be defensively responsible or play the PK properly, why is he in the lineup again? I know it isn’t going to change, but jesus is it frustrating watching him be an absolute zero out there. Hey, at least he isn’t dragging down Kane anymore.
I understand dressing 7 D. It didn’t matter who Q put in the 12th forward spot, he wasn’t going to roll 4 lines because he doesn’t trust Handzus, Bollig, or whoever else the forward would have been at even strength. Do I agree with it? Nope. But Q gonna Q.
Now let’s talk about how much I love Q. The resilience that man has instilled on these players is spectacular. I don’t love his lineup decisions… I hate his lineup decisions, but I love the way his players play for him.
Game 7. I’m sorry I started to doubt you Hawks.
JS…what are you referring to when you say “Please don’t leave us Kane… ever. His quotes after the last two games throwing Zus and Q under the bus were pretty cool too.”
JS- what quotes?
also- sad truth still is… Q/Hawks can’t skate 3 full lines… With that being the case- I am shocked Hawks have gotten this far ( and once again- I will gladly admit to being a Kane-detractor 3 years ago- AND Wrong!!!)…
And Trevor Lewis is the King’s Versteeg… on that Keith Goal… He was skating near/toward the Blue line when Keith went back door!!! AWFUL… Just like Handzus on two of the King’s goals!!! Awful!!!
Still can’t believe Hawks are here- skating less than 3 full lines!!!
Kudos to the “core”!!!
I don’t understand the “Hawks still aren’t skating 3 full lines” comments. Let’s add them up together, shall we – 29-19-81, 20-65-88, 10-16-28 … that seems to add up to three lines to me. But, whatever …
I’ll admit I was having doubts about the Hawks throughout the last half of the season and all the way up to Game 5 against the Kings. They won their fair share of regular season games and some in spectacular fashion, and they obviously played well enough to get by the Blues and Wild … they were finding a way to win games but not with the same high flying puck possession swagger that we’ve seen from them in the past. It truly looked like they were gassed and were eeking out victories on sheer will, but it didn’t seem like it was sustainable.
And then Games 5 & 6 happened. It looked like the Hawks had their tanks filled, their batteries charged and just pulled out of the shop after getting a tune-up. The pace with which these last two games were played should have finished off the tired Hawks, but instead the Hawks drove the pace and looked like the high flying puck possession team we’ve so fondly remember and the swagger was back.
And they did it essentially playing 3 lines against the Kings 4 lines and they did it having to fight through too many uncalled interference/obstruction penalties to count. And they did it after the Kings had the lead in the 3rd period of both games.
As Kane said in the post-game interview – if you had told us we’d be playing one game to get to the Stanley Cup Finals, we would take it 100% of the time.
When he talked about his success being because of linemates that could create space for him.
And yes, Wall, it’s unbelievable what the core is doing right now.
JS- Listened to the Kane interview again… I think that is a pretty standard “positive” statement/cliche type answer… But I see how someone can take it another way…
As a Kings fan I am very concerned that we are going to lose this series. But if the Kings do lose, they’ve lost to the best team in hockey. This has been a tremendous semi-final to watch. It reminds me of the Kings-Leafs series in’93. We had Gretzky then, but now the Blackhawks have their Gretzky in the form of Kane. I made mention on this blog after game 4 that the key for the Kings to win was to stop Kane. They didn’t in games 5 and 6, and now look where we are.
I’ve watched a lot of hockey since 1970 and I know a team can overcome a player that has heart and grit (which your captain Toews possesses), but it cannot overcome a player that plays with such emotion that he elevates the whole team to another level. Look at the NY Rangers. Pittsburgh has them down and out then St. Louis’ mom dies and the team has rallied around that emotional experience ever since. With Toews you have the leadership, heart and toughness to get you to the big games but Kane provides the nitrous oxide (if you will) to the whole team to believe. In games 5 and 6 all the Kings had to do was to shut down Kane. Now we are going to have to shut down the whole Blackhawks team.
In this kind of a series it’s too bad someone does have to lose, but we the fans have experienced a great semi-finals. Hats off to your team if they win game 7 and hats off to my team if they can overcome the Kane experience.
Resilient, tenacious, focused and hungry. This team is digging deep and what a treat it has been to watch. Hockey fans everywhere are loving these two teams play.
The change made to put Kaner with Saad and Shaw has certainly paid off, great move by Q.
Just watching CBC highlights, how I miss the play by play of Bob Cole. Nobody calls a game like Mr. Cole, proud Newfie here!
Notice who is completely screening Quick on Kane’s goal?
65 – you’re the man!
Wall- definitely a cliche answer, but completely true in this case.
I want to chime in this morning…although I haven’t been commenting too often lately, I stop by every day and read everyone’s comments and really enjoy them. Great acumen!
Besides all the real obvious observations, I want to acknowledge Ben Smith; I love what this kid is doing. 5-0 at the dot, solid 2-way player, blocking shots, PK, responsible, gritty as hell, and I loved that he was on the ice at the end. Shows that Q is trusting. And I loved the patience on his goal. This kid has earned everything he gets.
Cannot wait for tomorrow evening.
Geezus…LET’S GO HAWKS!
ZG you are spot on about Smith. Have loved the guy from Day 1. He gets as much out of his skill set as anyone. He is quietly an extremely passionate player.
Tab, do not disagree about BB, versatile if nothing else. My comment was why Q dressed him to only play 5+ minutes. Our top guys, they logged a lot of time last night. I am a little worried about fatigue in the later parts of tomorrows game.
Hey BarryB…Bob Cole is doing the play by play on CBC for the Kings/Hawks series. He has been outstanding, simply the best….however, this is his last series so Game 7 in Chicago is the last call, he is not doing the SC Final series. With the new Broadcast deal in Canada the CBC will carry the games for four more years but has no production/casting/editorial control at all…that all goes to Rogers, who will put in their own people. They say they will keep Don Cherry and Ron McLean for the coaches corner segment but thats it. Suprisingly, Stombolopolois gets Ron McLeans anchor chair, Simply cannot see a guy with an earing being taken seriously doing hockey analysis. Bob Cole is the best. Oh Baby!
Agreed Zebra. Lots of “that was a lucky/soft goal” talk (even from Sutter in post game), but if you watch Smith he is very focused and clear about what he’s doing there. That was not an accident by any means. It was brilliant. I also love his board work, crafty, quick and tough.
I love Sutter’s post game interviews. “Fly at 11.” That’s awesome.
Someone is going to have to hit Williams and stay on him, he’s got some kind of crazy Game 7 mojo.
The Hawks were much stronger on their sticks last night (and LA not as strong). Winning those board and stick battles. BB did it a couple times, which is a couple more times that Versteeg did all series.
Turned off audio volume, got tired of Joe Michelleti pumping the Kings. Now its just like watching the game from the stands. Crawford was outstanding particularly late in the game with LA scrambling in front of him. Board play from Shaw, Kruger, Smith, and Bickel was very noticeable. Nothing to add to Kane’s play; it’s all been said. Thought BB for Versteeg was typical Q. Versteeg’s play is a negative at this point. BB has proven he is not and has more sandpaper than Regin or Nordstrom. Sharp and Hossa are playing outstanding two way hockey. I admire Sharp’s attitude; no sulking there. And Q still puts him on the point for PP’s. Mibury is right; we may never see this caliber of hockey again.
Hey BarryB…Bob Cole is doing the play by play call for the Blackhawks/Kings series on the CBC. He is not doing the SC Final, so Sunday night is his last. He is gone next year with the new TV deal in Canada. CBC loses editorial and production control but Don Cherry and Ron McLean remain for “Coaches Corner”. Ron McLean loses his anchor position to, surprisingly, Stombolopolous.
fun game and great finish . . . I still scratch my head and wonder about the difference in style and effect of both teams and Blues and Bruins too? Hawks seem to get “battered” to say the least and seem to be able to absorb the hits and physical play. If they win game 7 I see a turning point in the NHL and teams development? Maybe just maybe, out skate, poke check, and maintain energy for 3 periods and over a 7 game series is the answer. Maybe as Coach Sutter says ” you can not say your playing defense if your not checking someone” is sort of wrong? Go Hawks, a very proud game as a lifelong fan, and players just stepped up and a different player each night too.
Happily eating my words criticizing Crawford after last game, he seemed equal to Quick in game 6, obviously just a little better, letting 1 less through. It seems to be a mental thing with Crawford, I notice a difference even in his interviews, sometimes he’s tense and gives sullen tough guy, kinda douchey interviews, but last night he was calm and funny after the game, and seemed much more comfortable in the game, lighter on his skates, keeping the puck in front of him rather than selling out on the first attempt. Both goalies are facing nightmarish offensive talents, fun stuff to watch. It doesn’t seem like the Kings are ready to roll over, but I wouldn’t mind a nice 5 to 2 laugher to send the Hawks to the finals. Liver be damned.
Anybody still think we’re tired after 5/6? LA tired? Teams that are tired do not play at that pace. The team that bows out isn’t going to lose because they’re tired. Just sayin. Tired is not an option. These guys are damn near like soldiers are in that the training/practice just kicks in and you go, now! This is a most demanding sport/playoffs, but you won’t find 40 guys more eager to play Sunday. Babies/kids get tired. Blackhawks/LA, I dont think so.
The Hawks are now 13-0 over the last 2 post seasons in games 5,6 and 7. That’s just special…and this comes from the players…a very special collection of talents who learn day to day from 4 of the best players in the world, and follow their example. Toews, Kane, Hossa and Keith are all not just outstanding hockey players, but their desire to win, to do whatever it takes to win, simply cannot be taught…you either possess this as a human being or you don’t. And it’s not just Bowman collecting these guys, players like Toews, Kane, Keith, Crow, Bickell were all drafted by Tallon…so there has been a collective hand used in putting this special group together.
I don’t know how many read it yesterday, but I posted before the game about my certainty in the Hawks repeating this season for 3 special reasons…having two #1 lines, 2 shutdown defensive pairings, and Crawford…but all of it hinged on Zus being relegated to the 4th line. Which if Q had of done that from the git go in Game 5, we would have won going away. Last night when Q stubbornly and stupidly played Zus as both the 2nd and the 3rd line Centre, the Hawks were outscored 2-0…with Zus not playing or seeing a few seconds on the 4th line we outscored the kings 4-1.
That victory, this season, and all that the Blackhawks achieve will be the result of the special group of players on this team and NOT the coaches. When Q was hired, I said that it was a good thing because Q was a defensive minded coach and hard on those who didn’t commit to Team Defence. Tallon had assembled an incredibly fast and talented group of youngsters under Savard, but they couldn’t prevent the puck from going in their own net. Q changed that…he did a wonderful job of implementing his 5 on 5 system of Team Defence, with the forwards just as important as the DMen…and it meshed with the ridiculous offensive talent here, and the special character…as no matter how boring, or non-stylish our play becomes, one of this group will simply FIND A WAY to score. But after that, Q hasn’t really contributed any else. He hasn’t brought us top notch coaches, we don’t seemingly have a plan for the PP…our PK system (until 2 games ago) was the most antiquated, stupid system run in the league. Q’s presence as coach hasn’t attracted any Free Agents here (except Dinosaurs), and he’s even scared some prospects off. We are not known for making adjustments in game, and even post game, it takes a LONG TIME for changes to occur. His lines are legendary ridiculous at times…Q has admitted as much…in 2010 he went as far as to suggest to Bowman what the lines should be.
We have won because Rocky Wirtz brought a new energy and belief about Blackhawk’s hockey. That we were a great, storied franchise…that we were winners and that all decisions made were going to be done on the basis that we were winners, and everything has fallen into place as a result. Tallon did his part, Bowman has done his part, Q brought something vital to this franchise, and the players do the rest. But this season, with a MASSIVE TARGET on their backs, the Hawk players have made this happen. They had hung together and worked out of crisis after crisis. From day one this season, Q has gone off the deep end with his roster and the lineups. He has ignored any stat known to mankind and any reasoning that two eyes can easily see. Bollig and Zus are NOT defensively responsible players. Some fans actually believe this crap because they constantly read it or hear it…newspaper reporters constantly print it because they simply print whatever drivel a coach or franchise spits out at them…just glad to have a job. But your eyes will show you that neither player plays with their eyes open or their heads on a swivel, which is what all great players do. These two simply plod their way up and down the ice, often slowly, without much thought as to what the opposition is doing, which is why Bollig and Zus are almost always where they SHOULDN’T be…
Last night’s “coaching” by the Hawks, was perhaps the worst yet. After everything learned in game 5 as to why we won, why we were losing, and why la and Sutter have NO OPTIONS for what the Shaw line is doing…it all went out the window at times. After starting the 1st period with ostensibly only our two #1 lines, and dominating play, Q then began giving the 3rd and 4th line shifts…and these lines were brutal. With everything in the world on the line in that game, Q actually sent out as our 3rd line, Zus centring Brookbank and Sharp. How many of you literally shit yourselves when you saw that??? Huh? Be honest…and then Smith and Kruger (two of our best players) don’t get hardly any ice time for the first half of the game because they are skiing with Bollig, who makes Handzus look like Toews. Almost everyone here, all of us knuckleheads, begged and pleaded for the last 2 days for Q to at least put 3 solid lines together and then who gives a shit with the 4th line. But no…not until Handzus has to prove to a National audience just how bad he’s become defensively does Q’s light bulb turn on and suddenly Sharp is skating with Smith and Kruger as our 3rd line…ding, ding ding…and then we take off. Except, then Q has to put Zus back out there as the 2nd line Centre skating with Kane and Saad, only to be scored on…then he gave Zus a shift with Bollig and Brookbank, that was SO BAD, was so pathetic, that they barely got off the ice after giving up 5 scoring chancing in just over a minute. If any of you took time to notice it wasn’t until AFTER we lost the lead, that Q went back to our 3 powerhouse lines…tell me again, why did he go away from them???
This is no longer stubbornness, its foolhardiness. With Fate, Destiny and our season on the line, he screws around with half of it, before getting serious, and then tells the press that he was just in awe of the pace of the game…really? Maybe he was so amazed, he forgot to breath or think. And to all of you groaning at Toews for taking the hooking penalty against Kopitar? That’s what happens when your coach rolls 2 and a half lines. Sure the Hawks are good enough to keep shortening their bench, being put to the brink of elimination and they will respond, but is this how you want to run your team???
Peter Regin doesn’t dress last night? WTF? Zus, Bollig and BB as a forward DO??? No one, not a single person on this Earth can say that Jeremy Morin is a greater defensive liability than what Zus and Bollig have demonstrated these playoffs. They both possess the worst #’s of not just any players still playing, but of almost any playoff skater. They are both a joke out there, but the Coach who keeps putting them out there, with our playoff lives on the line is WORSE.
We won in spite of Q…we will win Sunday in spite of Q…we will beat the Rangers in spite of Q, and when its all done, like NBC said last night, all the pundits and fans will say, “gee. those changes that Q made were brilliant, and won the game(s), he’s sure a great coach…”
And I guess this is why Bowman gave Crawford his new contract…with CC its about more than just his numbers, its his character and his makeup…he will give a soft goal from time to time, he will even lose his cool from one moment to the next…but he zones right back in and has a will, a competitive spirit that is only matched by Toews, Keith and Kane…great job Corey.
Just briefly stating the facts:
* the Hawks rolled only 3 lines in Games 5 & 6 and yet won both games
* Q made the lineup change that made the difference in Games 5 & 6
Opinions are all well and good, but facts are better.
Thanks Ebony…facts are facts, opinions are opinions..these massive sermons repeating the same thing over and over…should we win the Big One and repeat as Cup Champs there will be a following here still not happy and preaching. There are subtleties to this game known only in the locker room and in grand overall strategy that we cannot be privy to. I trust these guys 100%. We keep winning and some want to march with pitchforks…its wierd.
I think the Hawks should trade Kane for Ryan Miller! Lol thank god that never happened! Don’t stop now boys! Amazing game and amazing team effort! What a treat watching this team grow to where they are today! Go Hawks!
That 3rd period was tough on the heart last night! – particularly the last couple of minutes. Outside of the superstars there have been amazing contributions from Shaw, Saad and Smith. Has there ever been a 5th round pick that at this point in his career has become as critical a player as Shaw? It is almost mind boggling how he has developed into such a heart and soul guy for the team. I am ok with BB in the lineup. Got to admit I didn’t see that coming but thought his shifts on D were very solid and he probably would have seen more time in the 3rd if we didn’t fall behind. Also liked the line combo of 16-10-28, thought they had some great shifts.
ER and Mining Man – AMEN !
I do not profess to have all the answers, but it is fun to try and discern why the Coach makes certain decisions. To wit:
I continue to argue that the talent/performance (52 or 23, e.g.) or seasoning (42 or 11, e.g.) is not there yet to roll four lines, regardless of what line the opponent rolls out. Remember, last year’s roster had Bolland, Frolik, a one-year younger Handzus, and Stahlberg available. That kind of depth gave the Coach an option to truly “roll” 4 lines with little concern who they were matched against.
Q needed to skate a 4th line periodically through the first two periods to “eat” some minutes. I am guessing it was difficult to skate the “true” 4th line (26, 52, 17) absent an ability to guarantee who they would skate against. Therefore, the decision to disperse the “true” 4th liners and dilute 2 of the top 3 lines. Having last change will better enable the Coach to cherry pick select moments to skate the 4th line (e.g. against the Kings 4th line) as the game situation dictates. I am hopeful that having last change will enable us to see more of the three “power house” lines before period 3.
Lastly, as posted before Game 6 the insertion of 17 on the 4th line makes total sense, given 8’s short leash.
“sad truth still is… Q/Hawks can’t skate 3 full lines…”
Wall, the Hawks can most certainly skate 3 full lines
If they can get through tomorrow night, when Saad cools down (and he will, at least scoring wise), 20-16-28 could be a checking line even better than 16-36-67. We just don’t have a bumslaying line like 20-65-25 were; that is the big difference in the roster between this year and last.
Lines for Sunday’s game:
Moe is the distributor, Larry the sniper and Curly the enforcer
Plus all 3 can skate better than 52 and 26.
C’mon Hawks 2010, Everyone knows Moe is the enforcer on the 4th line.. Certainly!
I stand corrected Phil!
First, kudos to LA…they are a fantastic team and very well coached. This is very, very good hockey to watch.
Again ER, to each their own opinion, but please don’t attempt to assert things on my behalf. I have said the Hawks can win with a shortened bench, and at this point it is preferable as Larry, Curly and Moe are useless, and those that aren’t dressing have had their confidence shattered. So fact, I have been on board with the shortened bench, but the key is Handzus cannot be a part of any one of the top 3 lines. Again last night, outscored 2-0 with Zus in this rotation, and we outscored them 4-1 without him there. Even Zus has lashed out at his own miserable performance during the playoffs. The only one who hasn’t is Q.
As for Q making the changes that worked in games 5 and 6…holy sh$t…how do you slide him this compliment, like it was some thunderbolt of wisdom…this should have been done from the beginning. Entering game 1 of the playoffs with all new lines, guys who hadn’t played with one another, on the road in STL, was DUMB. Q didn’t make those changes for games 5 and 6, desperation and inertia did. He had to make changes as we were FACING ELIMINATION! Why let it get to this point? As for Shaw centring Kane and Saad, myself and a host of others, I think you were one of them, were calling for this back in the regular season.
Ben Smith saved us in the STL series when he was elevated to the 2nd line centre spot and Zus was demoted to the 4th line. We struggled with MIN until Zus was demoted again. Each series Q keeps putting Zus back as the 2nd line centre, until we are desperate again. That’s not coaching, that’s idiocy. In the first 4 games of the kings series Kane had ZERO points, in the last 2 he has TEN. What’s the difference?
Facts are facts and I have stated them…judgement can be passed when we are facing elimination in LA and Q skates Zus as the 2nd line centre with Kane during the 2nd period WHEN IT CLEARLY DOESN’T WORK…that’s sillier than a Vancouver Canucks jersey.
And to others that don’t enjoy my contributions, DON’T READ THEM. That’s freedom…you know, not a french fry…I don’t contribute here for you…just stick with your “it can’t happen here” thoughts…Q is so great…Zus is a big time player…Brookbank as our 12th forward was brilliant. Like we don’t have any depth…WOW!
Sorry, BNS, why does Leddy have a short leash? He played well again last night…he has played far better than Rozy these playoffs, and is giving us solid minutes. How does anyone dispute this?
How do we suddenly not have 4 lines? Our best line down the stretch was Regin centring Morin and Bickell…two thirds of that line sit in street clothes. Q is responsible for us not being able to field 4 lines. Zus and Bollig have been the two worst defensively responsible forwards for us these playoffs…care to dispute that?
Last night, if Q wanted to do what you were suggesting, how amazing would it have been to have Regin jump in on different lines to rotate players and provide rest. He’s a solid 2 way forward…he’s a centre and a wing…he’s a great skater…and he plays physical. No excuses to dress that lineup, NONE!
Lets go now.
I agree Brad, there is NO excuse for dressing 52 and 26. I am afraid tomorrow nights game will be another finger nail biter. We can’t afford 52 and 26 continually missing their defensive assignments in front of the net. I think we are stuck with 26 until he retires after our last game. Regin in place of 52 would be a huge upgrade. I can’t figure out why Q keeps putting 52 in the lineup and then doesn’t trust him enough to play him. If he doesn’t trust him ( which he clearly doesn’t) why keep putting him in the lineup. The line changes Q made in the last 2 games have been talked about on this board for months. Is Q just stubborn or stupid. I think he does a great job of motivating the players and treating them like men but his line management is horrendous. Please Q skate your best players tomorrow night.
Phil- the Hitler reacts to Maple Leafs missing the playoffs video is classic.
Debbie Downer says- The home team is 1-5 in game 7’s this post-season!!! wah-wahhh!!!
Or will this stat “regress to the mean”???
Sr.Brad – railing against the facts will not change the facts no matter how many words you use. The line that has made the difference in games 5 & 6 is the Saad-Shaw-Kane line. Who, pray tell, decided to play those three guys on the same line if not for Q? To deny Q credit for that move is just your blind hatred for Q as the coach of the Hawks.
Pontificate all you want but denying that it was Q that made the difference making change in Games 5 & 6 is not a matter of opinion – it’s wrong based on the clear facts.
I don’t always agree with every decision Q makes but there is no doubt the decision to play 20-65-88 together turned this series around and Q deserves credit for it.
Sr. Brad has a point. I think he’s saying that the series wouldn’t have needed to be turned around if Q wasn’t so unbelievably stubborn with Handzus at 2C in the first place.
It’s hard to claim credit when you’re fixing your own mistakes. Q gets “credit” for moving Handzus off the second line and putting Shaw there, just like Matt Cooke gets “credit” for ruining fewer careers than he used to.
On another note: BB at wing makes some sense for another reason that hasn’t been mentioned. If our D are super aggressive on the rush, then wingers need to cover for the D. So it makes sense to have BB out there as a wing to cover for pinching D. BB is presumably better at defending a counterattack than any traditional winger on either roster. Maybe Regin or even Morin would be a better option, but the choice to dress BB has at least some rationale.
PLEASE stay aggressive in Game 7. Attack them Hawks! Barrage! Carpe freaking diem! If they beat us, c’est la vie, but make them beat us when we’re playing Hawks hockey.
Listened to Kevin Weeks last night. He asserts that big time players want big time minutes and that Q did exactly that. In other words, purposefully loading up 3 lines has thrown the Kings off balance. Using only 3 lines disrupts the Kings flow with matchups. So Weeks’ opinion is that design by Q is genius…………Who am I to argue?
Mike- Weeks saying Q Loading/skating 3 lines to “Disrupt” the Kings… What did you expect Weeks to say… Bollig, 26,23, 17 (17,non-winger, not blaming him) just suck and can’t play vs. Kings. The Stats (as well as the Eye Test) show these mentioned players are BIG liabilities on the ice!!!
ER- I think you make some great observations most of the time…
But- giving Q credit for making the 20/65/88 change… Yes- it is a fact- Q made the change… JS, Brad, Wall, others did not MAKE THE LINE UP!!!!
You Q does not deserve any praise for that great EPIPHANY !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Q is a very good coach, probably great… But his decision to skate 26 w/ 88… not one of his better moments!
It is almost as silly as saying- Phil Jackson deserves credit for playing MJ/Pippen together- NO!!!!!
The idea behind the 3 lines and the double shifting is to attempt to always make one of your top 2 lines free from Doughty. This is especially true on the road when you don’t get the last change. At home, where Q can better protect his lines, he should not have Sheldon Brookbank in the lineup.
Again, I understand why Q has skated Handzus with Kane. He has to play Handzus with stars or else he is even more of a liability on the ice… but by playing him even strength minutes you are completely neutering your offensive abilities.
There is a very good chance the Hawks repeat as Champs (I’m relatively sure the Rangers are shitting their pants while watching the Hawks and Kings fly back and forth), but I think it’s in spite of a bunch of terrible lineup decisions by Q. The Hawks should have used the regular season to try to develop a kid or two so they could actually play minutes in the playoffs. Instead, they weren’t given much of a chance to learn at the highest level, and thankfully it hasn’t come back to bite them in the ass.
I can’t wait until 7pm.
JS, I agree, the rangers are shitting their pants watching this series…
The Hawk’s have come back, time and again because of this special group of players…we are witnessing history in front of our eyes with this group…as tired as they must be from a short summer, another long season, and having EVERY team play them TOUGH every night, they just don’t give up…but our coaches/mgt need to support this group with the best “help” possible, and that simply isn’t happening. No one can argue that Zus, BB and Bollig were NOT the best options possible to help Toews/Kane etc..the last shift that Bollig played on Friday was embarrassing to watch.
To all those whose comments simply focus on the games, kudos to you. These have been incredible games for the most part as the Kings are an outstanding team. Drew Doughty is a freak show on Defence…and as others have said, yes the Hawks have given up a lot scoring chances, but there’s no way around it…the kings are that good and are developing their own will. They are just unfortunate to have come together during the Toews/Kane era in Chicago. And again, watching Crawford play, you can now see why Bowman gave him that deal Wall, CC has the same moxy/will that Toews, Kane, Keith, Shaw possess.
And how about Andrew Shaw…can we all now say that he’s not just some tenacious checker that get’s under people’s skins??? This kid is a good hockey player, and add his tenacity to the mix, and there isn’t a team in this league that wouldn’t open their vaults for him…
Brandon Saad? Wow…I am torn on the deal to give him this summer…a bridge deal that JS talked about like Leddy’s or recognize that his price could go WAY higher and lock him up for Hammer like numbers for a long time…I’m leaning to this option right now.
Ben Smith…no contract and Bollig has one??? What? I honestly feel like Smith is our 2nd line Centre moving forward. He can score and he creates scoring chances as well as anyone else on the team, save Kane, Toews and Hossa. Please get him locked up this summer Stan…he’s a RFA, so we should be able to, no problem. I love seeing Smith get into his “hunch” as he goes along the boards with the puck…there’s no getting him off of it. I told everyone last summer that Smith was going to be a big part of our team this year…you knew if you saw him play in Rockford last year…its the same way I feel about Jeremy Morin…I just know that this kid is going to be an NHL sniper.
Negzz, you are so right about Sharp…he is snakebitten right now, and its taking a toll on him…Sharpy should never have missed that open net on the 2 on 0…but he’s skating well and trying hard…if Q continues him with Smith and Kruger, we won’t lose. That’s a very good line..and just like with our 2nd line, Sutter has no options with them without setting the Toews line free and he knows he can’t do that.
Again with Bickell, how’s that contract looking now? And while Bicks has not been our best player, we aren’t at this point without his strong play.
Hammer time…that has to be the best contract Bowman has ever given out…maybe tied with Kruger’s…two outstanding players who mean the world to this team both with very CAP friendly deals!
And when Hoss was getting hurt a lot and most of us were wondering about the deal that Bowman gave him, Tab kept saying, that Hoss’ cap # was a steal for a player that can affect the outcome of a game night in and night out. That deal is looking pretty good as well…Hoss is having yet another outstanding season.
And I’m really liking Leddy’s play these playoffs…I don’t get the cold shoulder he’s getting from the coaches…in my mind, Leddy has taken that next step showing us he’s ready to be a top 4 DMen.
Own the first pd
Break even or better on STs and on faceoffs.
Dmen full green light to jump in
Fire at will on JQ, – we are shooting 11% this series, shoot it often!
anyone already take tomorrow off work? ~~ maybe 10pm cst. ‘Start spreadin the news, I’m leavin today….
Mark Lazerus of the SunTimes is reporting the 4th line for the game tonight will be Bollig-Handzus-Versteeg.
Ka-boom! POW! Blammo!
I think I hear the sounds of Q-hater’s heads exploding.
If thats the 4th line the Q haters MIGHT be ok with it as long as Q keeps it down to 35 seconds in total ice time or else they have their scapegoats in advance. Also lets not jinx anything with Rangers talk….they are a formidable team and we did not beat them once this season, and I would love for us to give Vigneault serious stomach and head ache, but first lets get past KINGS/Sutter.
Not at all ER…because its the 4th line…they won’t get more than about 5-10 shifts in the hockey game…Steeger and Zus will keep Bollig out of trouble. They will be fine. The key was getting a 3rd line of Kruger, Smith, Sharp and keeping the 2nd line of Shaw, Saad, Kane…you just never know with Q.
This is great news…5 more wins boys.
Sr. Brad…I like Leddy a lot more this playoffs versus last year. I feel he has kind of been held back by Rozy in the beginning of the playoffs…the entire first part of the season was really unfair to him as he had 3 d-men to play with (Rozy, BB, and Kostka). To be honest, he played well with BB and in game 5 with Seabrook when Seabrook was playing hockey…
Peter- Nick Leddy is from my hometown. He used to play hockey at the ice rink down the street from me. He led Eden Prairie high school to the hockey state championship and was Mr Hockey Minnesota that year. I got to see Nick last summer with the Stanley Cup. He is a very polite and classy young man.
Sr.Brad – on the same page with ya there.
Thx ER if that is 4th line I am just WhY????? Q Why..,,
It is the decade of the Hawks! Our core is the crème de la crème and our role players such as Kruger, Shawsy, Kruger etc. play the right way. Hopefully, we’ll get to see their best game of the playoffs. Home ice and a red hot Kaner, let’s go you Hawks! Our players embrace the core values of this organization: PRIDE, TRADITION, HONOR, COMMITMENT. So should we! I know we do.
no reason why we cant win with those lines.
Brad I agree 8 is def ready to be top 4 and would already be on alot of NHL teams, 20 should be locked down as long as possible, asap. Bollig’s deal is the fly in the ointment!
Im shocked we need seven games vs LA with JQ playing like as he is . I would have thought IF LA had a shot he would have to be lights out all series…. not so.
Keith Jones said after g6 we would win BIG in g7. Not sure why anyone would think one team would rout the other after watching gms 1-6?.This is no empty net, slam dunk winner tonight. We are gonna have to work like hell.
looking for 7 and 29 to play big
have fun watching fellas!! I expect 30/40days off life span , if it goes 60min.
I’m a little tipsy..Kruger, Shawsy, Smitty
ER, never forget that I am a fan of your posts and your hockey IQ…
I have been watching the games closely since we got back from vacation. Wonderful to see that Hawks turn things around. Although if we gave Kane a good centre from the start I don’t think we would be in this spot. Just wanted to say that Crawford is going to have another great game tonight, and I think that he is the mvp of the playoffs so far.
Nice assist by refs on icing faceoff & then the delay of game penalty for bowling woth the water bottle. They should just name the nbc channel after quick. Gets away with what ever he wants and then some.
brutal loss on home ice in OT. we looked so good, but severely shaky at times. Blew 2 leads, blew a 5-3. No question that despite the Hawks puck possession, outshooting and hella creative playing, them LA deserves the win. They had the chance to step on LA’s throat, but they blundered. Great game by so many Hawks players, but again I’m with Brad that Q did not dress the hawks best players. Really impossible to know if that would’ve made a difference, but it certainly stands to reason that the fourth line sitting for so long for so many games must have had a cumulative effect. Hearts broken here. On to next season and all those off-season trades we were mulling over.
Good thing is were going to have a deeper roster these 3yrs coming up. Were still on pace to win 4 cups in 10 yrs (before Hoss retires). Just sucks that we earned the chance to repeat this yr.
Boston will probably win net yr. Then we will have another repeat chance in 16&17.
Michaletti and Engblom will have a crazy party together later…bank on that.
We are still going to have one of two best teams for these 3yrs coming up.
The entire media/news channel crews got their knob slobbing to pay off, they just couldn’t help themselves.
We play in the hardest division and conference and we still were there to win again. Well be back again and again.
Hoss already retired as far as I can see. He was awful tonight.
So much talent out there it is hard to bet against either one of these teams. I just question some of the hawks personnel decisions. Regardless, it’s over. Saad is a beast. Things are still looking up for our boys.
Even though there are a great team (a top3 team, LOS/BOS/Chi) they were dang luck the refs screwed us in game2 with 2bullshit calls that gave them that game, otherwise were up 2-0 and didn’t need to win like we did.
Can see LOS & CHI in conf.final 6of8 yrs. This will be the only yr they will have a deeper roster. (and we still did what we did because were a better team)
Fucking game2 bullshit
2 DAYS BETWEEN GAMES, BITCHS.
Congrats to the Kings and Hawks =great series-it would have been sweet to go back to back
Feel bad for Crow
disappointing end to an excellent season, I’m proud of this team, can’t win a championship ever year.
‘Michaletti and Engblom will have a crazy party together later…bank on that.’
You can bank on it being there last. Thanks to the Canada tv contract. We will never have to listen to those dipshits again, amen.
I feel like I just got the crap kicked out of me. That was a great series, I’m just stunned the Hawks didn’t win in the end. Great season by the Hawks. Proud of all the players. Hawks still have a dominant core and they will be a top team again next year. When Q trusted his talented younger players (Saad, Shaw, Smith, Morin) in important roles on the 2nd-3rd lines playing with Q’s “core” of Teows, Kane, Hossa, Sharp the team was unstoppable. Unfortunately Q holds “new” guys to impossible standards but is blinded for his love of guys like Bollig & Handzus when even common fans can see that Zus was dragging Kane and the 2nd line down unable to stay with the play. When Bowman gave Zus a $1 Million dollar contract, it was to come back as a 4th liner and PK’er, not to C the 2nd line and skate 20+ minutes per game on his old legs. Zus is great defensively (and even offensively sometimes) if he is used properly/sparingly so that he can maintain fresh legs. Bollig had a few decent games during the season but was below average the rest of the time. He just doesn’t have much skill. He’s ok as a 13th forward against certain opponents, if he’s playing on a cheap contract but you can replace him easily. The fact that he was given a 3 year – 3.75 Million extension this year when Bowman has excelled at replacing non-core salary cap casualties makes me believe that Q hounded Bowman into that signing and as a result played Bollig way more than he should have especially in the playoffs. The team was on fire with Morin at the end of the season but he couldn’t even crack the lineup during the playoffs while Bollig sat and warmed the bench during 90% of the game while our stars were played to the point of exhaustion. In my opinion Q got out-coached and it started with the lineup he put on the ice. It’s not a coincidence that the moves everyone had been calling for, i.e. Saad on a top line, and Zus replaced by Smith or Shaw. Two series in a row Q tried to force his lineup on the ice and only when he was down did he do the right thing out of self preservation. Rewarding experience over talent/production is always a recipe for disaster. Sometimes you can find a way to win anyway, especially a team like the Hawks with so much talent…but you risk your stars just being too tired to bail you out every time. It ended up biting us at the end. Go Hawks!
….and soooo close with Shaw with 5 seconds left in regulation….I’m hurting
so close, some crazy goals all night….
I wish I could post Engblom’s pre-Handzusian era mullet. It was Iafratian in nature, although it pre-dated it. There is an exhibit concerning it at the Oriental Institute if I remember correctly…