Friday, June 21, 2013
Blackhawk push back!
Chicago, down 2 games to 1 heading into Game Four on Wednesday, rose to the occasion and despite an uncharacteristically poor game in the nets by goaltender Corey Crawford, the Hawks pushed back at the Bruins domination of before, gaining an impressive 6-5 overtime victory and turing the Stanley Cup final into a Best of Three showdown.
Best of all for ChiHawk fans, they wrestled home ice advantage back for the Windy City, with two of three games ahead hosted at the Mad House on Madison if required.
For Chicago, the Game Four revival was not only timely, but indicative that the Hawks weren't just going to roll over and hand the Bruins the Cup.
The Hawks turned on their jets, (assisted by a Toews and Kane reunion) turning what had been a clutch and grab festival of game three into a free wheeling end to end affair, something that obviously is in the Hawks better interests. Unleashed from the close quarters that the Bruins would prefer, the Hawks were driving to the Bruin end of the rink, buzzing the net, creating havoc and leaving the Bruins a bit unsettled in their own end, something not seen in recent games.
Boston eventually caught up with the speed of the game and matched the Hawks almost rush for rush and as thing would evolve goal for goal.
In fact, the biggest surprise from a series that has really provided for mainly low scoring and defensive hockey, was the burst of offence from Game Four, a welcome change for those that actually like to see goals scored.
Though, if you're on the Hawks or part of the fan base, the goals against from Game four is probably an uneasy feeling, Corey Crawford who normally is a rock in the Hawks net, had a wee problem with his catching glove on Wednesday, with a good portion of the Bruins five goal output coming on the glove side.
The Bruins as well might have wondered what was going on, Tuuka Rask previously all but invincible of late, had a rough night of things surrendering six goals in the four periods of play.
11 goals in one game, provided for just one goal shy of the total goal output of games one through three, great for those with scorers in a hockey pool, a nightmare for coaches looking to tighten up their play.
The offensive bounty for Chicago however is no doubt welcome, with the Hawks no doubt hoping that it provides an indication that their scoring woes are behind them and that they can seize the momentum heading into Game Five Saturday in Chicago.
We pointed out that unless the Hawks could find their way onto the score sheet in Game Four, that Saturday's game in Chicago could be very much of a last stand.
The Hawks answered any challenges on Wednesday, the pressure now shifts to the team with the B on their jersey, Chicago can make things even more uncomfortable if they just keep up the speed game that they employed on Wednesday night.
Oh, and having the goaltender return to his previously formidable form would be welcomed as well we imagine.
A playoff season that has provided for a number of surprises and much in the way of entertainment, all of those previous games now turned into a potential three game showdown.
In a season that began with such anger, fans are finally getting the reward for all of their patience, they couldn't have asked for a better script, the ending of course dependant on which team you support.
Chicago Sun Times-- Brent Seabrook: A voice of authority on the Blackhawks
Chicago Tribune-- Stanley Cup final one for the ages
Chicago Daily Herald-- Blackhawks a team Chicago can be proud of
Boston Herald-- Get back to B's basics
Boston Globe-- Bruins want better start in Game 5
NESN-- Bruins' 'Average' Showing Costs Them, Wakes Up Blackhawks as series heads back to Chicago Tied
USA Today-- Blackhawks fixing their issues
Globe and Mail-- To the excitement of fans, Bruins and Hawks go off script
National Post-- Bruins, Blackhawks have been through it all, and refuse to crack
Toronto Star-- Chicago's Brent Seabrook - the captain's captain
Toronto Sun-- Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane reunion sparks scoring surge