A Canuck Fan's Nightmare, the Blackhawks are back!

From where I see it, this is the Hawk's series. The Canucks have dominated for 1 period, and controlled about 2 more periods, while the Hawks have dominated for 6 periods (not all coming from the last 2 games), and have controlled another 3 to 4 periods out of 15 total. The remaining periods fall somewhere in the middle. Game 2 could have gone in the Hawks favor with a couple of helpful bounces and game 3 was the Hawk's to lose in my opinion. Basically, Vancouver is lucky to still have a game lead in the series.

Don't poke the beast. You say it a thousand times, but people just keep pushing it. The Canucks had control, they had everything to win, but they had to poke the beast while they were at it. Cheers to the Hawks for using this poke as inspiration to tear Vancouver apart, piece by piece, because like I said in the title, we have now entered Vancouver's worst nightmare. There could be no greater victory for the Hawks and no greater loss for the Nucks than what is transpiring right now.
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Let us breakdown last nights wonderful performance, shall we. I have to start by giving humungous props to our goaltender. Yet another year in a row, a rookie goalie is outshining Luongo, and boy did he have a spectacular game last night. The score might cause you to miss the fact that the Nucks outshot the Hawks 36 to 26, and Crawford stopped every single shot. Many were outstanding saves from my book, but none more important than the early ones.
The next thing I want to point out is how many shots the Hawk's defense blocked. I swear that I will punch the next "Blackhawk's Fan" who says negative things about my buddy Hjammer, the man is a warrior, gives his body for the team like no other and try playing along side "Mr. Scardypants" Campbell on most nights. Needless to say, the Hawks played outstanding defense, cleared the slot, took some big hits, cleared the zone and killed penalties like a composed team. Hjammer had a lot to do with that.
It all started with defense, and we all knew it would have to be the difference maker in this series. I never thought it would be at the result of losing Seabrook, but I guess something had to ignite the fire. With Seabrook out many have feared the worst for the ability to manage player's ice-time. However, It honestly does not get any better than last night in that department. Keith was at a comfortable 23 minutes, while Scott was able to play almost 12 and we still shut out the Nucks. This is huge going into game 6. Campoli has been great with the added pressure, this guy is a keeper.
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Crawford may have set the stage, but finally number 81 stepped up to claim it. I honestly found his first goal to be really weak on Luongo's part. Not making that save could have been the difference. Either way, Hossa earned this win through hard work and finishing shots. Has he now learned how getting the puck off the ice can lead to better production? I sure hope so.
I really don't want Johnson's enormous play in the first period to go forgotten. Keith's goal would not be if not for the intense efforts by the former Canuck. His defensive stability and unwillingness to give an inch set-up Keith to blow Luongo away. It reminds me of all the little things that caused this game and the last game's outcomes. Winning the battles will win you the war.
Like I said in the last post, Dunc Norris is back. Nice to be reminded just how good he can be. Not only has he produced offensively in the past 2 games (racking up as many points as Daniel Sedin in this series) but his defense was big as well. He saved Crawford from a few tough ones early in the game. Welcome back Keith!
I thought the officiating was a bit weak in this one. Once again Vancouver got away with murder more than a few times, while the Hawks got called on a couple weak ones. That interference call on Frolik was about as bad as they come. Then Toews' head gets ripped off a few minutes later and all that comes of it is a minor. I think Vancouver's play is complete horse-crap and is a real stain on the league right now. Besides Kessler, the Sedins and Samuelsson, the team can use some time in the corner with the dunce cap on.
Power-play goals were huge last night. The tide has turned on the odd-man situations with these teams. Now Chicago has the dominating PP and PK, while Vancouver seems lost in their own heads. The score might have ended 5-0, but the Hawks still missed a bunch of other prime chances set-up by great plays. Toews was the focus of a few tic-tac-toe plays that could have easily ended in the net. Sharp had 2 breakaways that could have added insult to injury. One coming off of a ridiculously amazing centering pass from (I think) Leddy. Can I offer some advice, something I thought every pro would know? When you are showing shot from the blueline in, making a move is probably your best bet. If Sharp would have tucked it to his backhand, he would easily be on top for points in this playoff round.
How about Leddy on that one rush? Gaining ground on the attacker and then knocking him off the puck without causing a penalty. This was a world class play right there. Also, Campbell rocked someone really hard. I don't remember who it was, but the situation must have been just right. The stars were aligned and the wind was blowing in just the right direction for Campbell to physically destroy another (and cleanly too).
Going back to the officiating, how in the world did the Hawks not start the 3rd on the power-play? After watching Brouwer get elbowed to the head, and then get attacked by Bieksa and Lapierre, I thought for sure we would have a man advantage. Looking back I notice that Edler was not called for the elbow to Brouwer's head. WTF? Then, early in the 3rd, Kane gets cross-checked and slashed in the same 3 seconds without a call. Seriously, WTF?
Last thing before I part ways and start gearing up for the next game. The Hawks had guys camped out in front of Luongo all night. Apparently it doesn't even have to be a guy as big as Big Buf, Ben Smith works just fine. The Hawks looked like a well oiled machine, doing everything just right. Every part was functioning the way we expect and the result is an ass whipping. There is elite talent on this team, and everyone is now taking notice. Keep it up, and make history boys. Go Hawks!
Things are not looking to good for the Nucks.
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  • Go Hawks!

    Would love to see Hawks vs Wings match-up. Healthy rivalry makes for good hockey. Besides, I think I would rather see the Hawks repeat than see the East win the Cup. Though I wouldn't mind seeing Stevie Y's new team win.

    Oh. one more thing. GO WINGS!

  • In reply to paradox:

    I said this right after your other post, but seeing the Hawks is a long shot right now. If they do beat the Nucks, they will earn another grudge match series with the Sharks, whom they sent packing last year. The second round in the West is going to be very tough.

  • In reply to paradox:

    Campbell creamed good ol' number 22.

    Love the Leddy

    Thanks to Raffi for conjuring up Godzilla to come out of Lake Michigan to play

  • In reply to JerryManderings:

    There he is. I was wondering when you would come back and grace us with your insight.

    Nice to see you around.

  • In reply to JerryManderings:

    I love what I am reading in Vancouver.
    Questions are being brought up about Luongo and whether he should play. Lines are being shuffled around because of bad performances, the D is getting ridiculed for giving the Hawks space (which they did), the fans are booing their goalie off the ice, and Bolland is the talk of the town.

    While Bolland was a huge factor in game 4, game 5 was a team effort and a Vancouver meltdown. But, hey keep focusing on one guy while the rest of our team gets to business. Pretty amazing how the team that is down 3-2 in the series seems to be owning it. And we all know what happens when lines get shuffled around too much.
    Lets just hope the speed factor keeps the Hawks flying on Sunday night. Sure, the Nucks D gave the Hawks space, but the Hawks kind of took it without asking.

    A huge factor right now is who wants it more. The Hawks have a fire in their eyes. Whether that fire lasts long enough for this series of for the 2nd series is yet to be seen, but when a guy like Toews slams his stick after missing a chance when your up 5-0 already, you know how bad they want it right now.

    And How about the officials make the calls that need to get made. We all know how dirty they are gonna be.

  • In reply to JerryManderings:

    I would agree that right now the Hawks have regained that fire in their eyes look. The more I think about it, the more crucial I think it was to slide Sharp back to center. Somewhere down the road, Bowman has got to solve this issue for good. Is Keith really suddenly playing better? Perhaps, but I think a lot of it has to do with putting at least three good lines out there that makes it possible for a team effort instead of Toews trying to will his team further. I fully expect a good game out of Luongo on Sunday, but unless the team in front of him gets their shit together, the Hawks are going to have a very good chance to win that game and force it to 7. To win, I believe the Hawks have to get the early lead and start to demoralize the Nucks. Any lead given to Vancouver is only going to start to rebuild their confidence. Welcome back home Hawks.

  • In reply to nklhd12:

    Imagine how much more production Hossa would have had this year if his own team mate and slug Boynton didn't injure him.

  • In reply to nklhd12:

    HH,

    I'm with you 110% concerning the play of the Hammer. Without his blocking of a pass in the crease, it would have been 1-0 nucks a minute into the game. There's a darn good reason why he's getting top pair money..

    The best thing about the game for me was the Phoenix like look around the rink in the 3rd period,a whole lot of empty seats!

    BW

  • In reply to beaverwarrior:

    Yeah, there has been some talk about how the fans did not back their team up much at all in Vancouver. But, how do you when your team is getting brutally beaten?

  • In reply to puckpowwow:

    HH,

    Well Sir, If was me, being the frugal fellow that I am and considering that the nearest NHL city (Vancouver) is roughly 400 miles away which mostly likely means it's the only NHL game I'm going to see in person that season. I'm staying till the final horn.

    BW

  • In reply to puckpowwow:

    Nice Job Hawks!

    Wow. What a performance. I thought they were in trouble at 2-1. Looks like Chicago wants it more.

  • In reply to paradox:

    Well, after getting hopes up and then dashed all year long, I am still reserved. Down the stretch, was a missing Bolland really the one thing they needed to not wind up in the 8th seed? Is it really just as simple as they needed to put Sharp back at second line center? I dunno, I honestly dunno. One thing that does seem clear is that Bolland came back and Sharp went back to center, this team is suddenly a shit ton better defensively and the minutes are more spread out. I predict nothing. Vancouver is not the Presidents cup winner unwarrented, but they have really looked like shit for two games in a row now and even if the Hawks lose to them, they will leave this series worse for wear.

    Jerry Kane, good to see you.

  • In reply to nklhd12:

    Thanks V.H.F. It's nice to be seen. I've taken the blogging thing off. I can't afford wasting all that time this year. This working thing is really cutting into my free time.

    See you all Sunday. Fingers crossed the Hawks can ratchet it up another notch.

  • In reply to nklhd12:

    Right on the money. While I have hopes we can finish off this series and tear up the Sharks, no matter what happens this team showed more heart than the Canucks ever could. Did you see Torres intentionally stick out his knee and hit Ben Smith knee on knee? No call. And after Edler elbowed Brouwer at the end of the 2nd the ref raised his hand for the penalty. Like you I was wondering how we didn't have a power play to start the third. Hell he didn't even have to sit in the box! Then the crosscheck/slash on Kane, it's pretty obvious we're playing a bunch of goons who can't handle it when they're losing. If we're going to go down in this series I hope the game is out of hand and we can send Scott out there to get a little justice before the season ends.

  • In reply to paradox:

    Great game, the beast has been awoken from the season long slumber, and the Canucks seem to be wilting under the pressure yet again. A stunning turn-around but still must be wary of the Canucks. Momentum is a fickle thing, keep the pedal to the metal boys!

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