How About an Applause for Your Chicago Blackhawks! Remember that all good things must come to an end.

How About an Applause for Your Chicago Blackhawks! Remember that all good things must come to an end.
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Keep that applause going for Corey Crawford (amazing game), keep it going for Johnny Toews, and keep it going for the fans too. Things might not have ended how we wanted, but that was a great run at history. Vancouver can sleep easier now that they have eliminated the Blackhawks in OT of game 7 in the first round. They almost blew it, but ended up on top. Really, what a ride. The better team in the series won tonight. Give credit to Vancouver for outplaying the Hawks when everything was on the line.

I want to stay on the positives for a moment. Vancouver was an inch away from being beaten 4 games in a row by the Hawks when a centering pass from Toews connected with Sharp on the back-door. A play where we have seen Sharp burry his shot more than a dozen times just didn't find the whole tonight. That was the game winner and I honestly can not believe that the Hawks dropped this one after the heroics of Crawford and Toews. WTF Toews? How did you do it Toews? Shorthanded with the final minute waining in the 3rd and you force the puck to the back of the net from shear will power. Once a champion, always a champion.
I did not think that a loss was in the cards after that goal and I am sure every Vancouver fan gave up for a moment. Way to shut them up for a second Toews.
I truly believe that this team will be better next year as a result of what transpired this month. This was a rebuilding year for the Hawks, and they took that all the way to game 7 against the President's Trophy winners. Not too shabby. They have a future goaltender in Corey Crawford and a lot of youth such as Ben Smith who have a ton of promise.
Before recapping this game, I want to make a point of stopping anyone who has harsh words towards Chris Campoli. He was maybe the only Hawk's player who hadn't turned the puck over up until that point and he played a well fought game. It is a shame that his turnover was the nail in a magnificent run, but I am sure many agree when I say that I hope to see him in a Hawk's jersey next year.
2 players I am not sure that I want to see in that jersey are Campbell and Hossa. I might catch a ton of heat for saying it, but both of them needed to be much better in this game and the series as a whole. Hossa was none existent besides that final seconds of game 6 and his follow up on the historical Toews rush tonight. If you can't produce in the playoffs when it matters most, I question your worth to the team. Campbell created so many turnovers I lost count in the first period.
And not to sound like a complainer, but that early whistle that took away what would have been the Hawk's first goal was crap. Like I said above, the better team won tonight, so it doesn't kill me that much, but still.
So, if you missed the game, here is a quick run down for you. The first period saw a slight Hawk's edge, but Vancouver scored the only goal. The second period was pure domination by the Nucks, and it started after the Hawks gave a pathetic power-play performance. The third period started where the 2nd left off, but the Hawks showed a little more fight. In the end, the fat lady began to sing, but Toews shut her up really quick with that late 3rd period shorty. A failed conversion on an OT power-play set the stage for a Hawk's loss and elimination from the playoffs. Now the Hawks can get that much needed rest, and Vancouver can run into a really difficult series against the Preds. No offense Vancouver, but I am picking Nashville.
Lets see, Kaner was in La La Land for most of the game and played almost 23 minutes, while a guy like Johnson who was playing with a fire in his eyes played under 7. Honestly, besides a few great shifts from the 4th line, the only players making anything happen tonight were Toews and Sharp. I thought Kruger had his best game as a Hawk, but he didn't deserve more ice than Johnson. Brouwer was alright (I am still on the fence about his future as a Hawk, but lean towards keeping him), the D was less than perfect, Crawford was amazing, the Hawk's passing was all over the place and neutral zone movement a pain to watch as a result,
And, oh yeah, Leddy really blew it on that first goal. His man was the eventual goal scorer and I have no idea where he was going by crashing so tight to the net with a high man following the play like that. Hand it to Burrows though, he had a hell of a night.
I choose not to mention Luongo because I felt like he was a non-factor. He didn't have anything to do with the Nuck's win, and he didn't throw it away either. Obviously shaky, I question wether or not he stands a chance with Rinne starring him down from the opposite end of the ice.
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With so much more to say I bid you all a goodnight. This was an exhausting night, although a wonderful ride. I look forward to all of your comments and the eventual dialogue that will follow as we begin to look forward to next year.

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  • Wow - Vancouver was just swarming all night. That was the definition of full-team-effort on every shift. Unbelievable. It seemed like there were about 8 Vancouver players on the ice at all times. The Hawks looked weary and confused most of the time, and only the heroics of Crawford made this interesting. These are the games when guys like Buff, Bickell, Ladd...etc are so sorely missed.

    I'm just thrilled they took it to game 7, and my main wish as the game went along tonight was that they at least score one goal. Apart from the near miss from Sharp in OT, the Hawks looked kinda dazed and strangely unenthusiastic for the rest of that PP, so I had a feeling it was just a matter of time before it was over for them. Just didn't have any fire in their eyes tonight. I think maybe a few more shifts for the 4th line would have changed things in their favor a bit, but probably not. They were all getting pounded all night.

    It was a strange and tough year that should leave them hungry for a more successful season next time around. They never really had the magic this season, and I don't think any of us really believed they would go all the way this year anyway... so the early exit just gives them more time to rest up and regroup for the 11-12 season.

    Thanks HH for the big effort in keeping this blog alive!

  • After losing two years in a row to the Hawks, the Canucks finally figured out what depth can do for you. Watching Luongo fold like a wet taco in those two years was certainly part of that process. To save face, we will now hear tons of backhanded comments from Nucks fans about how the Hawks still retained a lot of top talent, and how everyone expected this to be a long series, etc etc. Winning the series will help ease their sting from getting their asses kicked badly and blanked in their own house. But, I think Hawks fans have a lot more to be proud of today.

    Vancouver played this series and this game in the same manner that they did the entire season; as a team that expected to win. After going down three games though, the Hawks came back and played four straight games as a champion. Will either Sedin bitch do what Toews did? I doubt it. But that's enough about them. This post season run gave guys like Leddy and Smith some invaluable experience while also giving the team a chance to evaluate who stays and goes. After hearing Keith basically admit that he wasn't up for this season, I can only hope that the early off season gives him and a couple other guys the time needed to get their heads and bodies together to be ready for next year.

  • Well said HH, guitar man and Vegas. Hawks were closed out by a talented, desperate Nuk team that was literally fighting for its life. Hawks have the heart of a champion, which, after being stitched together all season, can carry them into next season.

    Thanks for taking over the blog in mid season HH. From this chair that was the move of the season! Looking forward to the usual wit and incisive analysis from you and fellow ponderers this summer.

  • This game reminded me of the end of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Everything was great until they ran out the door to a slaughter. The Hawks fought hard. The 2 mistakes that led to the goals were Leddy in the first few minutes and Camopoli in the last.

    But, I'm a big fan of both and I'd like to see them and Crawford wrapped up for a while. Campoli and Crawford are RFAs and the Hawks have Leddy for 2 more seasons then he's an RFA.

    Equally important is wrapping up Sharp. To me he should retire as a Blackhawk lifer. He's a UFA in 2012 and definately a core player, not to mention being the Hawks all star through the recent building years.

    The Hawks also free up over 4 million so they have that to play with.

    To wrap up, this season was very inconsistent. And as one of the other Hawks bloggers wrote, it's only fitting that the season ends on a turnover in the defensive zone.

    Great season. Great work to HH and the regulars. I'll try to contribute a little more in the future but I'll always be reading. Don't stop now, this blog is well written, very thoughtful, and greatly appreciated. Keep in touch.

  • In reply to JerryManderings:

    Thanks Hawks for an enjoyable playoff series! and season. Clearly the better team won tonight and I believe the Hawks will use this as motivation for next season. The Canucks will NOT win the Cup so they better enjoy this as much as they can. They do not have the long term staying power. But back to the Hawks. It will be interesting to see who goes, I hope the Hawks keep Campoli. The poor guy will be remembered for the "gift" to Burrows, but these Hawks were outplayed all night. Where does Hossa go in playoff times? and I LIKE the guy. But he has to produce and show some fire. Campbell may have played his last game as a Hawk , trnovers have become a specialty with him and ever since Ovechkin hit him last season he seems to go out of his way to avoid contact. All just my opinions, but I truly believe this team will be a force to be reckoned with next year. to the Canucks, enjoy the season, it will be a short playoff run for you and probably your last one.

  • In reply to hawksfan4life74:

    @hawksfan_4life74, I respectfully disagree with you about Campbell. He finally won me over this year. I felt as though he finally felt good in his hockey skin in Chicago. It's common knowledge that defensemen as a whole don't like to be hit, who does!

    If you're gonna diss Hossa you have to include Kane. Some may add Sharp to that mix but he was playing out of position again and on one leg would have to assume. Campbell had a leg injury too. And don't forget Hossa wasn't the same since he was Boyntned.

  • In reply to JerryManderings:

    I agree with you about Kane, but he did contribute more than Hossa this year, and much more last year. Part of it is that we all know what Hossa is capable of. Sharp, well, I thought he played hard, just couldn't find the touch I guess.

    Campbell had a better season this year, yes. However, he is continually the one making big mistakes and Hjammer has to bail him out too often. When the going gets tough, Campbell gets running away. His shot is seen from miles away, and his brilliant skating abilities caused a whole lot of nothing. I know money shouldn't play into it, but when you are the highest payed guy (come on). Not his fault about the money, but step up for Pete's sake. Campoli is worth more to the team in my opinion.

  • In reply to puckpowwow:

    Not arguing the Campbell thing, I like to think we're both right.

    Hammer had a dismal year. No puck possession he never skated with the puck and always either windmilled his stick at the puck to chip it out of the zone or banked it off the glass for a turnover at center ice. He continued that trend through the 7 playoff games. Maybe the big contract got into his head too. I was maybe most disappointed in his performance this season. The money may have been too much to live up to. Maybe he'll get used to being rich and playing high-level hockey next season. (which starts in only 6 months. Go Cubs (you didn't think I was a Sox fan did you?).

  • In reply to JerryManderings:

    HH & Vegas,

    Thanks for writing this great blog. There's needs to be a tweak or two with the roster over the summer. Put me in the Campbell must go camp. Jerry, not only doesn't like to receive hits but he just doesn't like the physical game period. If his name ended in "son" we would be referring to him as a soft euro. Sadly the dream we all lived this past year, Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Champions has come to an end, all I can say is "GO HAWKS"!!!!

    BW

  • In reply to beaverwarrior:

    Still the Stanley Cup Champs until someone else lifts the Cup. It was fun while it lasted. Great future to look forward to. Unless Bowman/McD make some more bad moves.

  • In reply to beaverwarrior:

    Biggest lesson learned last night in my mind: the Hawks have to acquire some bigger bodies for next season if they want to advance in the playoffs. Unload the Brouwer-types on the team and get some depth players who can play but also throw their weight around. The Hawks looked like the Iraqi army on the first day of the gulf war last night. They were getting slammed from every side and had nothing to fight back with. They just kept retreating further back into their own zone to regroup.

    I'm surprised no one's mentioned Seabrook in their comments today. I thought he was one of the weakest player on the ice last night. Most of the time he looked like he was at a Sunday afternoon public skate at the local rink.

  • In reply to beaverwarrior:

    Couple of things guys, Sharp could have buried that shot, no doubt, but Luongo knew what was coming. Toews was handcuffed as to what he could do with the puck as the D man wouldn't let him crawl out and present the "stuff" option. Luongo knew it was coming and got over quick.

    Campoli

  • In reply to beaverwarrior:

    Found this blog as I mourned the end of the Hawks season. Like Fourfeather I'm a lifelong Hawks fan living in Vancouver. He is right, the pressure here is tangible. Police blockades have gone up in one suburb every game night that the Nucks could clinch.

    Hawks finally found some focus in a season of short attention spans and did better in this series than I thought possible. The Canucks were the better team.

    Crawford's coming out party was amazing. Watching Torres et al crash on the Hawks D made it pretty obvious what needs to be acquired in the off season. Ben Eager may not have been everyone's favourite but he could apply the body. I think Campbell will be kept as puck carrying defenseman are such a rarity though moving him would clear a whack of cap space.

    It will be interesting to find out the injuries of Hawks players now that they are out. Seabrook looked like he shouldn't have been allowed to play. Brouwer didn't seem right.

    Nashville almost got the Hawks last year. I think they will take the Canucks.

  • In reply to Pilotefan:

    I am so glad you mentioned Eager. I can not count the amount of times during games this whole season when I turned to someone and said, "man, we could use Eager right now." HIs loss was much larger than it seems. A guy like that is hard to find. Fast and physical with enough offensive skill to be a huge threat. If Stalberg would have figured out how to check, he might have filled that absence.

    If the Hawks could get rid of Campbell they would. There are 4 other puck moving defensemen on the team, but he will go nowhere. Brouwer is more of a wild-card, but I would keep him if the choice was mine to make.

    My guess, Hossa was hurt, Bolland never reached 100%, Toews probably had something nagging him, and Kane might have never allowed that ankle to reach 100% either.

    Go Preds!

  • In reply to Pilotefan:

    I'm from Vancouver... where do you live? I want to rape you.

  • In reply to beaverwarrior:

    A bitterly disappointing end to the season (especially with the hair-puller potting the winner) but am proud of the Hawks and the fight they showed to the end. If Sharp picks the upper short side corner (which was open), Vancouver burns and the Sedin wussies cry. Campbell: shoot the puck!! Did anyone else notice the wide open lane he had on the OT PP and he instead tries the cross ice pass, frustrating. Kane was a non-factor once the physicality started, and again Hossa did mostly nothing. Not a big fan of Stalberg either, not a playmaker just a fast guy who goes wide most of the time (like Skille?), Kane looked frustrated playing with him and needs a physical wing to get him the puck.

    Ok enough of the rant, get some R&R this summer and come back ready and hungry.

  • In reply to beaverwarrior:

    Sorry, but Vancouver, while carrying talented players, is doing it with smoke and mirrors and will be exposed for what they are...a good regular-season team. For all this talk about their speed and size and presence all over the ice, they came within inches of losing this series (with Sharp's miss in OT) to a team that was depleted and exhausted and back-doored their way into the playoffs. Vancouver will suffer the same fate as last year's President's Trophy.

  • In reply to shadow8:

    I want decorate your weenie as a trophy and lift it over my head.

  • In reply to felixinkits:

    Wow.
    I have a new appreciation for Vancouver fans,
    BTW, it's too heavy, you wouldn't be able to pick up. Ha! So funny, I almost forgot about the last two playoff series when Chicago actually cared enough and weren't in a rebuilding year coming off of a long season.

    All ugliness aside, Vancouver built an impressive team and kudos to them for being able to pull it together for one last win. Comments like this, well, you just expect it from people sometimes. Way to go Felix, thanks for living up to those expectations and making the world a better place.

  • In reply to felixinkits:

    Thanks Felix for showing why Vancouver police need to put up barricades in Surrey Delta for ROUND 1 games.You are an embarassment.

    I apologize to others for feeding the troll. I should know better.

  • In reply to felixinkits:

    Just got home from moping at work all day today. Probably best that most folks there aren't into hockey so I didn't have to talk about it all day long. Saw on another blog that Henrik had this to say

  • In reply to nklhd12:

    before i set the record straight...i just want to say kudos to Vegas and HH (these are the only two blog posts i saw over the past couple weeks - yes, i am a canuck fan) - you guys know your hockey and provide a very balanced write-up. i wish all bloggers and some journalists/columnists were as informed.
    anyways, getting back to why i'm here and it is to clear the air on the Henrik comment. that "other blogger" mis-quoted Henrik (interview is here titled "Game Day Raw: Henrik Post-game Apr.26.11" and at: http://video.canucks.nhl.com/videocenter/). his comments are at the 43 second mark and go on to say, "..for 5 games we were playing awesome...we made it tough on ourselves...b/c we played two really shitty games...that's our fault...we took the foot off the gas...that's when they hurt us. it was a really strong effort for us to get back...to get the momentum back...last game and tonight...they had no business tying up the game." i would tend to agree and most Canucks fans thought it was an easy 3 minutes till the end of the game and punch our ticket to Rd 2 but Toews was simply amazing in that he never quit (Hawks are lucky to have him - kinda reminds me of Canucks captain Trevor Linden though Toews has a lot more talent...and a Cup ring...and an Olympic Gold) on that play and eventually scored the tying goal.
    till the Hawks and Canucks meet again...i'll be sure to keep tabs on this blog when they meet in the regular season...keep it up!

  • In reply to bchow888:

    The amount of phony entries on this page is obscene, including ChowFun's.

  • In reply to bchow888:

    The trolls clearly show why despite living in the pacific northwest I'll never be a nuck fan.

    BW

  • In reply to bchow888:

    It's sad. The trolls from Chicago show up on the Canucks and other sites too. I feel dirty reading them. This is always a good blog to discuss the Blackhawks. That's your intent and that's what makes it fun to visit and interact.

    It's always the bad people that ruin it for the good people. That's the way of the world.

  • In reply to bchow888:

    First the hated Packers beat Da Bears, then Da Blackhawks get beat by the hated Luongo and Da Burro(w)s - what's next???

  • In reply to bchow888:

    Fair enuf. I'll admit I'm not going to scour Vancouver media to hear what the players and fans had to say, there are enough of them that show up on Hawks blogs. I hope it's not a no no to mention another blog, but I found it a bit interesting that on the blog in question, hockeybuzz, the Hawks writer had his post up the next day and was otherwise very praiseful of the Nucks. From the Nucks writer, he completely blew off the game and series wrap and went straight to the series preview with the Preds. When the Hawks pushed it to seven, you could read the angst building. Gone was the swagger following the first three games as well the patronizing dismissal after the Hawks won 7-2.

    A couple years ago, I thought the Hawks were outplaying the wings for stretches in the WCF, but that's kind of an irrelevant way of looking it at to me. Good teams win even when they get outplayed and I think the Hawks needed to learn that lesson before they went on to win a cup. Granted, the team they had last year was so ridiculously stacked and so well put together that they could frequently win after biffing most of the game. After going down three games, the Hawks finally got it together (and got the Sedins favorite player, Bolland back in the line up) and nearly eliminated the Nucks. To bring up that they outplayed the Hawks for 5 games in any context sounds a bit like small man's complex to me. Take away the quick whistle, game seven is a different game.

    For whatever reason, the Nucks flat out quit in games 4 and 5. Your super goalie got yanked and was replaced for game 6 and you gave up a shorthanded goal just minutes away from victory (wonder what the green men thought of that). That should be humbling. I think the Nucks have the talent and chemistry this year to win it all but not with the attitude they showed in this series. Your team and your fan base, I think, view the Hawks as a skanky person they feel contempt for because they slept with them and are now embarrassed by it. This is going to invoke satan again, but look at the wings sweep of the Yotes and compare it to this series.

    But enough of that. Your post was reasonable to me. I'm not cheering for the Nucks, but I think they have a chance of going very far this year and possibly winning it.

  • In reply to nklhd12:

    Points well taken - as for the blog in question, I am not sure of "blog etiquette" and how the Nucks writer should respond but I agree there should have been some acknowledgement after all, one of the local Vancouver reporters summed it up pretty well, "...the first three games were against an 8th seed... while the last four games were against Stanley Cup champions..."

    Even though I am a Nucks fan, I still have my doubts mostly about Luongo...unlike previous Nucks goalies who have taken their respective teams to the Stanley Cup finals, I still have not seen enough saves where you simply just shake your head and wonder "how did he make that save . . ." which serves two purposes: 1) gives your team and defense the confidence to be aggressive to press for the tying or insurance goal, knowing that your goalie will make the save; and, 2) the opposing team just gets deflated. I saw that a few times in Crawford and you could see the Hawks rallying behind those saves and then having Crawford make that one save on Kesler. Crawford's play reminded me of Halak's play last year which carried the Habs to the ECF. In Luongo, I haven't seen that yet but I think it largely had to do with the Hawks getting into his head. Ken Dryden said once, "because the demands on a goalie are mostly mental...it means that for a goalie, the biggest enemy is himself. Not a puck, not an opponent, not a quirk of size or style. Him." For Luongo, I don't think he could get the Hawks out of his head until the W the other night. I am still cautiously optimistic about the Nucks changes. Perhaps, to your point (and Toews said it, "...to win a Stanley Cup,...you

  • In reply to bchow888:

    Seems to me Loungo makes many fantastic saves as long as they're on the ice. But since he doesn't seem to be able to close his glove when the puck hits it, most consider high-glove to be his weakness. The Hawks exploited that last year and if Hossa could have lifted the puck off the ice, I can think of a few times he would have had goals. One being the tying goal Toews had to risk life and limb for.

    That's my goalie scouting report from Chicago. Do they see it the same way in Vancouver?

  • In reply to JerryManderings:

    That is exactly how I saw it - every time Luongo made a glove hand save, it was a fricking juggling act. To the credit of Nucks D-men, they made sure no Hawks player was around to knock it in. I think for a hockey player, if given the time and opportunity, you will want to exploit a goalie's weakness (or at least, make him think it's a weakness). Throughout the year, Luongo's glove hand has never been as shaky as the Hawks series. I truly believe the Hawks were in his head kinda like "Being John Malkovich" but worse. To say Luongo is glad the series is over is an understatement (I know you guys probably didn't see it and don't blame you) but in the celebrations after the goal, Luongo was doing like a snow angel and lying flat on his back looking skyward for a good 2 min. If that image doesn't say "glad-get-rid-of-Hawks-mind-control", I don't know what would.

    All (but maybe one) Vancouver/Canadian reporters were saying Crawford was hands down the better goalie that night. Crawford's positioning and rebound control were amazing. Luongo's positioning has improved since last year which explains his stops on back door plays (e.g. Campbell G1 and Sharp G7 O/T). I believe rebound control is a function of positioning and Luongo has shown in the past the consistent ability to direct saves to the corner. Actually, Crawford was the better goalie for the entire series...he kept the Hawks in every game and at the end of the day, that's all you want from your goalie.

    Maybe, the Hawks have something on Luongo ... similar to Mickelson who was always tabbed the "greatest golfer not to have won a major" but he broke through and won his first at the 2004 Masters. So, I am hoping Luongo has turned the corner on the Hawks to be more consistent and be more focused mentally.

  • In reply to bchow888:

    Although I only see Luongo almost exclusively through Hawks broadcasts, the NHL channel was the first one to point it out that the puck pops in and out far too frequently. That was last year.

    He didn't seem to fix that issue as you saw the "juggling act" during game 6 (I think, it's all a blur now). Even Barry Melrose spoke of it on ESPN last week. He picked the Canucks to win game 7 only because of the difficulty of winning 4 in a row. The Canucks fixed a lot of their weaknesses last summer and at the trade deadline but Luu, to me, is the weak link of the team due to his mental state.

    Answer me this now that things have settled down a bit finally. Why do fans of other teams look for opponent teams fan's blogs to be mean? I don't get that. Also, why do the Canucks turn into mental cases when they face the Hawks? They're professionals, history shouldn't mean a thing at this point. If it did the Canucks have only learned to lose rather to win.

  • In reply to JerryManderings:

    First, let me apologize for posting on here and I have probably overstayed my welcome. I enjoy reading this blog and the main reason is that I see the passion and understanding of the finer points of hockey come through in the posts and comments, unlike other blogs. I realize blogs are mostly opinion pieces but this one is different in that posts are backed up with facts and not by outlandish claims and comments. I hope my comments have not been offensive but I originally wanted to point out the mis-quote and present the facts.

    I believe the "mental cases" is a product of who is the captain. While Henrik is a good player, I am still undecided about his leadership abilities to captain a team. There is a reason why there has only been one non-Canadian/non-American to captain a team to a Stanley Cup (Lidstrom). The Canucks had a captain that played with heart and was vocal in Linden, much like Toews. Luongo was the captain before (enough said) and now it's Henrik. I do notice a difference in that the Nucks played within a system throughout the year and were almost "robotic" and they carried this into Rd 1. Everyone points to the Torres/Seabrook incident as the galvanizing point in the series but I think the Canucks veered away from the system and it all started with the top line when they had difficulties handling Bolland's added skillset and the Hawks had much better balance top-to-bottom in their forward combinations. This is when the coaches have to step in to adapt but they are not the ones on the ice. In the end, it is up to the captain to lead by way of example which is why I have a lot of respect for Toews and of course, he's already won the Stanley Cup.

  • In reply to bchow888:

    ChowFun this is the type of repartee we like here. Opinions drwn from fact and no name calling.

    I thought Kesler would have been the right choice for captain. I know he's US born but he has the hockey heart of a Canadian. Probably because he's from the heartland (MI).

    My opinion also is that the Canucks are still missing a part that puts them over the top. I'm not sure what it is but I'll watch the next round and try to figure it out. They must get to the 3rd round to find out what that is.

    I still think the Hawks gave the Canucks the series, certainly the final goal. The Hawks didn't start playing until the 1st blowout. And reverted back for the 7th. It's the consistency they lacked all season. I don't think the better team won but they scored more goals and that's what moves you along.

    The turning point for the Hawks was Toews's comment about the Canucks being beatable in combination with the Torres hit. BTW. that's why Bickell (with a severed tendon on his wrist) hit Bieksa behind the net shoulder-to-shoulder. Because the NHL said it was okay.

  • In reply to JerryManderings:

    Appreciative words of support...Kes would have made a great captain and he was definitely being considered but the knock against him before this season was that he caused a lot of post-whistle scrums and yapped a lot...not inspiring for your team if the refs start calling penalties against you and you're spending most of your time in the box while your team is killing the penaly. Kes has definitely matured this year by focusing his game on the ice and yapped a lot less. There's a reason why he played on the #1 line alongside Kane on the US team, he's got skills.

    I have the benefit of having watched the Nucks most of the season and I think they have the pieces. I'm a believer that in the play-offs, the 3rd line can tip a game if not a series especially when your top 6 forwards are being neutralized. In G1, it was Nucks 3rd line who scored the goals ... even tho' it was a loss, G2 Smith scored a couple goals (3, if you count his Nucks tip-in :) ), G4 all Bolland. These games were essentially 3rd lines providing the offense for the respective teams. A few wins here and there mean winning a series.

    The momentum shift for the Hawks was scary from my perspective. From what I gathered from this blog, it seemed like the series represented the Hawks season...started slow...got on a roll in the middle... and then ran out of gas in the end. As I said before, Bollard made a big difference for the Hawks and not just because of his skills and his uncanny ability to neutralize the Sedins but it allowed Coach Q to distribute the minutes and not lean on your top 4 forwards (Toews, Kane, Sharp, Hossa). I would agree with HH that the Hawks just would not have the energy to make it far in the play-offs b/c your top forwards have been playing large minutes since early March (to get into the play-offs and to make up for missing key players like Bolland and Brouwer down the stretch). Last year, Hawks clinched a play-off spot a lot earlier and had a more balanced team so were well rested. Had the Hawks made it to the next Rd, it would have been SJ and then maybe Det, those teams clinched early. That's not mentioning some of your D-men like Keith and Campbell logging 30+ minutes, mistakes will be made when your tired.

    Bickell's hit on Bieksa was totally legit. I had no problems with it...of course, in real-time it's natural for anyone and everyone to have a WTF moment but when you look at the replays: elbow in, took less than a couple strides, did not jump up, contact made between shoulder and elbow; Bieksa had the puck. So, clean hit no penalty. The refs got it right and even Bieksa said it was a "hockey play" so nothing wrong with that.

  • In reply to hawksfan4life74:

    not as short as Chicagos

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