Well, like my tortured analogy yesterday, this team is not dying easy. Three times Vancouver took the lead, three times the Hawks tied it and then came back to win in overtime. Could this have been scripted any more bizarre if someone tried? I don't know. But, let's hit it.
If Hawks win, party at Robson and Thurlow? Hawks-Canucks game six recap.
For perhaps the first time this series, we saw playoff hockey. Both teams brought it and overall, I thought it was a very tight game despite one team or the other controlling for stretches at a time. Starting off, Vancouver scored early on a Hammer turnover that D. Sedin took around the net from Crow's right to his left and managed to sort of fling it in a way that it rolled up Crawford's goal stick and in the net. Four minutes later, Hammer shoots a dump in off the glass to Schneiders right that fooled him and bounced right out to a streaking Stalberg who had a wide open net. Unfortunately, Stals had already gotten too low and could not make the angle.
With five minutes left in the period, the Hawks dump the puck in along the boards to Schneids right and he follows it around to play it. As he is going around, Frolik comes behind the net following the puck. Right as he get's to the other side of the net, Bieksa is coming at him with rude intentions. However, before Bieksa can hit Frolik, he gets destroyed by Bolland who was streaking in behind him. After the hit, the puck shoots to the front of the net and Bickell drives it home. Then with one minute on the clock, Campoli is in the slot trying to clean up a scoring opportunity but whiffs on the shot and puts it right on the stick of Burrows who instantly buried it. Thank you John Scott for grabbing Burrows by his face and throwing him to the ice shortly before this goal, I'm sure that didn't motivate him at all. Hawks end the first down 2-1.
In the second, the Hawks wound up with the dreaded 5-3 advantage halfway through the period. Even after a time out where they had time to draw something up, they simply could not penetrate the three man wall the Nucks set up in front of their net. Gotta give the Nucks some credit here, this was a really good kill on their part. Then with about five minutes left, Schneids exits his net to his right to play a puck behind the net. What he ultimately winds up doing is shooting the puck up the right boards directly on to Kane's stick. Kane in turn puts it right on the tape of Bolland's stick as he is streaking up the slot with no one covering him at all. That was a sweet goal. With 3:24 left, Crawford made a huge save that I dont think can be oversold in importance. Hawks then close out the period on a power play but again don't do jack with it. Right at the buzzer, one of the Sedin bitches skates into Crawford after a whistle. Soupy, standing right there, gives him a little tap and Sedin dove very theatrically. To start the third, both Soupy and Sedin were in the box feeling shame.
One minute into the third, Mason Raymond and Bieksa took advantage of Leddy pinching during the four on four. With Leddy pinching, that left Keith and Toews to handle the back check and Bieksa actually made a hell of a play to score. Not too long after that though, Keith clears the puck out the D zone by flinging a near three line pass up the boards to Frolik who immediately got a step on Hamhuis while breaking for the net. In desperation, Hamhuis dives on his stomach to swipe at the puck and takes out Frollik's feet BEFORE making contact with the puck. In a very ballsy call, the official calls for a penalty shot and Frolik score the first playoff penalty shot in Hawks franchise history. Hamhuis looked like he wanted to cry after that. On the play, Schneid's got hurt. AV says it's only a cramp for now. From here, both teams grinded it out until the end of regulation.
Because it went to overtime, my DVR was not taping and I didn't get to see very much. Right about this time though, I was just getting out of work and listening to in the car on the iphone. From what Troy was saying, the Hawks were getting outplayed and were having a really hard time clearing the zone. Eventually though, with about five minutes left, Hossa pulls a classic Hossa game of keep away in the offensive zone. While drawing three players to him, he creates space at the left blueline for Hammer and passes to him. Hammer in turn puts it on net, possibly getting a tip from Ben Smith on the way. Luooooooo belly flops to make the stop and gives up the pork chop rebound to Smith who, while facing toward center ice, backhands the puck over the flopped Luo. Hawks win.
So, what now? Well, listening to AV talk after the game, he felt that this was the best game his team has played in this series, and they lost. The Hawks have zero room to get cocky here, but they have clearly frustrated the shit out of the Nucks. Whether the Nucks are the better team overall has now become irrelevant as they now sit in the same exact position the Hawks do. Since coming back, Bolland is a +5 while the Sedins are a -11. I don't think even Nucks fans can deny at this point how big he has helped his team play. Physically, I thought the Hawks did just fine which thankfully kept Scott on the bench. Don't know if Luongo will start, but if he does, you have to think that his life as a Nuck is as much on the line as their playoff dreams. Without a doubt, the Hawks have showed the Nucks just how much sack it takes to win the trophy that matters and no matter what happens on Tuesday, we should be proud of their comeback. If the internets are correct, only seven teams have made it to game seven after going down 3-0 and we all know only three teams have actually won that last game. History will be made again if they pull this off.