Still Shakin It Boss. The Canucks and Blackhawks come back to Chicago.

Dragline to Luke; "Stay down, You're beat" 

Luke to Dragline as he struggles to get up: "You're gonna hafta kill me"
Well, after a season of "fail-ure to commun-cate", amongst other problems, our team has continued to show quite a bit of a Cool Hand Luke attitude as they sit on the brink of elimination. In many ways like last year, they spent a lot of this year playing by their own rules. Even when stuff wasn't working, like the long passes, the cutsie drop passes, Keith's slapshots that hit nothing but shinguards, this team seemed to determined to win like it did last year. Like Luke, they spent quite a bit of time "in the box" (metaphorically speaking) paying for their lack of willingness to follow the rules. Then, after seeming to fight Dallas to win the title of team least interested in facing the Canucks in the first round, they once again "escaped" the bonds of their record. And here we are. 
So far, this playoff has kinda looked like the regular season. Post season, the Hawks got shut out once, lost two one point games and dished out two beat downs. During the season, each team won a one goal game, and then each had a comfortable win. Has either team really changed that much from regular season? I say yes and no. Without a doubt, Vancouver is a stacked and very good team. From the start of the season, they have played to be exactly where they are right now, which is STILL in a position to eliminate the team that has sent them packing two years in a row. However, they also seem to be either carrying too many demons or they have not yet learned what it takes to win the marbles where it counts most. 
As for the Hawks, they are almost a mirror image to the Canucks. Instead of dominating all year long, they struggled. MIGHTILY. Loss of personal was certainly one issue, but we've all commented all season long on how complacent this team had looked. And then, when they are on the brink of elimination and we are beginning to at least suggest what we will be discussing shortly in off season discussions, they whip the Nucks ass twice and force a game six. In some ways, the Hawks have broken from the season in that they finally seem motivated enough to show up raise their game. Yet, just like the regular season, they have shown the exact same inconsistency that nearly had them golfing two weeks ago. 
Rather then rehash what we all know are weaknesses of our team, I'm going to list my reasons for being optimistic. First and foremost, they broke Luoongo not once but twice. His team in front didn't give him shit for support, but he broke nonetheless. Another reason is that with Sharp back at center, I am optimistic that Hossa is going to be more of a threat and that Sharp is going to be better defensively, which in turn is going to create another line that is going to help take some pressure off of Keith. Good as Keith is, I don't think he can carry the team when the forecheck and backcheck isn't there. Most important perhaps though is that this team finally looks fired up. Having said all that, they still need some planets to align from the Vancouver side. 
As for Vancouver, I felt like there was a clear point in both of the last two games where they decided, "This is done, let's pack it in and wait for the start of the next game". I think the Hawks can get them to do this one more time, but not unless they can come out early and score at least two goals first. In a close game, Vancouver likely wins as they have done so all year long. They know how to play with a lead, but in looking at their faces in game five, they are no longer cocky and confident. I hate to think that the only way the Hawks can win is by absolute beatdown, but if they hope to win this game and ultimately the series, I think it is crucial that they accomplish it on Sunday. 
Win or lose, you lucky bastids are stuck with me for the wrap and I just wanted to say that it's going to go up very late as I have to work on Sunday and won't be able to watch it until at least 10pm pacific. Happy Easter for those who celebrate it and let's hope we all have something to celebrate Sunday night. 

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Tags: Blackhawks, Canucks



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  • There have been a lot of things working for the Hawks in the past 2 games, and things that did not work for them in the first 3. Whether or not the Hawks caused this or not, Vancouver gave them the space they needed to create primo scoring chances. This did not happen in the first 3.

    It seems that Sharp at center is working right now, but he was not the center when the Hawks put together their best winning streak of the season. I think that Bolland's return offered up more opportunities with the lines, and allowed combos that better present the Hawk's talent in a more spread out manner. I also think that guys like Johnson, Bickell and Stalberg are really earning their keep while a guy like Smith comes from out of nowhere and does his job well.

    I am trying not to say anything about today's game. Just want to sit back and see what happens, hopefully enjoying the ride.

  • I've a hunch today's game will be known as "the return of the trap".


  • In reply to beaverwarrior:

    I think you're right Beav! I also think Vegas is right. The first goal seems to be the impetus required to get the 'hawks going and will prove to be critical today if the 'nucks employ the dreaded "clog up the neutral zone" style of play. If the Canucks happen to get the lead it could be a long snoozefest tonight. Conversely the 'hawks getting the lead by one or maybe two goals will cause the Canucks to open it up and we'll see more of what we've seen the last two games.

    I just came from the supermarket and the first woman I saw in the store was wearing a "Chicago, the Windy City" T-shirt. In amongst a sea of Canuck car flags and jerseys, I took this as sign

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