David Bolland said something after the game that touched upon what I think says a lot about this Blackhawks hockey team. The resolve and calm felt by the guys during big moments, dire moments, and electrifying moments has made them a very hard team to beat. No, the Hawks were not the best team on the ice for the majority of the game, but when push comes to shove, these guys push the right buttons, and they have quite the knock-out punch. They are the best when it counts most.
I mean, have you ever seen a double overtime conference winning goal such as this one? Come on, this is not your average group of players, who keep their heads, get to business, and blow your socks off when the time is right. Never in a million years was I thinking Toews would send that puck over to Kane after all the missed opportunities because of the extra passes, let alone put it perfectly on his stick without looking.
You could call it cocky, and boy is Boston going to test that confidence, but nothing will ever take away from the perfectness that this pass, and shot had to be. So much so, that Quick was ripped right out of his gear. He wasn't thinking pass, and Toews sold it all the way to the bank as Kane worked like a magician to perfectly place that shot like we have watched him so many times. It was pure brilliance, and a goal that I will never forget.
Sure, the Hawks will be far from perfect for great stretches, but they will find perfection when they need it, and for this reason, the confidence in their players, the resolve as a team, the high brow type of hockey at times, makes them a really hard team to beat. They are just too deep, and just too crafty.
Oh, was there a 90 minute hockey game played before that goal?
You thought it was over when Kane found the back of the net for the first time on the night, following a complete fluke goal allowed by Quick. The Hawks were the far better team for almost the entire 1st period. I thought the Kings had given up, and who would have blamed them. The second period would show just how strong L.A. is, and maybe this just adds significance to what the Hawks did in this series, while giving a hint to just how tough and amazing this final series against Boston will be.
You also might have thought it was over when Kane scored late in the 3rd to take a 3-2 lead. I did.
Yes, give big credit to the Kings, and to their big guns for showing up last night. The Hawks sat back with a strong lead early, and the Kings said thank you. This seemed to help ignite the rise of the stars, as your Kopitars, Kanes, Keith's, and Brown's, ect brought it last night.
Unfortunately, and somehow not surprisingly, the Kings found their gift during a Hawks power-play. The PP was the difference for the Hawks, but not in the way we had hoped for. Leavingthe door opened for the Kings was not the brightest idea, and they ran right in with a huge shorty. Could have been 3-0 after that power-play.
The icing for L.A., or so I thought, was when Toews lost a big face-off with 9 seconds left, after a not so great actual icing from Bickell. One face-off win sent this into a world none of us wanted to go. A world where 1 bad icing and face-off could possibly be the beginning of the end. We all had a glimpse of a future where this win fueled the Kings to take game 6 and make this a 7 game series. All because a puck was on edge and continued down the ice.
Oh, and how about Seabrook not allowing Richards to stand there so freaking easily?
Fortunately, it was just a reason for Kaner to ice the F-U cake he had been baking for some time now. Yep, that is why we pay him the big bucks. All 3 reasons why.
Ending this story where I began it, Bolland talked about the depth as being integral to why this team can feel so good even when trailing or in a desperate situation. Because, any shift could be the big shift. When Saad, Shaw, Bickell, and Frolik can bring a powerful game like they have so often in the playoffs, it takes a lot of the pressure off their leaders, which trickles back down to the heart of this team.
For all the complaining I do about them, and they certainly give enough reasons too, the character of this team was defined by their big moments last night, in a game where they just didn't have everything going right, the Hawks showed just how hard their punches can be.
Bring on the Bruins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Filed under: Game Recap