Looks familiar. (Chicago Tribune)

Game 89. See You There, Vancouver: Boxing with 'Hawks/Canucks, Game 6


Epic.

Game 6 had it all. Pregame storylines, dismay, euphoria … then overtime, with the Blackhawks season either continuing or crumbling with the next goal.

Alain Vineauglt displayed his 10-pound sack by benching Vezina Trophy finalist Roberto Luongo in favor of 25-year-old Cory Schneider in a game Vancouver absolutely needed to head back home happy. And even the most daring of moves left Luongo skating off the ice with his hair gel being the only thing waiting at his locker not passing judgment.

Much like the ‘Hawks have been doing thing this entire series, they fought from behind. Down 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2, the Blackhawks tied it each time. Then Ben Smith flicked the end of Game 88 past a sprawling Luongo to guarantee a win-or-go-home Game 89. While Blackhawks fans are celebrating just getting back into this series, hoping to complete a historic comeback in Game 7, Canucks fans are already sending out their mourning letters to their beloved squad, demanding – not hoping for – a victory before all faith is lost.

There’s plenty of bad we can go over. Farting pucks all over the ice, the three third-period shots – two if you don’t count Michael Frolik’s penalty shot – the Canucks seemingly dominating most of the game, and the heart-wrenching which goes along with overtime playoff hockey knowing your team will meet its demise with the opponent’s next goal.

Things need to be fixed before Tuesday, and part of me believes the Blackhawks were lucky to get out of Chicago with a victory knowing Vancouver played nearly its best hockey of the entire series. On top of that, 1:43 of 5-on-3 went to waste, with the kick in the dick coming when Coach Q used his only timeout to draw up a bunch of shit which obviously didn’t work. The fact the Blackhawks’ only lead came after Smith’s goal is indicative of how a good portion of Game 6 played out. While it feels good to celebrate now, Game 7 won’t go as well if the same screw-ups happen as they did Sunday.

For the second time in this series, each member of the Dave Bolland line notched a goal. Bolland played a key role in two, destroying Dan Hamhuis to force the turnover on Bryan Bickell’s goal, then potting his own off Kaner’s feed from Schneider’s piss-poor clearing attempt.

The Blackhawks still will be facing elimination in the next game. But so will Vancouver, which seems improbable after the first three games of this series. The pressure is still on the Canucks, who need to avoid a collapse of epic proportions and the most embarrassing “History Will Be Made” video ever.

I’ll do the rest of my talking in Boxing…


 

  • Peter

    As always Jeff boxing provided me with numerous chuckles. But on a more insightful note, it would appear that what was one of the hawks greatest strengths last year is coming to fruition this year as well. With the front line not being nearly as dominant as we have seen in the past, the supporting cast has stepped up to the task of pushing this team forward. Myself and my 2nd round playoff ticket at the madhouse can only hope that this play can continue when (and can you believe it?!) the hawks take the ice for game freakin 7 in vancouver. GO HAWKS

  • Trevor

    I was happy to see the Canucks show up for that one. At least they showed they’re still in it. Crawford and Bolland kept the Hawks around, I think.. Vancouver dominated the 3rd and OT.. but very impressed with Crawford. And I wish Schneider would stay in the net! Oh well. Hope I don’t come off as a homer for believing Vancouver should’ve won that game. Chicago certainly deserves credit – this is a very resilient squad for sure. Game 7 will be fun.

    • http://blackhawkup.com Bartl

      I think your descriptions are dead on. Even I wrote the ‘Hawks may have been lucky to come out with a win in Game 6. Tuesday is going to be a battle. I’m already nervous.

  • *db

    Crawford’s composure in OT was ridiculous. You could see his concentration actually manifesting itself in his assured movements toward the puck. He even stood right up in the face of the one Canuck who ventured into his crease. Props.

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