Sorry for the late recap today but I’ve been rather sluggish after a great night at the bar and victory shots of Malort. The Blackhawks and Coyotes pretty much stuck to script for Game 5. The Blackhawks dominated the play for much of the game but found themselves down a goal going into the 3rd period. The Hawks got caught in a 3 0n 1 with just Sami Lepisto back on defense. Gilbert Brule got the puck past Corey Crawford on a pretty basic shot. It looked like Mike Smith was going to stand on his head again and end the Hawks season but Nick Leddy was able to get a slap shot past him to tie the game a the 9:15 mark of the 3rd period. So of course Game 5 went to overtime, why wouldn’t it? This time it was the Blackhawks who ended it early with the captain Jonathan Toews doing what he does best, winning hockey games. So we head back to the UC tomorrow night for Game 6. The Hawks need to take advantage of the raucous home crowd tomorrow night. An early goal or two would the trick. This series has been so close and the Hawks have outplayed the Yotes for the majority of the series. That is why the Blackhawks can come back and win this series. They need to capitalize on Phoenix’s mistakes and create their own breaks. Can not wait for the puck drop tomorrow. Lets go Hawks!!!
- Corey Crawford was pretty solid again in net but he didn’t have to make too many big saves. The one goal he did give up could have been saved but he has to let one softy in a night right? Thankfully Q didn’t make the switch to Ray Emery, Crow has earned the right to finish this thing out until the end.
- I’ve been saying all season long this team is much better when the defensmen are active in the offense. They were jumping in the play all night, not just when Corey Crawford was on the bench. This was causing fits for the Coyotes defensively. Yes, the aggressive play from the blue liners did lead to the only Phoenix goal. Niklas Hjalmarrson got caught in way too deep and it lead to a 3 on 1 and a goal. I’ve excepted the fact Hjammer will do something stupid once a night to lead to a goal in his own net.
- 0-4 on the power play again. This needs to change. For once I would like to write a review where I didn’t have to mention what a suck fest the PP unit is.
- Good job by Dave Bolland to screen Smith on the game tying goal. Also Brandon Saad picked up his first career playoff point with an assist on the goal as well.
- The game winning goal all started with Tazer winning an offensive zone faceoff, funny how that works!
- Hopefully Brandon Bollig is in the pressbox for the rest of this season. With the great play of Michael Frolik and the return of Andrew Shaw tomorrow he days should be done. The question is what does Q do with Shaw. The 3rd line was great with Shaw and it has been just as good, if not better, with Frolik. I guess that is a good problem to have.
- Q did a much better job at rolling all 4 lines. Not having Bollig on the 4th probably helped. It paid off in the end.
- Thank Brent Seabrook for signing your extension so early!
My Blackhawks Player of the Game
My guy, Nick Leddy had himself a really good game after having a rough go of it in Game 4. Leddy tied the game and had a chance to give the Hawks the lead a few moments later. Mike Smith was down and out but Leddy just missed the crossbar. Leddy is never going to win a Norris Trophy but he has a chance to be a special offensive threat from the blue line. Compare his numbers to Duncan Keith’s numbers his first two seasons and you will be surprised with what you see. The difference is no one was watching during Keith’s first two years.
My Turd of the Game
Viktor Stalberg has been invisible this series, so how does he make his presence known? By taking 4 minor penalties that’s how! Thank baby Jebus that the Yotes power play unit wears bigger clown shoes than our’s does or that could have ended our season. At least he assisted on the game winning goal so it wasn’t all bad.