I'm not sure I can write anything better than what GMH put up in the Fanposts (love the Secret Machines reference, seriously underrated band), but I'll do my damndest. What a night. I really thought it would take everything the Hawks had to pull that one out, and I was convinced we would see two more home victories before everything would come down to a Game 7. What it has come down to is a weighing of each team's balls, and the Hawks are winning that battle DECISIVELY.
Down 2-1, in a Game 5, in the opponent's building? And you barely even blink? My man-love for this team is bordering on just straight up love.
This was the most solid 60 minutes the Hawks have put up all series, when they absolutely had to have it, just like Game 5 of the first round. The first period was pretty even, though the Hawks may have just shaded it a bit. But they were clearly the more physical of the teams, and only had a bad bounce to blame for going in tied at 1.
The tide started to turn in the 2nd, which made it all the more unjust that the Hawks found themselves trailing, and especially so that The Rich, Swedish Doofus was responsible for it. I'm sure Canuck fans were lining up to sting us for making fun of that guy all series, probably not so much now. Whatever, until then, he's been a non-factor, and it's our guess that will continue to be the case. Either way, the Hawks outshot the Nucks 11-5 that period, were faster, hitting harder, and it would have been a cruel world indeed to go in 2-1 down.
Is there any question that Buff has been the best player on the ice this series? He's clearly got the Canucks off their game, he's become their #1 concern, and he's stil dominating shifts. We've given him the hardest time this year, but only because we thought this was possible. Well, I don't know if anyone thought this was possible, but still. He got his reward, with two goals, including the huge second on the PP that gave the Hawks BIG MO heading into the 3rd.
We said before the series the Hawks PP would be a deciding factor, because Vancouver likes to sit and watch the rain from the box a lot. The first two PP's, it looked like monkeys humping a football. The third one looked a litle better, and the fourth one may just define the season.
Before the 3rd, I texted McClure (who's still in a fuckload of trouble with this site, thank you) that it would be an absolute glass-chew. His response: "This is the way he wants it. Well...he gets it." He's right, this is what we signed on for. But no one told the Hawks they were supposed to be tight. They played the same game all night, and honestly, looked like the only team that was going to win.
The fact that Bieksa took the penalty that very well may doom the Canucks season is so wonderful I want to punch myself in the sack. I'm surprised he didn't hold a press conference in the box while serving it.
Another thing, no one on this site is ever, ever allowed to question Patrick Kane's toughness ever again. He was the victim of a cheap shot and a high stick that both drew blood, and he's keeps coming. And it was he who served up the winner on a platter to Fabulous Weapon, who couldn't miss. And he didn't.
Also, as GMH said, this may have been 51 Phantom's best game as a Hawks, and certainly the most important. The Canucks kept running him and running him, and he never flinched.
It's not over by a damn sight, but let's put it this way, I'd rather be where we are than where we are. God, the UC is going to be frothing at the mouth Monday night. Can't fucking wait.