You Get What You Deserve: Hawks take 3-1 Series Lead
Allow me to present you with a conversation Fels and I had an hour or so before last night's game:
Sam: I told McClure this smells like a Toews game.
Well, he only went 10 for 20 at the draw (and everyone wearing white was pretty bad taking faceoffs last night).. but obviously outlived our hopes in the scoring department. My girlfriend and I were talking about Sam's prediction this morning over breakfast... she asked me what the hell a Toews game would "smell" like. i answered the only correct response... it smells like victory. With his 5 points last night, Toews took over the scoring lead in the playoffs with 18 overall.
So now the series shifts back to Chicago tomorrow (reminder - it's also mother's day) and the Hawks have the ability to close out the Canucks in 5. I wouldn't count out the Canucks just yet... but I can't say I like their chances much either.
-Also in danger of being overshadowed by Toews and the power play was Antti Niemi's game. 4 goals against isn't the prettiest, but the Finn also stood tall and made a couple huge saves early on, keeping the Hawks in the game. He had exactly the game we wanted from him. He made saves he should have and maybe a few he shouldn't have too. He wasn't rattled by the Nucks trying to get in his crease.
-The Hawks were downright awful taking faceoffs last night, going only 28 for 69 (and for the record... that 69 doesn't count as a tasteless sex joke.. it's a legitimate statistic). Bolland and Madden were particularly bad, winning only 27.8% and 29.4% of the draws respectively. This is the one aspect of the game the Hawks need to improve tomorrow. The Canucks thrive on puck possession so winning the draw can go a long way to throwing them off their game.
-You have to give some amount of credit to the Canucks though - they easily could have given up during the second period but they never quit skating. I didn't really exhale until there was about 5 minutes left in the game.. and even then I wasn't quite ready to start celebrating.
-The Blackhawks now celebrate an entire line that has scored a hat trick against Roberto Luongo in the playoffs.
-Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who made it out to the Bottom Lounge last night. We finally got a win there, removing any concerns about a possible curse. Another big thanks to Mike, Steve and everyone else at the Bottom Lounge. If you didn't make it out, don't worry, we'll hopefully be having quite a few more of these.
Player of the Game:
Like there was any doubt about who this would go to..