I Don’t Need No Doctor
By Rich Lindbloom
Back in the late 1960′s and early 70′s there was a band from Essex, England known as Humble Pie. They were led by the unique vocalist and guitarist Steve Marriott, and a young Peter Frampton. (And yes Peter, after friday night’s game, I do feel like you do!) Their album Rockin’ the Fillmore more than likely contributed to my substantial hearing loss.
They had a hit with the song I Don’t Need No Doctor, a somewhat repetitive ditty that just flat out rocked. The lyrics were not too complicated, they basically just keep repeating “I don’t need no doctor,” over and over. The same could not be said for the Hawks after Monday’s 2-5 loss. The Hawks were clearly on life support after going down 3 games to 1.
The Penalty Kill had flat out flat lined, and the rest of the Hawks game wasn’t looking to hot either. Just when it appeared all was lost, “Showtime” grabbed hold of the defibrillator and hollered, “Clear!” – shocking the Kings and their fans with two straight Gretzky like performances. Dr. Showtime had 4 assists in Game Five and 2 goals and 1 assist in Game Six. When all was said and done, the once haughty Kings found themselves chomping down a good helping of humble pie.
My son texted me after Kaner’s second smart bomb and just noted, “Dr. Showtime!” I had never heard Kane called that before and texted Greg back and asked, “Where did you hear that moniker?” I had to laugh when he told me “Nowhere, I just made it up.” I thought to myself, another performance like that in Game Seven and the University of Chicago just might confer on him an Honorary Doctor’s degree!
I actually watched the game at a friend’s house who was queuing before the game. Our wives went for a walk at the end of the first period, after watching Dwight King put the King’s ahead on an unfortunate goal with just under three minutes left. It was a stinger, because up to that point it appeared the Hawks had the upper hand. However, as Stash noted before the game, that for whatever reason the Hawks seem to play better when they’re down. That certainly has been a theme in this hard fought series.
By the time the ladies come back from their evening stroll, the Mighty Hawks were leading 2-1. They struck pay dirt early in the second on a power play after Toews drew a holding penalty on Anze Kopitar. Tazer drew the penalty with a ‘bull moose in heat’ rush down the right side. Jarrett Stoll seemed quite upset after Kaner’s nifty wristy eluded Quick, whacking Kane several seconds after the puck had hit the twine. Dude, the play was over.
Moments later Sharpie hit Agent Smith, (aka “Pin Ball Wizard”), with a stealthy pass that sent #28 in alone against Quick. Although it appeared that Quick had forced his hand straying a bit too far out of his cage, Smith banked the puck off Quick’s skate from the goal line. Not your classic one-timer, but as they say a four’s a four on the scorecard.
When our wives returned from a lengthy walk on the gorgeous night, they talked about how many homes they passed that had the Hawks game on the TV. They said it seemed like every house was tuned in, noting several fans moved the flat screen out onto the deck. Can you imagine this scenario 10 years ago? Of course 10 years ago we weren’t playing hockey at the end of May.
The close of the second period was highlighted by Quick losing his cool after Andrew Shaw was shoved into him. I believe Shaw is starting to get under Quick’s skin, who would have thought that possible! Memories of Davey Bolland were stirred up. Quick appeared to poke Mutt with his stick, and apparently Corey Crawford didn’t like what he saw.
Rather than skating to the bench, Cor-dawg went by it, to discuss Quick’s behavioral problems. I’m thinking this excited Coach Q a little. Wouldn’t you have loved to be a fly on the wall to hear what the two net minders were saying? I’m pretty sure they were not exchanging cookie recipes. Unsubstantiated rumors, (in my mind), said that Crow told Quick, “You mess with Mutt again and I will end you.”
Whatever was said, it certainly appeared that Mr. Big asked Quick to dance! I’m thinking a little of Ray Emery rubbed off on Corey, eh? The whole scene made for great Shakespearean drama/comedy. It was great theatre! as I love to say, “Now that’s hockey!”
It appeared, momentarily at least, that the Kings would get the last laugh when Drew Doughty tallied his 15th and 16th points of the playoff early in the third. Doughty has been extraordinary in this series, almost as dangerous as Dr. Showtime. The Kings third goal was scored with time running out on a power play resulting from a very specious call on Tazer.
Allegedly, #19 hooked Gaborik; well if the truth be known it was by definition a hook. However, you just don’t make that call in Game Six of the Conference Finals. Tazer gave a glaring stare at the referee as he exited the box.
At the 11:34 mark Kaner, once again, seemed to make something out of nothing. Under duress, he spotted the Duncster making a quick break for the net. Fortunately, Keith took a wrist shot which tends to be a lot more accurate. Duncan’s slap shot sometimes reminds me of that Nick Lowe song, “And so it goes, and so it goes, and so it goes and so it goes; but where it’s going no one knows.” The pin point wrister snuck in by the right post, abetted by a screen by Brandon Saad.
Saad had another great game, a dominating presence on the ice once again. I don’t know if he’s just taking advantage of LA trying to keep track of Kaner and the space it opens up, but he’s been a force for good the last two games. On the game winner, it was Shaw who screened Quick as his crease more and more resembled – and work with me on this visual that I hope carries over into Game Seven –
As I watched the replays of the game, I was amazed at how many brilliant saves both goalies actually made. Quick’s highway robbery of Sharp was offset by Corey snaring a sure goal off the stick of Kopitar. Crow’s glove save was very close to being labeled “elite.” Watch the highlight replays if you get a chance – Corey was incredible.
Somehow the Hawks managed to keep the puck out of their net after Quick was pulled out of the sand, mounting a furious attempt to get the equalizer. But not today, not in this game, not in Corey’s kitchen.
We watched all the post-game interviews, clinging to this special moment in Hawk history. I love that Netflix commercial where the coach enters the locker room and says, “Remember that movie where the coach gives the speech…” – well that coach was not Darryl Sutter!
His post-game interview bordered on the theatre of the absurd. When asked what he said to his suddenly very vulnerable team he said, “Flying at 11.” He also claimed he felt good. The reporters were somewhat dumbfounded. And I like listening to Sutter talk hockey normally. After Game Four, rather than bask in the 5-2 victory, Sutter noted that the “if necessary” label would have to be taken off Game Six if they gave up as many shots as they did in the third period of Game Four.
Well, the is no longer an “if necessary” label associated with Game Seven in this nausea inducing series. I was taken aback by Keith Jones’ comments after the game when asked who was going to win Game Seven. Jonesy played 12 years in the NHL, scoring 251 points in 491 games – contrary to popular belief; I have to think he knows a little about what he is talking about. I’m pretty sure he made a lot of enemies in LA when he said Chicago clearly has the advantage in the tie breaker. Even he, who subtly mocked Kaner after Game Four against the Wild, noted Kaner is in full “Showtime” mode.
Hopefully, the Blackhawks will be “Rocking the United Center” tonight. Fortunately, there is a doctor in the building!
Other important stuff:
-Tickets are going for approximately 3x’s face value on stub Hub and Click-Tix. As Lowell George would put it, “You folks are crazy!”
-It is ok to question Q’s sanity for starting Brookbank instead of Morin or Regin. Watch him really mess with our minds and play Versteeg again tonight.
-I think we might hear a few positive “Corey, Corey, Corey” chants tonight.
-In an attempt to illustrate the toe to toe battling between the Kin’s and Hawk’s this series, Forklift over at HockeeNight posted a video of Round 15 in a heavy weight bout between Larry Holmes and Ken Norton in 1978. Fork noted it was an absolute war for 14 rounds. How either fighter remained standing after trading at least 10 good shots each in the 15th round is a minor miracle. Please, do yourself a favor; watch that video-one of sports great moments.
-I thought of a new name for the Saad/Shaw/Kane Line – The three stooges line. Calling Dr. Moe, Calling Dr. Curly, calling Dr. Showtime!
-Do you think are top line, 29/19/81 is chomping at the bit to get on the score sheet. I’m pretty sure Tazer is getting sick of hearing Kaner sing, “Anything you can do, I can do better,” in the locker room.
-Well the Hawks have extended the season into June again. Game Seven, in Chicago, against the dark forces of evil. Puck drop is at 7. Something tells me a few of the TV’s in the neighborhood will be tuned in tonight.
-With your shields or on them Hawks.