Scroll down the main page to see period by period details of Game 7.
Corey Crawford was phenomenal and the only reason this game was ever close. One incredible, determined individual short-handed effort by Blackhawk captain Jonathan Toews miraculously extended this game to overtime with less than two minutes to play in regulation. Roberto Luongo made a lot of good saves (31 in all), but also gave a bunch of rebounds. This happened to be one his teammates in front of him didn’t get to first, a rarity on Tuesday night.
Game 7 lived up to the hype and then some. Vancouver dominated, then flirted with disaster, the Hawks hung in there but the better team definitely won in the end.
Alex Burrows scored both Vancouver goals. On top of those, he was also awarded a penalty shot 21 seconds into the third period off a Duncan Keith tripping infraction but was stopped by Crawford. A score at that time would have put the Canucks up two goals.
Toews’ short-handed tally was his lone goal of the series (1g, 3a, -4, a team-worst plus/minus). Crawford allowed 16 goals in the series, finishing with a .927 save percentage and 2.21 goals against average.
After losing the first three games of the series, the Blackhawks made a valiant comeback in attempt to pull off the upset. Sure, the pressure was off by Game 4, and Alain Vigneault’s Canucks took their double foot-stomp off the gas mid-series, but the defending champions showed their character and would not go quietly. In the end, this amounted to one great series.
Vancouver now moves on to face Nashville in Round 2. San Jose will matchup with Detroit. The Western Conference obviously will have a new Finals representative this year. Detroit will attempt to make their 3rd Finals appearance in four years. Vancouver has been there twice (’82+’94) before. San Jose and Nashville have never been. For the Predators, this is their first time advancing past the first round.
A lesson to all you young hockey coaches out there: Don’t be a Vigneault. Taking any game (4) off, no matter the series score, has its consequences. Alain Vigneault has been bitten once again. Now he has a rattled team and a shaken goaltender heading back to Chicago for a Game 6 he almost can’t lose if the Canucks are to close out the series successfully.
On the show
- Alain Vigneault decisions leave door wide open for Blackhawks
- What to do with Roberto Luongo
- Dave Bolland’s elbow
- Another Blackhawk player who doesn’t get it
- Keith out of control
- Hawks down 3-1
- Chances, Ways to realize come back
- Suggestion for Vancouver lineup change
- Who the Hawks shouldn’t think twice to move this summer
- The Raffi Torres hit on Brent Seabrook
- How it compares to the Hjalmarsson-Pominville hit
- How the league could possibly eliminate bad hits such as those
- Did Kevin Bieksa deserve an instigator for late 3rd period fight with Viktor Stalberg in Game 4?
- Patrick Kane’s acting skill
- Blackhawks chirping
- We crowned Mr. TTMI~Radio 2011
- Plans for the show this summer
- all this and much more
Searching for hope inside the Blackhawks’ Game 1 and 2 efforts in Vancouver can be like finding a needle in a haystack. More like pouring a glass of milk three days after the expiration date.
Those looking for positives will need to keep their good eye closed.
Corey Crawford has been mostly great, but the Hawks are still in a 0-2 series’ hole coming back to the United Center for Game 3 on Sunday night.
Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp have yet to be heard from in this series. But, neither have Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and Mason Raymond. Habitual Hawk-killer Mikael Samuelsson was a late-scratch Friday with the flu and the Sedin twins have flubbed a few prime scoring opportunities they normally wouldn’t.
Words cannot describe how awful Chicago’s blue line has been. Future and former Norris Trophy winners will petition to have Duncan Keith’s name removed from the statue at this point. Brent Seabrook’s pressing too hard and can’t be everywhere. Brian Campbell is the Hawks’ best defenseman five on five and that’s not saying much. He’s been terrible at times too. Chris Campoli at least didn’t do anything too stupid. Nick Leddy simply doesn’t belong.
Niklas Hjalmarsson did something on Friday you don’t see very often at the NHL level. With the Hawks pinned deep in their zone, Hjalmarsson tried to outlet to his defense partner twice in a matter of seconds. Just a minor issue with that though. Neither time did Brian Campbell have a stick. Ben Smith tried to give his stick to Campbell after the second Hjalmarsson pass but the puck was ten feet from Campbell in the Hawks’ right corner and the exchange didn’t happen. The Hawks eventually got the puck out.
For the Hawks, hope is yet a glimmer in a narrowing eyelet.
For those steadfast in denial, the milk is on the table. Read more »
“When everybody trying to sleep,
I’m somewhere making my midnight creep.
Every morning the rooster crow,
Something tell me I got to go.
I’m a back door man. – Willie Dixon
Well, it’s been a bumpy ride now, hasn’t it? The road less travelled would certainly be an apt description of our seemingly alternate route to the playoffs. Whether or not it makes “all the difference” as Robert Frost claimed, remains to be seen. In an earlier piece this year, I stated the Hawks’ primary goal should be to just make the playoffs. (I was actually hoping for a lot more, but beggars can’t be choosers.) Little did I realize what an arduous process that would prove to be. Around 7pm last Sunday, in the final game of the NHL season, a Hawk nation breathed a collective sigh of relief and finally exclaimed, “Mission Accomplished.”
Actually, saying “Mission Accomplished” might be as premature as Dubya’s statement when our troops rolled into Baghdad. However, over the course of a season littered with numerous obstacles, some perhaps self inflicted, I can’t help but think, “Well done boys.” We overcame assimilating half of Rockford’s team, significant injuries, questionable coaching decisions, phantom calls and inauspicious bounces. Somewhere in a deep, dark and damp cellar In Vancouver, some tempest tossed Canuck fan is nervously muttering to himself. As he pours over all the now meaningless league leading stats the Canucks amassed this year, he breaks out in a cold sweat as visions of Big Buff resurface in his addled brain. We may not have Big Buff this year, but we do have another black man that could figure prominently into our success during the playoffs – more on that later.
Quite incredulously, many fans throughout the NHL are claiming we got into the playoffs through the backdoor, sneaking around like a Hoochie Coochie man from some juke joint in Mississippi. In my mind, we didn’t back our way into anything, we earned it. Finishing with 97 points, just two points out of fifth place is not exactly tip toeing in with your shoes in your hand trying to remember where the squeaky floor boards are. (Although it appears more than one sports writer was perched behind the back door with a rolling pin, waiting to clobber the Hawks.) In no way, shape or form did we “squeak” into the playoffs. Read more »
Those of you who download the mp3 file can right-click here. The show is two hours long so its a rather large file this time around.
Dieter Kurtenbach joined the fray as well. We all gave our first-round predictions; discussed Alain Vigneault’s brain, Ben Smith’s game, Bryan Bickell’s aspirations to be the best $525,000 perimeter player in the game, an entire line of Frolik’s, Tomas Kopecky’s next contract, Electric Football, the Rockford IceHogs, sports writers ending sentences with exclamation points, Forklift’s bold prediction, Blackhawk Hope, keys to the series, Herb Abrams, the worst upcoming crop of 1,000 game players you could ever imagine, the “people’s prospect”, Micah Hoffpauir, USA Network drama, chicken nuggets in business suits and so much more.
It was a fun time as always with the Hockeenight guys. Thanks to them as always for sharing their time with us. Check out their show each and every week for a unique brand of wit and cantor you can only find there.
On the home front, I apologize for disappearing for the past week. I was shot down by a bad virus. And of course the timing was just perfect. I’ll have NHL awards, first round and playoff predictions up over the next two days.