USATSI_7305203_160885884_lowres

My Heart Says No But My Head Says Stay: Bruins 2 – Hawks 1 OT (Series ties 1-1)

Well, this isn’t any fun at all. And I think both sides would agree.

There’s so much on either side to indicate either just a shrugging this off as one game and the Hawks were always going to need to take on in the Hub, and also time to engender genuine worry. I guess what that means is that this series is exactly where most everyone thought it would. On a knife edge, between two so perfectly matched teams that barely an inch or a bounce will separate them. It isn’t going to be over any time soon, is it?

But there are warning signs. And now the Hawks face a true hornets’ nest waiting for them on Causeway St.

-There was a foreboding sense after the Hawks only managed a one goal lead after perhaps the best period they’ve played all season. When you outshoot a team 18-4, you gotta have more than one goal. But it’s not as if the Hawks did anything wrong. Tuukka Rask stood that tall. It’s hard to say it was a goalie win when Rask really only had to pull rainbows out of his ass in one period, but without him the Bruins would have certainly been buried.

-Here is my worry. This is the second straight game the Hawks have looked out of gas and legs as the game went on. They have to play at such a pace, have to red line it so much, that you wonder what they have left after they do. To be fair, they’re probably the only team that can play at that cocaine binge-like pace to put the Bruins severely under the kosh. But they can’t do that for 60 minutes. No team could. It felt like hitting the “start” button with Little Mac in Punch-out and missing with the haymaker, and then being pink and tired and having to survive the oncoming counter.

-It’s too easy to spike the football on Brandon Bollig. For the most part, he’s been ok in these two games and if you put Viktor Stalberg on that puck rimming around the boards, I’m not totally convinced he does much more with it. But in these games where everything is going to be decided on margins so miniscule, these things are possibilities to happen. But again, that’s too easy.

-When you don’t get a cushion that you’ve probably earned, it only takes one misstep to put the game back on its ear. There was Patrick Sharp getting a little hesitant on the boards (though to be fair no one gave him an outlet in the middle), Leddy chases Paille behind the net and loses him when he didn’t need to, and the B’s can crash the net which is exactly what they want.

-All that said, on a night like this where everyone’s big guns cancel out each other — Krejci’s line was much quieter tonight — I’ll take the battle of scoring depth for the Hawks every time. If this is the impetus for Paille and Kelly and Peverley to come in from the fields of disillusion, than the Hawks are in all sorts of trouble. But we’re not there yet.

-The Bruins’ coverage around their net is beyond anything I’ve seen in five years of doing this, I think. Even when the Hawks were pummeling them in the 1st, they had most thing covered in their slot. Whenever the Hawks turn to the middle they find trees. Rebounds are met with tied sticks. Shooting lanes are closed up faster than a nun’s thighs. Again, it requires things to be done at such a high rate and precision….luckily the Hawks are the only ones who can get there. Maybe.

-The Hawks puck support in their own end was good, but when the legs started to go it wasn’t there in the offensive end. They got pucks deep more than not (though need more), but they couldn’t get a second player in to support the initial forechecker. The Hawks can’t win these battles straight up, and the level of energy to constantly be there on both ends to support is so high it’s a real worry if the Hawks can get there constantly.

-Q is still opting for Ebenholts och Elfenben against Krejci’s line. You will know it’s probably not the path when Julien doesn’t do much to get away from it in Boston.

-Someone will argue that the Hawks looks so tired because of the physical toll the B’s take on you. Maybe? I didn’t get the feeling that the Hawks were being pushed around on the ice that much, at least not in their end.

-Brent Seabrook continues to play that game at a quaalude-induced speed.

-Dave Bolland is getting housed at the dot — strangely he’s the only Hawk who’s getting worked over there — but at least now he’s working his ass off in the defensive zone to make up for it.

At this point we know that the next two games are going to be torture. And maybe physical limitations require that you can’t red line it for 60 minutes. Maybe on the road it’s about being very simple to start, surviving the initial onslaught, and slowly building from there. I can say Crawford is going to have to stand very tall. I know the Hawks are going to have to dig deep to a place that they haven’t reached before. But I also know I’ve learned my lesson about doubting this team.

It’s going to be a very, very bumpy ride, however.

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    This wrinkle in time is giving me a headache.

    • Accipiter

      Put an iron on your forehead.

    • 1benmenno

      Madelein your engle and you’ll feel good as new.

  • whitey stapleton

    Just reaching for straws here. Maybe it might help if you iced 10/88/26 more than 29/36/65.

    • mad-hatter

      Or how about 10/26/81 and 20/19/88? That way, there’s at least someone defensively responsible to prevent that Bruins goal, and the two best offensive players on the team don’t get benched at the same time.

      • neo1978

        Hawks are matching Toews and Bolland against the top two Bruins lines. When Toews gets the top assignment Q likes to put Hossa on his line. With the Krejci line being the top scoring line in the playoffs, I’m NOT surprised Hossa is playing with Toews.

        To me if you are going to do that then play Frolik with Toews and go:

        Saad – Toews – Frolik
        Kane – Handzus – Hossa
        Bickell – Bolland – Shaw
        Sharp – Kruger – Stalberg

        That way there isn’t a defensive liability as each line can hold its own for its level of play.

        And the Hawks “win” the depth battle as the Bruins don’t have anyone that can match up against the bottom two Hawks lines. They aren’t twelve deep like that.

        • mad-hatter

          Had to go see your line matches before I responded. Just from the eye test I didn’t realize that Bolland saw so much of Bergeron, nor would I say he did as poorly as the corsi suggests.

          In suggesting those line changes above, I was only focusing on separating Hossa and Toews’ specific skill sets in balancing the top two lines, similar to the discussions of getting Kane away from Bolland during the regular season. Although your lines are more balanced (except I think Kruger’s by himself on the fourth, especially if the Kelly/Seguin/Paille line is going to continue) if I actually meant spreading out the defense throughout the roster. You could probably guess the few reasons as to why I’m not sold on the formation you listed though.

          If this is how the matchups are going to continue in Boston, with Toews and Bolland seeing the top two, then I am hesitant in swapping 88 and 81 because I’ve liked how Hossa has played against the Krejci line, especially in game one. And I’d actually prefer if he continued doing so over 19, which would bump Toews down to Bergeron’s, and Bolland off the top two lines even though I think he’s been pretty great there. But I’m not sure I want Handzus against the top line either. So that would put Hossa and Bolland on a line together. But then would Handzus go on the fourth line and bump Stals up, or would he take Bolland’s spot, and then him and Shaw and who ever’s on the left are used as a traditional third line? There could be a lot of left wing swapping between Sharp, Bickell, and Saad. Sharp ended up on Bolland’s left a few times in game one for a few shifts, and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing it again.

          Though I wouldn’t also mind if Q had left Kruger and Frolik on Bolland’s wings and have those three as a checking line, load up Toews with Kane against Bergeron, Handzus with Hossa, and then Shaw, Bicks, and Stals can continue bum slaying the bottom lines. Again, I’m not particularly picky as to where Sharp and Saad end up.

          • neo1978

            Last two seasons Sharp-Kruger-Stalberg are a plus 9. And that is playing as a second line. This season the Hawks are so deep that they could be the Hawks 4th line, if Q so chose.

            And when the Bruins went with the Kelly/Seguin/Paille line, the Hawks failed to exploit what was left for the other bottom Bruins line.

            And I’m thinking with Bruins having last change, you would think Sequin would face Bolland. And Krejci will face Handzus more often, as well. I’ve never been a big fan of Toews-Hossa and it makes less sense when you aren’t going to get the matchups you prefer.

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          i’d wet my pants if Sharp was on the 4th line. But I’ve been thinking similar thoughts (about the lines, not my pants).

          The Hawks current 2nd line just isn’t going to work on the road (well, it really didn’t at home either). Q’s gonna have to spread the wealth.

    • The Doctor

      Or how about 29-19-88? You know, the line that wiped the fucking floor with the Kings? The one that got that hatty? Or we could just blow shit up like Q and fuck with what works. That’s our coach!

  • DaveM36

    To follow up with Fels’ line of “But I also know I’ve learned my lesson about doubting this team.”

    Someone find me a challenge, from this season, that the Blackhawks weren’t able to overcome.

    The climb gets no easier but the peak of the mountain is still in reach.

    • mad-hatter

      “Someone find me a challenge, from this season, that the Blackhawks weren’t able to overcome.”

      The power play.

      • DaveM36

        Hahaha dammit.

        But solid 5-on-5 play and a great PK has got the Hawks pretty far in spite of those clown shoes, hasn’t it?

        • Accipiter

          I think the Hawks net a PPG next game.

          • DaveM36

            It had glimpses of competence tonight. One PPG in either game 3 or 4 may be required to win.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            I agree. It was one of the things that scared me most going into this post-season. When games are ridiculously tight and you’re facing amazing goalies, games are going to come down to a single goal. You’re not going to score a PP goal every game, but without any whatsoever you’re just making things too hard on yourself.

          • DaveM36

            They got two PPGs in Game 5 and another in Game 6 against Detroit to help swing that series from a 3-1 deficit.

            I wouldn’t be surprised, at all, if a similar scenario unfolded in this one.

        • The Doctor

          Bruins 5 on 5 is better so…yeah.

          • DaveM36

            I’m not so sure on that.

          • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

            The numbers agree: Bruins 5×5 GF/GA ratio is a league leading 1.59 in the playoffs (Chicago 2nd).

            In the regular season Boston was not as good as Chicago, but far better than Detroit.

          • mazer_rackham

            You can’t compare the numbers gained from other opponents and say that makes one team better than another. You don’t think Chicago could have plundered Toronto and NYR?

  • Jim

    Good wrap.

    Boston does play such good coverage around Rask, the Hawks are having trouble lobbing anything solid with screens at the net.

    And the goal being called back, that was the ref standing right there, but not seeing it. It would have completely changed the game. It’s a blown call.

    • DJ

      When he loses sight of the puck, he has to blow the whistle. Not sure you can call it a “blown call” unless you’re saying he has X-ray vision like Superman.

      • Why

        One part of his gig is getting himself into position to see the puck. The game moves fast for refs, too, but that’s a mistake.

        • DJ

          I can’t claim to be an expert on refereeing mechanics. I do think that ref had to be behind the net. Perhaps on the other side, though. I think he’s instructed to wait for help to come in from in front of the net.

          • Why

            Video of the play and review is here:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtbsMKZQH-c

            I’m not an expert, either. As I understand it, that’s generally going to be the refs call behind the net. When to blow the whistle is always a tough call that you make quickly but part of the job is trying to peer through the mass of bodies and see whether the puck is covered.

            I’d never say it’s an easy gig and that call is harder than most. Positioning of the ref seems to be perfect, he just seemed to be (in my biased opinion) a little to quick to blow the play dead. In my view, Toews expressed it perfectly:

            “I thought the whistle was a little quick, but that’s the way it is,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “It’s frustrating when the bounces don’t go your way, but it is what it is.”

            http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/recap?gameId=400470575

      • Jim

        The camera from the front left clearly showed the puck over the line and in the net. I can’t speak to the vision of the referee, I can only speak to the facts. The fact is the Hawks scored a goal there, but the ref didn’t see it.

        Call it what you want, “blown call”, “human error”, “non call”, “ref discretion”, “alien intervention”, whatever, goal went in, ref didn’t see it, goal disallowed.

        So, while the Chicago Blackhawks actually outscored the Boston Bruins in regluation, 2-1 and beat them fair and square, because of human error, the goal was disallowed, and the Bruins were allowed to go to overtime and scored first there.

        • Accipiter

          As soon as the decision of wether that goal counted or not was going to be based on when the ref intended to blow his whistle, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that it wouldn’t count.

          • Z-man19

            I can accept that if Hossa pushed it in, if that goes in from Toews, it should be a goal regardless

          • Accipiter

            Hossa prolly pushes it in, but the rules as they stand leave it all up to the ref. If the ref feels the play is dead and wants to blow the whistle, no amount of video review is going to overturn that.

          • Z-man19

            I think the rules need to be looked at, if Toews was the last hawk to touch it, it should be a goal.

          • Tomahawk

            NO, he probably doesn’t push it in. NBC showed a fantastic replay last night, and the Canada feed is on youtube. Hossa doesn’t push the pad until the puck is clearly behind the post. The puck goes in off Towes wrap around, and the puck never is covered. It is a clear goal.

          • Accipiter

            Calmer than you are. Calmer than you are.

          • Tomahawk

            Probably are calmer than me, but it may cost us the cup, and yeah I’m invested in this team so I care.

            Nice article, the video is pretty clear though, it is out there. Watch the video and it is tough to agree with parts of the article including Hossa’s goal not allowed.

            No question the rule is the rule, but without the “I intended to blow it dead” it is a clear goal. That fact still is pretty simple in this whole discussion.

          • Tomahawk

            I disagree, they showed a perfect angle and that puck clearly goes in before Rask is laying on the goal line (that is how it gets by). The Ref didn’t blow it dead before Rask was flat on the ground. To me the video evidence proved BOTH that it crossed the line, AND that it happened before the whistle could have been blown. It is what replay is for in the first place.

            The Hawks scored two in the first period, and they were only credited for one. I won’t say that they would have won, as the rest of the game is different, but the Hawks scored two goals last night.

          • mad-hatter

            It doesn’t matter if the ref did or did not blow it dead before the puck crossed the line. What matters is he intended to blow the whistle before the goal would have been scored because he lost sight of it, and therefore, no goal. It’s a stupid fucking rule, but it is a rule nonetheless and it is a non-reviewable call.

          • Preacher

            It’s a rule to “protect” the officials, don’t you think? Let them off the hook?
            Because it’s hockey it will take longer, but replays are going to become a much bigger part of the game. There have too many bad calls in important situations to let it go on like this.

          • mad-hatter

            I don’t know if it lets them off the hook, but it definitely allows them to have more of an affect on the game then they should.

            What you’ve said seems like a bigger argument for coach’s challenge. I know right now it’s just an idea, but if I could choose to institute it in the game wherever I’d allow it in goal/no-goal calls, and no more of these non-reviewable calls.

          • Why

            As I understand it, the rule is kind of to protect goaltenders and to make the officials job easier at levels where there is no video review. When the ref has to make the call in real time, it can be hard to determine whether the puck crossed the line before he actually got the whistle to his mouth. It’s easier to say “I lost of sight of it before it went in, it’s no goal.” Goalies get hacked and slashed less because, theoretically, the second the pucks covered, the offensive team has no incentive to continue playing. It also leads to less scrums in front of the net.

            In practice though, I don’t think most refs are that quick to blow a play a dead.

          • Accipiter

            I don’t think you understand the rule, but disagree to your hearts content.

          • Tomahawk

            No, I do get it. I didn’t explain enough but my basic point is why have replay? If you give them an out and because of it you can’t overturn goals (or non goals) what is the point? The point should be to get the play right.

            After the last replay there is no doubt at all it was a goal. We know when the whistle was blown, and we know that the puck was in before, get rid of the grey area.

            Maybe the most frustrating part is it was by any objective standard a quick whistle, yet they want us to believe he meant to blow it dead even quicker than he did. Whatever, in the end my point is if you can’t get them right don’t even review them at all. Don’t see the point of getting some of them right and then pissing people off on some because of an out for the refs.

    • Why

      Deleted.

    • Preacher

      Agreed it was a mistake, but if the jerseys were switched, we’d be saying, “He HAS to blow it dead–he lost sight of it.”
      I still think the long review time is what actually changed the game. The Bruins got their legs after that break.

  • Preacher

    What I don’t get is how the Bruins forecheck hard and our guys break out cleanly leaving those 2 forwards behind, and yet when we get to their zone, there are 4 or 5 Bruins in the slot/crease area so we can’t get a clean look. Or get a clean rebound chance. The Hawks are putting a number of shots at the far side pad of Rask, hoping for the netcrashing Hawk to put in the rebound, but there’s always a stick tying up our guy coming in. Their net coverage is indeed something to behold. (And why can’t we do that?)

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      They clog the middle, much like LA did, forcing our speed to the boards.

      • Why

        To me, it actually looks like their defencemen are much less aggressive than those of L.A.. Their D-men back up quickly and give space. It forces the play to slow down and let’s the backcheckers cause problems.

      • Preacher

        But we’re already past 2 of them! That’s my question: the Hawks are moving forward with 2 of the Bruins forwards chasing, and yet, there’s suddenly 5 skaters for the Bruins in front of the net. Are they cheating?

        • M7

          I’ve noticed this as well. It’s a burr in my ass at the moment. When this happens, and it’s happened a fair bit, there is zero urgency to push the puck through the neutral zone with speed.

          Generally speaking, when the Hawks have left two fore-checkers in their wake, at least one of Keith or Kane has played a large hand in doing so. Unfortunately, both of these guys are quite content to slow the rush down and look for a pass to pick apart the odd-man situation. It’s a blessing and a curse, in my opinion, as these guys are definitely capable of doing so, but in this case you really just want them to push the pace a little bit more (and you may not have left two fore-checkers behind if it wasn’t for their creativity with the puck). Even with one forward back, a 3-on-3 with speed for the Hawks can feel like an odd man situation. When you enter their zone with speed, the two aforementioned fore-checkers (now back-checking like their life depended on it) will often over-shoot their coverage. Just a little more urgency/speed on zone entry would generate even more high quality looks.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Far too happy when we win, far too worried when we lose. Yeah, I’m concerned that in an OT game we took more than half our shots in the first. Even so we had our chances, but in too many cases, a Hawk got control of the puck behind the B’s goal line, looking to center, and there was no one there.

    All the goals we’ve scored have come from one timers or LOTS of traffic in front. Gotta get more than one Hawk to the net.

    Boston is right where they want to be. When we win one of two in bean town, we will be right where we want to be.

    • Country_Bumpkin

      Totally this x1000. While I know the Hawks can win on the road I am definitely concerned if they come back down 2-1.

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        It will either be 1-3, 2-2, or 3-1

        • Accipiter

          I checked your work. The math is solid.

  • DJ

    if you put Viktor Stalberg on that puck rimming around the boards, I’m not totally convinced he does much more with it

    Not sure that’s the right question to ask. Rather, does Stalberg give you something that Bollig doesn’t, and is that something that disadvantages the Bruins.

    It’s at least something to consider strongly.

  • Why

    And because credit needs to go where credit is due:

    Q is still opting for Ebenholts och Elfenben against Krejci’s line. made me chuckle.

    And depth scoring vs depth scoring? Yeah, if the Bruins want to try and win that way, we’ll see how it works out.

    With that said, “Yah dee blockin de shoots, orgee borgee puckin’ movin biggin stoppin” seemed to work out tonight.

  • Feathersofdeath

    Q, get the boys shooting high glove (or just roof it in general) because much like niemi did for us, rask shuts down the bottom half of the net. I know they boys were discouraged from going high glove after quick but rask has and can be beaten by going that route. And for gods sake don’t try to play the game the bruins want you to play. Going on the road might just do some good. Simpler north-south game with relentless pressure. A win in game 3 would be huge. Heads up after this one. C’mon boys.

  • bringmetheirheads

    Hmmmm… With Boston doing just a good job of nullifying perimeter shots with traffic, it seems like it might be time for the Hawks to nut up, accept there’s going to be some physical contact and drive to the net with the puck. Worst case scenario you cause some chaos down low and… Hay! Isn’t that how they scored their one and only goal tonight?!

    • neo1978

      Scoring chances in the House:

      Hawks 19
      Bruins 15

      • Z-man19

        You don’t say?

      • ChicagoNativeSon

        Unfortunately, I believe 16 of them were in the 1st period, no?

        • neo1978

          11, Announcers meant shots not scoring chances when they said 16.

  • The Doctor

    Anyone doubting slotting Stals over Bollig should have their hockey card revoked, Q included (shit coach status). Bollig hasn’t been bad by any means but I haven’t noticed him doing anything positive either. As in, “did he actually play tonight” not notice.

    Overall, this game was disappointing. I doubt Bruins fans would be disappointed in the outcome, having stolen a game on the road. I’m sure they thought it was “fun.” The onus is on the Hawks from here on out, until they can steal one.

    • Accipiter

      I’m happy the Hawks stole game 1.

    • Flavius

      Where can I get one of these hockey cards?

      • Accipiter

        I get mine from other peoples bicycle spokes.

  • Bannerman

    Maybe Stalberg doesn’t fair any better on that play but now would be a good time to find out what difference Stalberg could make on that 4th line.

  • Preacher

    Not to be all doomy gloomy, but why does it feel like we’re DOWN 2–1 instead of tied? Maybe it’s my “Chicago fan” genetic defect kicking in but this series just feels painful instead of fun. Instead of “I can’t wait for Monday” I’m actually kind of dreading it. Dang it! Winning makes things so much easier to deal with!. LET’S GO HAWKS!!!

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      This. Stanley Cup Finals, tied after two games. Summon the road warriors. We beat LA at home, we can beat Boston at home. Only need one of two and then game 5 at home.

      • Waylon

        I agree with this sentiment – although last night was excruciating to watch, this team almost has to go this way, they don’t seem to know any other alternative to reaching their goal. I’m not suggesting they’re not playing as hard as they can, it just appears to be their MO.

        • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

          Not playing as hard as they can or finding that extra gear when needed most? Chicken…Egg… all that.

  • Jim

    I think it’s actually poetic justice that Bollig coughed up the puck. I’m not hanging this on him, but just a little bit. He did, after all, cough up the puck in overtime.

    The reason he did this is because he’s not really great at elite level hockey, and had little part in getting to this level. He’s a goon, we all know that. And to put him in means that Q, in this instance, was suckered by Boston. And what effect did Bollig have against Lucic, their chief physical presence? Did Bollig level him? Theoretically, isn’t that why Bollig was on the ice? Did anyone expect Bollig to score spinorama goals like Kane?

    • Accipiter

      What ?

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      It’s not just Bollig attempting clearing passes without lifting his head to see where the Bruins are, Hammer and Oduya had their fare share, but Bollig is the one who got burned, and in OT at that.

      I’m far more concerned with our O pressure colapse: 19 shots in the first, something like 16 for the rest of the game including a flurry in OT (4 SOG in the 2nd, how does THAT even Happen?)

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        Keith had 2 or 3 in the 1st period alone.

    • laaarmer

      Lucic would eat Bollig alive. He was never put on the 4th line to defend Lucic. Were you even watching the games? Did you see Bollig out every time Lucic was out there? Bollig is a 1/2 4th liner. Watch the games before you post, please.

  • putmeinthemadhouse

    Out of the last 3 games, the hawks have played nearly 5. 6 Periods of OT. Thats crazy. They need to win in regulation on monday.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      And in all of that skated one really strong period per 60 and done their best to hold on.

  • Joe Banks

    Ben Smith for Bollig… please?

    • mad-hatter

      If this happens, then Q really hates Stals.

      • Joe Banks

        I will never understand the Bollig thing. Not now, not in the playoffs.
        Stalberg, for whatever reason, seems useless.
        I think Ben could give Boston something to shit about.
        And yes, the ship has probably sailed, that bird has flown, that turd has landed in the punch bowl.
        So lets do it!

  • mad-hatter

    Happy Father’s Day to all the dads here at the CI.

  • 1benmenno

    How many goals have the Hawks had disallowed this post-season? It’s starting to piss me off.

    • Preacher

      I believe this is the third. But I’m counting the one against Scum that was between Howard’s skate and the post and went in.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Three by my count, but I can’t fault the ref for last night. Intent to blow is the rule, like it or not. Don’t blame last night on the ref, blame it on our total of 16 SOG in 50 minutes of hockey after the first period.

  • Aaron

    Here’s the question that’s got my stomach in knots – can the Hawks win the cup with Toews scoring all of one goal in the playoffs? I don’t know, and I don’t want to have to find out.
    Also, i hope Stalberger is in next game just for some fresh legs. I think the Hawks looked gassed because they had played 11 periods in the two games coming into last night.

  • Aaron

    Idea to run by the hockey-wise CI community – Shouldn’t Chicago just put six skaters on the ice whenever they are starting a powerplay to take the too many men on the ice penalty and turn it into a 4v4? I started off suggesting this to my dad as a joke during the regular season but I’m really starting to think the Hawks should do it.

  • neo1978

    BTW, I have figured out both Jonathon Toews scoring drought in the playoffs and the problems with the power play from the 2009 Fliers series to now. Jonathon Toews goals for the 2010 playoffs:

    4/22 Front of net rebound
    4/26 PPG -FON
    5/7 PPG – High Slot
    5/7 PPG – FON
    5/7 PPG – High Slot
    5/9 FON deflection
    5/18 PPG – FON deflection

    Hawks moved Toews out of the slot on the power play in the Fliers series and it hasn’t been the same since. And Toews goal scoring drought in the playoffs is for the same reason. He only had two 5o5 goals in the 2010 playoffs, so 5 goals being “the guy in front of the net on the power play.”

    • amontesawesome

      Though the Hawks had the fourth best PP the year after the cup, so I’m curious as to how they used him that season as I haven’t any memory of it. It’s possible he wasn’t in the slot then either as it seems as if they might have just been a little lucky that season because their SF/60 on the PP was pretty middling.

      Also, the guy’s just been plain unlucky. His on ice sh% is 2nd worst on the team amongst playoff regulars at 5.5%. His career worst on ice sh% came during his second season in the league at 9%. Not to mention, of course, a personal shooting percentage of 1.7%. Guy has been insanely unlucky.

      • Why

        I agree with you on the captain being unlucky or pressing. He’s going to bury one at some point and get the monkey off his back. I’m not one to put too much stock into shooting percentage being only a matter of luck but if you look at his personal career shooting percentages it’s clear that he’s usually going to pot more goals. I’d love to see some progression to the mean.

        I’d also love to see him bring that wrap-around a little further into the slot, just once, just to see if Rask still makes the save. The captains got quick hands and feet and he’s getting himself into positions to come out in front of the slot.

        • Preacher

          I’d like to see him go around and lift that puck, if he can get enough behind it. I know it’s usually a fast-as-you-can-get-to-the-post sort of thing, but most goalies get there before you do. If he can get it up above the pad though….goal.

          • Why

            He seems hardwired to get that puck on net and believe he and his teammates can outwork everybody after. It’s not a terrible idea and he’s probably going to sneak in a wrap around on Monday, just to make me look stupid. Given that it’s a playoff game, goals are important and I look stupid all the time, I would fully support such a development.

    • ChicagoNativeSon

      Interesting, because I remember people complaining about Johnny risking injury being the net presence back then. But I checked shot distances for Toews for the past 4 playoffs (small sample size though), so I’m not sure that’s the reason:
      2010: 16′
      2011: 26′
      2012: 29′
      2013: 16′

      • Why

        Yeah, I’m not seeing it either. They’ve used Toews a lot in front of the net during the playoffs.

        I’m never particularly sure about using advanced stats, but when I checked this out, one thing stood out for me:

        2010 – 22 GP, 18 shots on goal

        2013 – 19 GP, 8 shots on goal

        This isn’t necessarily all his fault (chances in front of the net are usually partially created by other players) but it seems to provide more evidence that the powerplay has been having some difficulties.

      • neo1978

        Well first off, there is a big difference between 16 foot and 25-30 foot shots. Second this season in the playoffs Toews is taking a lot of short bad angle shots. Although he did score on one of them there is a big difference between that and front of the net rebound and deflection shots.

        And again, teams with a good front of the net player on the power play tend to have good results. Hawks had Buf and Toews in that role in 2010. Hawks have nothing like that now.

        And as for Toews, he hasn’t been a goal producing 5o5 player in the playoffs, including the year he won the MVP award. So although he hasn’t had much puck luck, he really isn’t in that much of a drought.

  • ballyb11

    Just an FYI. On the road during the regular season this year, the Hawks beat every team in the Western Conf (in Reg., OT or shootout) except Anaheim, who they lost to twice, one in regulation and once in a shoot out. During the playoffs, they’ve beaten each opponent – Wild, Wings, Kings – on the road.

    • Why

      Again, I will take any omen I can get.

  • Preacher

    Toews is in fighting form as he gives the Bruins NO credit for last night’s win.

    “It had nothing to do with them turning it on, we just started letting them do whatever they wanted to and we gave them chance after chance.”
    “They have some confidence coming out of this game that we gave them.”

    • RyanMcShane

      So does this lead to cappy goal scoring? If so, I’m all for it.

      Eff the brunes, they got double deflect hard work lucky.

      • Why

        Toews. Working hard on the ice and the quotes are always exactly what you want out of a captain. Focus on what you and your teammates can do and get back to work. Fuck how the Bruins feel about it. As a reminder, after Game 7 in Detroit:

        Toews stood up and made one thing clear in the locker room.

        “I said we’ll beat them 3-1,” he said, adding the disallowed goal to their total. “We were pretty [ticked] off the whistle blew right before that one went in. We weren’t going to go away that way.”

        And it’s pretty clear he did not say ticked.

        http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/blackhawks/post/_/id/4674783/hawks-survive-setbacks-move-on

  • Preacher

    For the love of all sanity, would the Hawks please absolutely light up Rask in game 3? Otherwise, I’m expecting them to erect a statue to him before the start of game 4. It’s so hard to stay away from hockey news, but it’s ALL about Rask. It’s almost bad enough to make me watch the NBA Finals. Almost.

    • Accipiter

      Get a hold of yourself. Refrain from any SCF related news/articles until the actual game starts tomorrow (other than coming here of course), it is not good for your sanity.

    • Country_Bumpkin

      After the Hawks lose I never watch any NHL shit. Helps me keep my sanity.

  • Accipiter
    • Why

      Good link. Not that the quotes matter a ton but I feel a lot better about Stalberg’s earlier “there’s so little ice time” quote now that I’ve seen the full context.

      ““I don’t know what to do,” Stalberg said prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals. “You can’t get too down, too upset or too frustrated about it. There’s two weeks left in the year. We’re going to try to win it. It’s simple as that. If I’m playing, I’m playing. If I’m not, I’m not. I can’t do much about that right now. When I was playing, it felt like I wasn’t playing at times when [there's] so little ice time. It is what it is. Obviously, it’s frustrating. At the end of the day, it’s two more weeks and hopefully [we] have a Cup here. That’s all that matters.”

  • Accipiter

    Well, the Hawks have lost all their game 3′s, while the B’s have won all theirs.

    What better time for the Hawks to win a game 3 than tomorrow in Boston.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Doesn’t matter if they win game three or four. Of course it would be great if they win both. Get your pants off, Accipiter.

      • Accipiter

        Game 3 is important. The team that wins game 3 (after a split tying the SCF series at 1-1) have gone on to win the SC 84% of the time.

        • laaarmer

          They sould only play 2 periods in the rest of the games. No point in playing the entire game if you lose game 3. You only have a 15% chance of winning!

          • Accipiter

            Finally, someone who understands.