USATSI_7913606_160885884_lowres

Never Talking To You Again: Blackhawks 2 – Wild 1 OT (Hawks Win Series 4-2)

Box Score
Event Summary
Extra Skater

Earlier today, I was debating whether or not I should watch this game from home or if I should head to the bar. After a long day at work, I thought it was best if I go to my couch. I didn’t want to drink tonight, I had decided. And when Kris Versteeg put in a goal off a great move off the boards that bounced passed Bryz, I thought I might just be able to get away with a game where the temptation wouldn’t be that much. After all, a game where the Hawks score a goal before the opponents even record a shot is a damn good thing. “They’ll put this away early. I’ll get the recap up and have a good night’s sleep”, I hoped.

That plan went to shit about 2 and half minutes into the second period.

For long, long stretches of this game, perhaps just about all of it. The Wild were flat out the better team. You can check out the fancy stats above – they aren’t pretty. I don’t think we’ve seen the Hawks be held without a shot for as long a stretch as we did in the third all year. Or at least maybe it just feels that way since the stakes are so much higher in a game like this. As has been pointed out many times by ourselves and others, the Wild were able to shift the game’s pace almost at will. They came out with a back and forth pace to the first and large parts of the second. Then they were able to clog the neutral zone and make life miserable. They seemed to do this on a shift to shift basis.

And it worked.

It felt almost like playing Tecmo Super Bowl when your dickhead friend was peering over at your controller and seeing the exact play you were calling and doing the same. Everywhere the Hawks went, there were players closing in. Every pass had a stick or skate to knock it away. It didn’t hurt the Wild that the passes from the Hawks were generally off though.

On the back of Corey Crawford, the Hawks took everything the Wild threw at them and found a way to come out on top. There’s plenty more to say about this. Lets put it in the bullets.

Washington_Bullets2

  • If you happen to know anyone at all who still lives by the “Hawks can’t win with Crawford” mentality, I urge you to do everything you can to purge that person from your life. They aren’t worth it. They’re the simpleton believing the sun goes around the earth or the guy thinking it’s OK to wear sweatpants to a bar. Give up on them. They’re too far gone.

    The Hawks do not win this game or possibly this series without Crawford’s play. Of course, he had a few bad goals. He may have even had more than Bryzgalov (and who could have seen that coming by the way?). He may never rise to the “elite” level (whatever that is) but he’s put together an impressive performance thus far.

  • The Hawks looked eager to match the Wild’s forecheck early on. Toews and Sharp in particular were rabid dogs behind the Wild net during their first few shifts. I didn’t notice it as much later on in the game, probably because for most of it the Wild were stealing the Hawks’ lunch money.
  • Sheldon Brookbank didn’t have the best of games but he was far from the worst. His most memorable shift of the night has to be his heart attack inducing moment where he was pressured behind the net and was given no options at all. I couldn’t tell if the puck was knocked away or he made an ill advised pass. He was able to redeem himself (or at least keep himself out of Q’s doghouse) by blocking an almost certain goal.

    I think he just fell down behind the net on his shift just prior to this too.

  • With the game on the line – you cannot be happy with how the Hawks came out in the third. I realize the Wild were a force on home ice and they had all the advantages but the Hawks had nothing to show for the game other than Corey freaking the fuck out. It wasn’t until nearly 16 minutes in that I noticed a decent shift.

    Somehow, they were able to carry that decent shift through the end of the third and into overtime where things were far more even. Still, a few good bounces and maybe one less post and this series is going to game 7. You could argue the Hawks were simply playing conservative and biding their time, you could argue the Wild ran out of gas playing with such intensity and coming up short. Or you could argue the Hawks got incredibly, insanely lucky. Either way. It’s 8 more wins needed.

  • Speaking of luck, I’ve already seen lots being written and said about the lucky bounce the Hawks got on Kaner’s winner. It’s mostly bullshit. Yes, there was a fortunate bounce. The easy way to look at it is that it went right to Kane’s tape and he put home the winner. That seems to be the Wild’s reaction and a lot of the commentators as well.

    Watching again, that play does not happen if Regin isn’t there going hard at the net. When the puck went oddly off the boards, he was there going hard at the net. It caused Suter to be taken out of the play as they tied each others sticks up and skated past it. If someone else on the ice (someone not as fast..ahem), Suter may get there first and easily take it behind the net. Kane also gets inside on Matt Cooke because he had stopped skating. I’m sure many of us couldn’t be happier that Cooke had such a great view. That’s a great play all around. And that’s before mentioning Kane’s quick move to the outside and a backhanded roofer that only a handful of players could make.. if that many. Phenomenal end after a relatively disappointing game.

  • This Wild team is a night a day difference from the boring trapping team we have been so used to over the years. They can still play that way if needed but they showed they have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the Hawks and Avs, two of the faster teams in the league. Time will tell if they simply caught lightning in a bottle this postseason or if this is what we’ll be seeing for years to come. If so, for the love of god, will someone please cover Haula.

  • agrpap

    Long time lurker, first time poster. Probably. Anyhoo, Crow was, to me, like CuJo and Potvin in the early 90s. The Hawks would absolutely swarm the Blues or Leafs and they just kept making miraculous saves. All these years later, I still remember one that Potvin had against Patrick Poulin that just ripped my heart out ( the Hawks did win that series, however). I’m sure fans of the why-yuld now have the same indelible memories of Crow just stealing from them. MIN was a much harder out than I would ever have imagined.

    • cliffkoroll

      That’s it! Crow’s performance in this series is, at long last, revenge for John Casey!

    • CozBullsFan

      Welcome to the fray!

  • Why?
    • Black JEM

      Oh yes it never gets old.

    • YoAdrienne

      It’s a shame Regin didn’t get an assist on that one.

      • Black JEM

        I bet his teammates gave him one.

        • YoAdrienne

          I have no doubt about that. He should’ve gotten one for Versteeg’s goal, too. I’m sure he’s just happy to be in there.

    • Bannerman

      Did Sharp give #25 a nut shot on his way past the goal?

      • CozBullsFan

        No, he put the puck into the net a second time just in case.

    • Bannerman

      Looks like #25 gets a nut shot from the heel of Bryz’s stick as he’s rolling over on his back.

  • ChiCityKyle

    How many goals does kane score that nobody but him know for sure its in for the first 2 seconds?

  • Why?

    It’s almost like anybody from the Kane clan is destined to knock Cooke the fuck out of whatever he’s doing.

  • Iaaarmer
  • XMF

    I know of someone who thinks the Hawks can’t win with Crow but he’s blinded by sunspots. I’ve purged this person from my life on several occasions but hushing appears to be more effective.

  • birdhead

    I just watched the extended highlights of the second two periods and man, the impression you get from that is that the Hawks spent the entire second and third below the dots in front of Crow. (Who was amazing.)

    • YoAdrienne

      It sure seemed that like they were in their own zone most of that time. It was maddening to watch. Those guys owe Crow a few dozen steak dinners.

  • Country_Bumpkin

    Crawford was flat out amazeballs last night. Unfreakin’ real.

    • Joe Banks

      Amazeballs – I’m going to steal that from you, OK?

      • Bannerman

        Just don’t steal Dongballs.

        • lizmcneill

          I wish one of the other 29 GMs would steal Dongballs.

          • Joe Banks

            52 dongballs?

          • YoAdrienne

            I wish Stan would just give him to them.

          • lizmcneill

            #waiveBollig

            #freeRegin

          • Bob Lanz

            Upboat this to heaven

          • CozBullsFan

            If you insist. Not sure why.

            Bagerdano’d

          • Bob Lanz

            One of gees days Coz bam to the moon

      • Country_Bumpkin

        No problem.

      • Iaaarmer

        All the kids say it these days.

  • I Remember The Roar!

    Sad that it took a suspension to get Regin into the lineup. If he doesn’t play, we don’t win this series. Guy’s been noticeable in both ends of the ice and just fits. With Regin (and Morin over Nordstrom), the Hawks have something that resembles a bottom 6, and can roll all 4 lines. We know what type of results that brings…

    • Black JEM

      I too like Regin – and he actually set up the winner by tying up Suter, who had no choice but to tie him up and allow them both to just waltz by the puck to allow Kaner to clean up. I got to think Bryz sees Kane coming in after the loose puck and just starts saying – “Fuck – not that little bastard!”
      I guess we need to thank the NHL offices for the Bollig suspension.
      I too would like Morin over Nordstrom, but with the penalties and not burying his chance in his last game, I doubt we will see him again.

      • lizmcneill

        I’m hoping Shaw recovers and comes in for Nordstrom, and Bollig doesn’t dress again until October.

        • Black JEM

          I can agree with that. Any more news on Shaw?

        • Bob Lanz

          That’s too soon

        • PE-TER RE-GIN

          I’d prefer Bollig still dress, just not in a sweater with an Indian head on it.

          • lizmcneill

            He probably looks good in a suit.

            He’d look even better in a suit in someone else’s pressbox.

    • HawkIPA

      Knowing Q, we haven’t seen the last of 52 this playoffs. While I’d rather see him in the press box, subbing him for non-entity Nordstrom wouldn’t be a catastrophe, especially since Q simply doesn’t trust Morin.

  • cliffkoroll

    Great stuff, Dirt! A clinic in reporting on an imperfect team’s deficiencies without sounding like a whiny dickhead. Excellent blogging.

  • Black JEM

    Absolutely love the Tecmo reference!
    Minnesota was just feeling it – but they did pretty much shoot it out in the third. The Hawks responded late, and Minnesota had that flurry to start OT, but then it seemed they had spent everything they had and it was just who was going to score for the Hawks. And lucky bounces? C’mon. I would hope Minnesota isn’t resting on that one. They were good.
    But great players win when it counts – and while Minnesota has taken a page from the Detroit/Chicago playbook on skating – from my perspective Minnesota got a real good deal on Suter, hard not to like his game, but at the money I think for Parise leaves something to be desired. He is getting Toews/Kane type money and he didn’t deliver. Two years in a row. Minnesota needs an elite finisher, and they don’t have one. Until they do, gonna be more disappointment for them in the playoffs.
    There is reason Chicago wins in crunch time. Two guys. They just win.
    And Crawford is becoming this kind of monster in the playoffs. Like he is a reasonable NHL goalie in the regular season and then becomes the incredible Hulk in the playoffs.

    • wihawkfan

      in the post game interview parise said (paraphrasing here) that they had numerous chances to win it. he looked like he wanted to say something else but stopped himself and instead said that the hawks had a good team. it felt to me like he was just in disbelief. i agree the wild have learned from the hawks and copied their blueprint but they couldn’t copy patrick kane.

      i like to think parise was realizing that during the interview and that’s why he had the look of disbelief.

      fwiw i think that haula kid is going to be the elite scorer that they lack if he isn’t already. the kid is a gamer!

      and did anyone else catch the announcers refering to parise as the wild’s captain? they did it in the game 5 broadcast. and last night they talked about him as if he was the captain instead of koivu. i wonder how many people in that fan base consider him the real captain instead of koivu.

  • cliffkoroll

    With him, the Hawks are 5-4 this post-season. Without him, they’re 3-0.

    Who is this mystery Blackhawk?

    Your clue is… Nacho.

    I kid, of course. On behalf of the League of Bollig Skeptics, I urge the Forces of Wait and See (Chico, CNS, Neo, amontesawesome, ok basically anyone with a brain) to reconsider your Defense of Bollig’s Continued Presence in the Line-up. Thank you.

    • Iaaarmer

      I concur

    • Black JEM

      Can I up vote this post by about 1000?

      • VerStig

        Without another account you can only do one, but I’ll give you a hand.

      • XMF

        You can do what you want. It’s your comment.

        /Badgerdano’d

    • Bob Lanz

      Your a genius.

      #nomorebolligever

    • XMF

      Cap hit looks ugly now…

      • Bob Lanz

        Going to have to lose that million dollars somehow some way. I’m thinking multi player / picks trade

        • XMF

          Selling high on Bickell may be an option after this season.

          • SuperHawk27

            Who would take him? He doesn’t do anything during the regular season, and only comes to play during the playoffs. He is the anti-Sidney Crosby…. :-P

          • Bob Lanz

            Ouch cause the truth hurts

          • ChicagoNativeSon

            Maybe you Haterz are barking up the wrong tree.

            Bollig was more than just serviceable on the 4th line before Handzus moved to town. Perhaps the solution lies…elsewhere?

            To add, if Kruger is the new 3C, then the 4th line will be a traditional energy line going forward.

          • CozBullsFan

            I wouldn’t sell Bickell. Most of his issue during the regular season wasn’t effort based. It was his knee recovery. It took longer than expected for him to get him knee even close to 100% When he did, he was having to dig himself out of Q’s doghouse. Q expected him to continue his playoff play with said knee injury. Q was high at the time. Still may be.

          • CozBullsFan

            Edited that above to say I wouldn’t.

          • XMF

            I would prefer to keep him as well. The guys up front suddenly look small without 29 in the line-up, as they did when he was out for extended periods this season.

            However, you have to give to get and if we’re looking to clear Bollig’s salary you’re going to have to give up someone. It won’t be Saad, won’t be Leddy. Bickell is the likely Byfuglien Part II candidate for the Cap Hell Off Season approaching next year.

          • CozBullsFan

            I don’t want to talk about that. I don’t see it happening that way. Stan can’t get rid of of his only real true PF on the line-up.

          • SuperHawk27

            Bicks isn’t going anywhere. He is too valuable to trade. There is trading high while the stock is up, and there is dumping just to dump. How many other guys get paid more to do less in the playoffs…where games really mean something.?

          • CozBullsFan

            True. I’d expect Versteeg to go before Bicks. With uncertainty about Versteeg’s knee, and Bicks knee being back to 100%, it would be better to keep the healthy guy.

          • Preacher

            Someone remind me: Was Versteeg 1.0 faster than our current version? There was an icing in the second period (I think) when Suter and Versteeg were racing down the ice, Suter had maybe a step on Steeger, and Versteeg couldn’t catch up to him. It seems like the old Versteeg would have beaten the defenseman.

          • CozBullsFan

            I think he was faster before.

          • The Other One

            I saw that too, but Versteeg was at the end of a long shift at that point, and Suter had just jumped on.

          • Bob Lanz

            I’m thinking no, the truth is either our talent in Rockford isn’t talented enough or Q won’t play them to find out. So gotta keep Bicks

          • lizmcneill

            Keep Bicks for the playoffs as long as you can (DDN raises).
            Versteeg, he can go away.

          • Bob Lanz

            Well it’s all about the DDN raises. This is why I hope Johns, clendening and dahlbach are almost ready cause I think Odie brookbank and rozy are about done here

          • Country_Bumpkin

            How about Versteeg, Bollig and Leddy? Do we give up on Leddy yet, or give him a few more years in the playoffs to grow? Could Oduya be jettisoned?

          • Bob Lanz

            I’m not ready to give up on Leddy , especially since the last two seasons he didn’t have a regular partner. That’s kind of fucked up.

          • ballyb11

            How much / long are Kane and Toews gonna cost?

          • Preacher

            The price is getting higher with all these GWGs.

          • Iaaarmer

            Somewhere between 8-9 million per player/year.
            Hopefully closer to 8.

          • ballyb11

            Who’s the highest paid in the league?

          • Iaaarmer

            Ovechkin, I think.

          • ballyb11

            Serious……..or dreaming?

          • XMF

            In order to clear Bollig’s cap hit, you’re going to have to let someone go… Bickell seems to fit the bill based on his play in the post season. Value as a commodity is relatively high and you potentially clear $5 million+.

          • CozBullsFan

            Maybe Versteeg?

          • Waylon

            I don’t see it, because they don’t have anyone right now (or coming up soon) that can fill that kind of role.

          • chichicagochi

            Sharp is the best candidate to go.

        • eyemon

          Would not be surprised if somehow Rosival is induced to retire or an Oduya trade to bring up one of the stable of D-Men in Rockford. Almost 6 mildo tied up with those two…

      • HawkIPA

        I bet Stan can find a home for him in Florida or Winnepeg, probably won’t have to give up Bicks either

      • Bannerman

        The Hawks, when they off loaded John Scott proved that a) anybody can be traded away for something, b) teams are always looking for face punchers and c) the Hawks are one of those teams that feels the need to play guys like Bollig. The teams that value guys like Dongballs won’t mind paying his new contract. As evidence, look no further than Ryan Reeves.
        His fate will hinge more on whether they think Mashinter can give them what Bollig gives them: size, Snarl and a little bit of 4th line defense.

    • amontesawesome

      Me after reading this: *puts on sunglasses* “Cue the haters.”

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

      You missed it. I reconsidered it quite a while ago. I still believe his regular season performance warranted his roster place; but he wasn’t up to the reward of getting to keep it.

      [EDIT: and that's all I ever argued, that he get the benefit of the doubt!]

    • cliffkoroll
      • ChicagoNativeSon

        That’s not as damning as being red in the lower right hand quadrant. That gets the cone of shame. Not mentioning names…Versteeg.

        • cliffkoroll

          Let me help you and others understand this chart. Kruger, for example, can be said to dominate Versteeg (and Nordstrom, Handzus, Smith, and maybe Shaw) along all four dimensions: he plays more minutes, against tougher competition, with worse zone starts, and produces better CF%. He’s played pretty damn good.

          While Versteeg’s story is unimpressive (light minutes, below average competition, fair zone starts, negative Corsi), he’s not completely out of line with American Hero Ben Smith, who I think also gets (not shown) better teammates.

          Bollig’s, though, is truly abysmal. Tiny amount of ice time against the worst competition, and horrible results. He is a d-zone specialist who has been getting his ass handed to him by bottom-6 guys to the extent that Q can barely send him out there.

          • ChicagoNativeSon

            I understand the chart quite well. You’re a self-proclaimed “not a stats guy.” You should consider avoiding those sordid and disreputable parts of the internet. Watch the game!

            Let me help you. The data is not zone start adjusted. And I don’t consider minutes played to be a reflection of the player’s actual play.

            Your brain sees Bollig out there near Pluto and makes a conclusion. Your brain is in essence punishing Bollig for getting by far the toughest zone starts.

            If Bollig is moved diagonally toward the center axis, theoretically his results should be about the same, and you would find him mingling with a larger mix of unsavory characters.

          • cliffkoroll

            So you acknowledge I have a brain, even if your guess as to how it works is wide of the mark. This is progress.

            I love stats, I’m just not ‘in love’ with them. Subtle.

            I don’t know what you mean by ‘zone start adjusted’. Sounds like you want to build it into one of the other numbers, so that zone starts and QoC be considered jointly or something.

            But we do have zone starts. It’s the x-fucking-axis.

            I used the term ‘dominate’ very specifically. On the graph, circles that are both above and to the left (above and to the left) dominate those that are below and to the right. When comparing two circles, one of which is above and to the right of another, the conclusion is ambiguous without positing the slope of the trade off between zone starts and QoC. So, you can’t make the same definitive statement about ‘domination’ in comparing those two players (like Kruger vs. Bollig).

            The ‘implied slope’ of the line between, say, Kruger, and Bollig, however, is much higher than the line between Bollig and Versteeg. So, we can be extremely confident (but not certain) that Kruger is on a higher ‘value’ line than Bollig (slightly better starts, much better QoC) and less confident that this is true of Versteeg vs. Bollig (much better zone starts, slightly higher QoC).

            As far as ice time, isn’t it obvious that more is better, ceterus paribus? I suppose it doesn’t apply if someone sucks, but you’re unlikely to see big red circles on these charts for the same reason you don’t see pitchers who lose 25 games a year.

            Perhaps you are arguing that “Yeah Bollig sucks, but his aggregate suckage is lower than Versteeg’s because he plays a lot less.”

          • Bullitt315

            Our entire d-fence sucks except rosi and leddy? Yeah, I’m moving the goalposts but that chart is really ugly if you change forwards to D.

          • ChicagoNativeSon

            I understand the concept of ice time = better player, most of the time. But if I already know a guy is the 12th forward, in the playoffs, relative TOI doesn’t mean much to me. It doesn’t tell me shit about how he played.

            A 4th liner is always going to get less ice time than a 1st line player and everyone in between. And the 12th forward is always going to get the least.

            And Morin didn’t even get enough ice time to make the list.

            And yes, Zone Start Adjusted Corsi is a stat. We often used it to prove Bolland’s greatness, no?

            http://drivingplay.blogspot.ca/2011/10/adjusting-for-zone-starts-zone-start.html

            It doesn’t considerably improve Bollig’s numbers, but his Corsi rating, if that’s what we’re judging him by, is already better than or not far behind his reg linemates Smith, Handzus, Nordy, and Versteeg. Kruger is the exception.

          • VerStig

            I think the problem here is that of volume vs. rate. If a player has certain stats with a small amount of ice time, are the numbers more impressive because he got them in a short amount of time, or are they not so much because the absolute amount of the contribution is small?

          • ChicagoNativeSon

            Well, personally, I find both Handzus’ volume and rate of suckage to be quite impressive.

          • birdhead

            Maybe he’s getting d-zone starts because he’s totally helpless in the offensive zone.

          • cliffkoroll

            Offense is hard.

          • ChicagoNativeSon

            Defense is harder.

            Exhibit A: Handzus

            Aww, fuck it.

    • ChicagoNativeSon

      The board is littered with me wanting Regin in over Bollig, but no, I’m still not going to write Bollig off as useless. He has the ability to contribute in an energy role. And I still believe that wearing down your opponent in a 7-game series can’t be underrated. Hawks could really use Shaw, no? Wait and See.

      I was, and am still, specifically opposed to the idea of Morin in Bollig’s spot if Q was going to continue using the 4th line as the secondary checking line. That train left the station long ago, primarily when Kruger moved to the 3rd because Handzus couldn’t contribute on the 2nd (or anywhere else).

      And pretty sure I was the original Peter Regin train conductor when most others were hanging on by their fingertips to the Morin caboose.

      • Bullitt315

        “And pretty sure I was the original Peter Regin train conductor when most others were hanging on by their fingertips to the Morin caboose.”

        I was right there with you. It was never a Morin/Bollig question. It was a Regin/Bollig swap or some morin to third line Versteeg to fourth. The Morin/Bollig swap never made sense and all the people who are patting themselves on the back about how smart they are for getting bollig out and regin in weren’t clamoring for that in the first place. “Why didn’t Q do this 12 games ago?” Why didn’t you ask for this exact swap 12 games ago?

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          Yes. Apparently *Everyone* was on the Regin Not Morin train. (honestly, not directed at anyone in particular or anyone who replied)

          We need to add more cars!

          • Bullitt315

            4/8 (I’ve been on the train for awhile apparently)
            Also other barn. This place is too hard to search comments.

            “Who(morin) also wouldn’t slot down to the “4th” line

            The Morin produces more than Bollig is stupid. Of course he does. They don’t play comparable roles.

            If someone can play Bolligs role better than Bollig, fine. Slot them down and slot Morin into their spot but who can play Bolligs role? Zus or Regin? But the proposal is to sit Zus and play 11-12-29. So that leaves? Versteeg. I’m not totally against that I guess but I’m not exactly reassured by it.

            20-19-81
            10-65-88
            11-12-29
            28-16-23″

          • ChicagoNativeSon

            I believe you! Honestly!

            But ugh. Even if he returns, I’m not a fan of Shaw at 2C. Not sure of the solution though? Oh right. TeuvoNow!

          • VerStig

            Thanks be to Hossa, I posted long enough ago that Google found my comment. http://thecommittedindian.com/now-done-can-go-home-hawks-0-yotes-2

            February 7th! Do I win a gumball?

          • Bullitt315

            You win 2 gumballs!

          • Iaaarmer

            nein, nein, nein. 2 gumballs requires far more than that

      • VerStig

        Too lazy to dig up the “The line for the Peter Regin fan club starts here” comment I made a while ago but let’s just say I was there as well.

      • cliffkoroll

        +1 for ‘littered’. the ‘mot juste’, no?

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          Yakkity yack.

      • rhodes

        My opinion of Bollig went from “tolerable” to “abysmal” when Stan signed him to his 3yr @ 1.25M per deal.

      • YoAdrienne

        I’ve been on the Regin train since the last month of the season, when he was given a chance to play regularly. I will say that I also liked him paired up with Morin. They worked well together. But, if I had to choose between the two, my choice would be Regin. I was glad to see him playing with #88 last night, too, BTW. I suspect we may see more of that in the next round.

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          (reply fail deleted and placed where I meant it to go. Yes, I know you are and were a Regin over Morin fan)

          • Bullitt315

            Ha, yup. Just to prove my cred. I posted this at the other barn on 4/22

            “Morin will get less ice time than Bollig

            If Bollig should sit for anyone, it’s probably Regin. And as long as St. Louis throws reeves out there every night, Bollig will play”

    • ChicagoNativeSon

      Bollig didn’t play last night. The Hawks got mauled and only survived due to incredible goaltending and some luck.

      And this, for you, adds up to “SEE HOW AWESOME THE HAWKS ARE WITHOUT BOLLIG!!”

      There are other commenters I would expect to make this type of correlation, but not basically anyone with a brain.

      • XMF

        You could have just called me stupid and avoided the other sentences.

      • cliffkoroll

        Jesus are you obtuse sometimes. The basis for my actual argument is that the guy is not good at hockey, as shown in Exhibit A.

        I chose to present the argument I did because, wait for it, the EXACT SAME argument could be applied to Seabrook. Nacho? Get it?

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          Hmm. It didn’t work out that well for you.

    • AirTrafficAJ

      Upboat toooooo INFINITY AND BEYOOOOOONNNNNDDDDDD

  • Bob Lanz

    Off to another western conference final. I would really enjoy a repeat performance of the 2010 white washing we gave another California hockey club. Go Hawks! Get healthy Shawzy, and for the love of Hossa please #nomorebolligever. That’s is all. Good morning… And if I don’t see ya good afternoon, good evening and good night !

  • wihawkfan

    spot on! this said everything i was thinking in the first few paragraph and all the way thru.

  • PE-TER RE-GIN

    Let’s not talk about covering Haula again until October. Making me queasy.

    • Iaaarmer

      There isn’t much of an answer for his speed.
      MacKinnon will make you even queasier.

      • birdhead

        I miss 2013, when it felt like nobody (except the Avs in Denver) could hang with the Hawks’ speed.

  • Country_Bumpkin

    I’m still in awe of Crawford’s excellence last night. I must have been screaming “hnnnnnggggggghhhhhh” all night, but it was worth it.

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

      One of the best playoff goalie performaces I’ve seen in ages!

      • Preacher

        Sure, but he’s no John Gibson.

      • Waylon

        I think it was similar in the game 7 loss vs. VAN. He played lights – out in that game, yet received scant attention for it.

  • Country_Bumpkin

    One more thing. I think the Toews v. Crosby thing should be over by now. Toews is the better player and Captain, especially when shit gets real.

    • Black JEM

      The national talking heads are starting to agree with you.

      • XMF

        Have you seen some articles? Can you link them?

        • Preacher

          No articles I know of, but Toews continues to get love from the boys on the NHL Network. Weeks especially likes him.

        • Black JEM

          Nope – just the guys on TV last night. Since Sid went out and Toews is moving on the comparisons came up pretty easily.

          • XMF

            Well, it’s obvious.

          • CoolerbytheLake

            Living in Canada, I believe that another Cup would seal Toews’ standing as Canada’s National Hockey Treasure. Particularly in Vancouver, it’s been remarkable to watch him go from hated rival to near-icon in a few short years. Kane is still generally despised, but hey, America. Limo. Roxy. Taxi Driver.

        • wihawkfan

          i don’t know about articles but marek vs wsh podcasts speak of toews as the best player/captain in hockey. they also offer the idea that the best scorer on the team is not always the best captain (imagine kane as the hawks captain for example).

          for arguments sake they suggest that the capitals would be a better team if ovi wasn’t wearing a letter at all but was allowed to just fill the role of scorer.

          i’ve wondered if you could make the same case for sid.

          as for leadership (and i am firmly in the toews is the best captain in hockey camp) i think it was telling that when crosby was named team canada’s captain he asked toews if he was alright with it. i believe he asked because the players know who the best captain is…and it’s toews.

          • Bullitt315

            When toews went off his rocker last year he had Seabrook, Keith, Sharp, Hossa and Bollig “:)” to bring him back off the ledge. Hawks have 4 guys who could wear A’s.

          • Waylon

            this. You don’t often hear about the other leaders in the locker room of the Hawks, they prefer to keep it quiet. But there are a plethora of leaders on this team, and thank goodness for that.

    • DJ

      Toews sure as hell needs to wear the C in Korea four years from now.

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

      I don’t know why the comparison even comes up, truth be told. IMO, to speak of either one as “better” misses the point that you’re talking about two of the best centres in the game. On any given night one is better than the other, that’s about as much as you can say.

      • CozBullsFan

        Being the best Center and being the best Captain is two different things.

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

          I feel the same way about it whether we’re talking Captain or Centre.

          • CozBullsFan

            I don’t. I’ll give you the centre thing. The best C is not even an argument anymore. The only reason Crosby continues to get it is that he is the best player on Team Canada. Being the best player doesn’t mean you should get the C. In fact, the last two Olymipics Toews has been the best forward on the ice both times. He has done everything it took to win both sides of the ice. He should have had the C last year. At what point does Team Canada finally make the jump. Hopefully soon.

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

            We’re fine to disagree. The C gets decided by players and coaches, not fans. To imagine that I have a window into evaluating how Toews leads his teammates better than Crosby … I find that almost ridiculous. I can’t imagine where that window comes from, and I don’t even know where the notion “better” comes from in this case.

            You mention that being the best player on Team Canada doesn’t mean you should get the C but then say that Toews was the best player and so he should have had the C. Both are equally worthy. One can have it.

          • Preacher

            One player on team Canada (our dear friend, Roberto Luongo) said that Toews was one of the most vocal guys in team Canada’s locker room during the Olympics, spurring guys on and being a “leader.” So, that’s one perspective from INSIDE the locker room.

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

            I’ll be clear: I don’t think Toews is a lesser leader or captain by comparison. If people need to feel that Toews is the better captain and leader, then go for it. Me, I don’t think an objective comparison is possible. It’s like dwelling on the definition of an inch during a discussion on infinity.

          • Preacher

            I’m not making any argument or statement here. I just threw in the Lu comment since you mentioned the C and teammates. I’m sure each team would say very nice things about their captain. What’s interesting is when you hear OTHER team’s say it.

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

            The one I always go back to (over and over and over) is in the 2010 games when Babcock was playing with his lines, trying to find some pairs and trios with chemistry, and when he was asked which of his lines was playing best, he just replied “Whichever one Toews is on.”

          • ballyb11

            Who the fuck cares who people feel is the better caption. Just glad Toews is on our team.

            Right. It’s like people who care about “upboating” numbers?

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

            agreed in both instances, completely

          • ballyb11

            No upboats?

        • wihawkfan

          this. its about who is the best fit for which role. chara is the right captain for the bruins and he isn’t a center (or centre if you prefer)

      • ballyb11

        This blog is no place for rationality.

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

          Well, that’s true. I’ll add, I participate in that as much as anyone.

          • ballyb11

            No.

        • Preacher

          At first, I read that as Nationality, and I thought we we’re heading for a whole different discussion. I had the Palomino all ready to go.

      • Preacher

        The comparison comes up because Crosby is supposed to be the face of the NHL, and he does score lots of goals. The problem it’s that Toews wins more. :) Maybe the NHL should rethink their marketing strategy.

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

          It feels sort of like the Toews/Kane thing that gets people’s dander up, that Toews is the true leader, the real cog, that Kane is second to him.

          I don’t care much about the marketing stuff. If Crosby’s face sells tickets, fine. Toews is never going to win scoring titles, where Crosby wins them in bunches. Why shouldn’t they market that? Does anyone truly think Toews could sell more tickets than Crosby? It’s not a knock on the guy, I obviously love him, but he’s not going to win scoring titles.

          • Country_Bumpkin

            Crosby can win all the goddamn scoring titles he wants just as long as Toews keeps bringing the cup home to Chicago.

      • cliffkoroll

        Of course you know why. It’s what people do. Williams/DiMaggio, Bird/Magic, Palmer/Nicklaus, Lennon/McCartney.

        The key metric in my mind is playoff beard, at which they both suck, topping out somewhere around ‘campus predator’.

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

          Truth (in both paragraphs). We look for the winner.

          • 1benmenno

            Cliff’s post was better than yours this time. But you’ve been better than him in the past.

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

            Heh. That was funny.

          • Iaaarmer

            How’s your beard ?

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

            Matches the drapes.

      • Country_Bumpkin

        I’m bringing up the comparison, because my ass gets tired over all the Crosby dick-sucking going on while he’s being a petulant, whiny bitch and doesn’t play a complete game and fucking lost AGAIN when they needed to win.
        I haven’t seen Crosby take over a game like Captain Serious does and has and yet gets no accolades aside from us on TCI.

        • Bullitt315

          He won a Selke. I get it, Crosby is annoying but Crosby also doesn’t have the team Toews has. Toews has shit the bed and had the team bailed him out, I don’t think the Pens have the talent to win when Crosby is off.

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

          I don’t wanna fight on this really, but Crosby does play a complete game–he’s a great 2-way player (but not as good as Toews in that dept). And I don’t know about the US, but Toews gets tons of praise and attention in Canada.

          • Country_Bumpkin

            I don’t want to fight either, but in the U.S. it Crosby is the best 24/7. Only because Crosby is out early (again) Toews will now be the flavor of the month until the talking heads see the next shiny object.

    • Bobby Otter

      Counter point: Crosby puts up a lot more points without Hossa and Sharp (and in the past, Kane) staking next to him.

      They’re different players, and I think it’s a conversation worth having, but the Pens aren’t nearly as talented as the Hawks.

      • cliffkoroll

        Hossa and Sharp: vampire slayers?

      • YoAdrienne

        Crosby’s line mates are Malkin and Kunitz, and they have as much to do with his point numbers as Hossa and Sharp do Toews’ points. One also has to wonder how many points Crosby and his line mates would put up if they were playing in the Western Conference, where there are far fewer weak teams to pad their point totals.

        • Bobby Otter

          Crosby usually doesn’t skate with Malkin and you’re either overrating Kunitz or underrating Hossa and Sharp. This was the first year Kunitz hit 30 goals… that’s expected from Sharp and Hossa each year. Also Crosby has spent a decent chunk of time with Lee Stempniak, Brian Gibbons and Neal this year. Toews usually skates with much better player than Crosby.

          This isn’t a strike against Toews, but it has to be pointed out.

          • YoAdrienne

            According to this, Malkin HAS been playing with Crosby, at least during this year’s play offs:
            http://www2.dailyfaceoff.com/teams/lines/36/pittsburgh-penguins

            I’m not overrating Kunitz, nor am I underrating Hossa and Sharp. They all made their country’s Olympics team this year. That tells me that Kunitz, while not as good as Sharp and Hossa, is still in the same league.

          • birdhead

            Yes, Crosby and Malkin have been playing together in the playoffs, but Crosby’s consistently mindblowing regular season numbers come with little time with Malkin at 5v5. His most common linemates this year were Kunitz, Dupuis, and Stempniak. http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/showplayer.php?pid=459&withagainst=true&season=2013-14&sit=5v5 You have to go pretty far down the list to get to Neal and Malkin (96 minutes, which is about as many minutes as Toews played with Bickell this season).

            Kunitz only made the Olympic team because of his vaunted chemistry with Crosby.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Different players and style. If you want pure offense, go with Sid. If you want a 200 foot player that can forecheck, play killer D, block shots, and rally your team to win by sheer force of will, take #19.

      • birdhead

        Sid is so underrated defensively.

  • ballyb11

    Hawks knew how to win (experience). That’s the sole area that they beat the Wild in the series. How’s that usually work out, stats guys? Pretty sure it can’t continue through the next two rounds.

    • ChicagoNativeSon

      Hawks only “knew” how to win because they won.
      Think about it. The Wild knew how to outplay the Hawks but forgot, or just didn’t know, how to score a goal?

      “Can it continue?” You ask me. (I didn’t ask you)
      Nothing is over. Nothing! You just don’t turn it off.
      The Hawks did what they had to do to win.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VZ1IflkWCY

      • Preacher

        I keep thinking about Granlund hitting the post, the puck bouncing over the Wild player’s stick in the blue paint with a wide open net in front of him, Steeger’s shot bouncing off two Wild players and into the net, the weird bounce off the glass—yep, the Hawks know how to win! (On the other hand, the Hawks didn’t miss their chances/made their chances.)
        Oh, and Crawford.

        • Waylon

          I think the Hawks hit the post at least once last night – so there’s that.

      • ballyb11

        I respect your opinion, CNS. I agree it CAN possibly continue. But they’ve been outplayed statistically (I know, I know, they play the games on the ice) in two series, one horribly outplayed in one, IMO. They’ve played well enough to win, I agree. They know how to win. The “it’s time to turn it on” is a fantasy.1 in X chance, X > 5, maybe double. We’ll just have to see.

        • XMF

          Dude, I just love the Rambo clip.

          • cliffkoroll

            My favorite bit is the part about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor.

          • XMF

            I like the part where Major Winters fights the Japanese on Iwo jima.

        • cliffkoroll

          Dude, you really got to reel it in a bit. “horribly outplayed”?

          I have no choice but to go full-on hipster. You ready?

          wow. just wow.

          • ballyb11

            _________ outplayed, you fill in the blank.

          • cliffkoroll

            I’ll do better than that old man. Pull up a rocker.

            There is only one question: how good are the Blues and Wild? It’s possible that both of these teams are RIGHT THERE with the best in the league and are unfortunate that they drew the Hawks. On this view, this fully explains why the Hawks have been unable to exert their customary dominance so far in the playoffs.

            The Hawks were outplayed last night, like they have been in maybe half the games in the playoffs, but neither series was one-sided. Extremely tight and close. Playoff hockey. Go watch the 2010 Nashville or Philadelphia series, or Boston. Fuck the stats and FIND A WAY.

            Arguably, the past series is the first time the Hawks have been outplayed in a series since 2009 against Detroit. I agree that this is surprising, and a bit unsettling. But they won. Hawk fans understand exactly what Minnesota is going through- it happened to the Hawks against Phoenix in 2012. It sucks. I didn’t expect it to happen to the Hawks. Thanks karma.

            Now perhaps the Blues and Wild aren’t in the same league as the next two opponents. We’ll find out. And we’ll find out if there is anything to the “Hawks have been asking for it since the calendar flipped to 2014” theory.

            Stay tuned.

          • Iaaarmer

            Antipodean or Tundran ?

          • cliffkoroll

            I don’t know thaaaaaaaaaaa…..

          • ballyb11

            Ekornes.

            I’m tuned.

          • Country_Bumpkin

            How about
            i.can’t.even

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          Yup, I spent much of this past series scratching my head. I’ve never seen this version of the Hawks get outplayed for most of a series.
          But I don’t believe the reg season and those results were a mirage. Time will tell. Just happy they got this far.

          • ballyb11

            “But I don’t believe the reg season and those results were a mirage.”

            I hope you are wrong. From 12/31 til season’s end, the Hawks got 44 out of a possible 80 points.

    • Bobby Otter

      I don’t think experience had too much to do with it. I think the Hawks having more talented individuals (Kane) and a better goalie had everything to do with it. Not many players in the league, two? three?, score the goals Kane scored in Games 1 and 6. Throw in Crawford’s outstanding goaltending, and the Hawks win two games they probably shouldn’t have and that was the difference in the series.

      • ballyb11

        So they shoulda lost the series.

        • Bobby Otter

          Not saying that. The Hawks were somewhat lucky, and for sure outplayed in a few games. But the Hawks also have talent that no one else in the NHL really has. Most teams that Hawks face, they have four, or even five/six in the regular season, of the best best players on the ice.

          No offense to everyone on the Wild, but if you ranked the best players in the series, the list would be in some order: Kane, Toews, Suter, Keith, Hossa. How many teams knock Kane/Toews/Keith/Hossa off the list when they take the ice? Two? Three? It’s not a long list.

          • cliffkoroll

            Suter ahead of Keith? Guh. Fuck if TCI isn’t the anti-homer site of all time.

    • Waylon

      how about you look at this stat – Crow stole a game for the Hawks. A goalie win, pure and simple. Stats don’t mean much when you have a netminder playing out of his mind. While it would be unreasonable for us to expect anything like this on a regular basis for the rest of the playoffs, Crow has a tendency to come up big in games like these, which you really cannot measure with any degree of relevancy.

      • ballyb11

        I got castigated here two days ago for referencing intangibles..

        • Waylon

          but that’s not what I’m talking about here – a goalie standing on his head is not an intangible. The Hawks put something like 30+ shots on Smith on average in the PHX series, yet lost because of substandard goalie play, while Smith went all Hasek on them. They outperformed in every category, save one – and sometimes that one stat is the preeminent one.

    • ballyb11

      I got castigated here two days ago for referencing intangibles.

      • ballyb11

        Oops.

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

          Now that made me chuckle.

          • ballyb11

            Doesn’t take much.

  • Preacher

    What DID happen on the Haula goal? It looked like both the Swedes thought the other Dman had him. And then nobody did. Hammer clearly pulls up and Oduya just simply got beat. What was SUPPOSED to happen there?

    • CozBullsFan

      I think Oduya miss judged Haula’s speed and it was already too late. That’s something the Hawk’s D men are going to have to rectify with us facing regularly now.

    • rhodes

      My opinion is that Oduya should have been skating back hard to cover Haula while Hammer was busy along the boards. He didn’t. The puck bounced past Hammer and Haula was in.

      The only thing I can think is that Oduya thought Hammer had picked the puck cleanly off the boards and he was starting to position himself for a cross ice pass to turn the play back around. Cause he was definitely caught leaning.

      • Preacher

        Like I said, I’m not sure what was going on there. I was just surprised to see Hammer pretty much stand straight up, giving up on the pursuit (at least that’s what it looked like).

        • zacked

          When I saw that goal my second though (after ‘FUCK’) was that this board was going to put this goal entirely on Oduya, because that’s how we do.

          To my eye it was miscommunication, and they both stopped skating for long enough for a quick guy like Haula to be gone.

          • Preacher

            I just watched it again, and it looks pretty clear that Oduya started going wide to be available for the pass if Hammer needed to pass it to him. Unfortunately, Hammer didn’t actually have the puck. Oops.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      OD didn’t choose the wisest option, but the whole team got caught napping by Haula’s speed.

    • Paul the Fossil

      Huala looks like Stalbergian wheels combined with Sharpian instincts and awareness. And he’s what, 22? Oof. Kid could be a regular headache in our division for years to come.

      • VerStig

        Couple scary guys I’m glad we don’t have to face again until next year — Haula and Tarasenko

  • MySpoonIsTooBig

    The funny thing about Wild fans / beats / players etc. talking about Kane’s goal being the result of a lucky bounce is that Haula’s goal was just as much the result of a lucky bounce. If the puck doesn’t bounce over Hjammer’s stick, which isn’t something that happens very often, Haula doesn’t get a breakaway. And in both cases the “lucky bounce” merely created the opportunity, it still took a tremendous amount of skill and effort to capitalize

    • Waylon

      true, but the reality the hawks must face is that if Hula Hoop

      gets even a fraction of a skate ahead of you, he’s gone…pffft. They better plan for that possibility happening quite often in the future, unless they want to get blown out of that building every time they play in MN.

    • hawkfacts

      What nobody talks about is how Suter muffs that final play. His lazy ass lets Regin get by him, he face washes him instead of having his stick on the ice to poke the puck away and boom – goal. I watched Suter closely this series. His incredible number of turnovers, big time negative fancy stats in the last two games and the way he brings their powerplay to a halt makes one think he’s a tad overrated.

      Plus about 50 crosschecks that didn’t get called

      • YoAdrienne

        It looked to me like Regin was able to get his stick on the puck and poke it back toward Kane, despite Suter’s face-washing. So, yeah, he muffed it even worse than it first appeared.

        Funny you should mention all those cross-checks that didn’t get called. Lots of slashes, too. I think the shoddy refereeing contributed to the Hawks being “outplayed” last night. It’s hard to maintain possession when you are getting slammed, or your hands are being slashed.

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      Agreed. I think it could fairly easily be argued that “luck” is a part of nearly every play, just as skill is also necessary to take advantage of that luck. But of course, there’s a difference between a puck bouncing luckily off the endboards to a player all alone in front of the net and the tiny pieces of luck (i.e.–divots in the ice in certain spot that causes the puck to go on edge, etc) and so the degree of luck can always be argued, but it’s sour grapes to chalk the Kane goal up only to luck as you say.

      • VerStig

        There’s a probability for everything, just as they say there’s a non-zero probability that your flipped coin will end up on its edge.

        I think it’s also magnified in hockey and we should stop being surprised by it. They play with a puck, not a ball.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    These games were a lot more fun to watch when “This could give me a heart attack” was a joke.

    I missed being on the board for Game 5 because I was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack on Saturday afternoon. They put a stetnt in, and I watched games 5 and 6 without a relapse, so everything must be okay.

    A stress test, Doctor? Do you even WATCH hockey?

    • Waylon

      are you kidding me? Are you OK?

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        Not kidding, and apparently OK. Sent home on Monday.

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

          Holy Dongballs. Keep well.

          • Why?

            You keep Dongballs of Hossa’s line.

        • Waylon

          same here – that sounds like nothing to fark around with.

        • Country_Bumpkin

          Dude, that hurt me in the feels. Hope all is well with you now.

        • Jimnhlnut

          Stay well.

    • Paul the Fossil

      Whoa, good thoughts on all that. And yea that doctor should have been required to sit and watch this game with you!

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      Damn. Hope you are ok. Take care of yourself, Bard. We need you around here.

    • Iaaarmer

      Damn STB, hope all is well

    • QCBlackhawk

      Shit dude, hope everything is stable and you’re doing well.

    • birdhead

      oh my gosh. I’m really glad you made it through and I hope you recover quickly!

    • roadhog

      Sparks . . . seriously happy to hear you are well. Take it easy.

  • Bobby Otter

    Four general thoughts:
    1) If the Wild can find a goalie, this team may contend next year. I’m not even talking Ryan Miller or some supposed super-star. I’m talking Halak/Niemi like. I have no clue if Kuemper is that guy.

    2) I did not expect that from the Wild. I’m totally buying the theory that their possession numbers weren’t that great in the regular season in part because of all their injuries. Assuming they bring in Vanek, if they can bring in another decent blue liner (and find a goalie) they might not be far off from the Hawks/West elite. Could probably use a true #1 center, but it’s also possible/probable that Granlund steps into that role next year.

    3) I hope the Blues, Leafs and Pens panic trade with each other, and they all end up with the kind of player they don’t need. So another defenseman for the Blues (Scuderi), another center for the Pens (Bolland) and an old guy that can fight for the Leafs (or TJ Oshie).

    4) Apologies to the Flyers for leaving them out of this panic trade.

  • QCBlackhawk
    • cliffkoroll

      For the record, Wi-ild fans took the stupidity to a new level last night, starting the chanting while trailing 1-0. Pretty fucking asinine for the so-called State of Hockey.

      • jv_wildfan

        Agreed. The atmosphere is great, but the goalie thing needs to go away. I don’t recall hearing that here in MN until the last series when the Avs fans did it relentlessly in Denver. That makes us both annoying and unoriginal. Thanks for the good reads this series. Best of luck.

    • Country_Bumpkin

      Anyone post this to the Wild’s message board?

  • M7

    Love the Tecmo Super Bowl reference.

    A greater evil than your buddy looking at your controller was the Miami Dolphin-esque Rubberband AI that made it virtually impossible to go unbeaten over the course of a season. Usually your opponent in week 16 (game 15) would be unstoppable (e.g. RB having something preposterous like 6 rushes for 380 yards). They’d force about a dozen fumbles and forget throwing the ball against them at all. Basically you had to manage to sack the QB or hit the RB behind the line of scrimmage to have any chance of winning.

    The only time I beat them was using a cheat maneuver with NT Cortez Kennedy of the Seahawks (quickly down after the snap followed by diagonally up while dive tackling at the same time – coincidentally, I think I had something in the neighbourhood of 400 sacks over the season using that move just so I could get through week 16 rubberband AI). Anyway, I won the game 6-4 on the back kof 3 safeties for vs 2 safeties against. Yeah, you couldn’t even attempt a FG or it would be a TD going back in your direction. You also couldn’t attempt offense or you would turn the ball over so I would just snap the ball and try to get out of bounds before losing it.

    /memories of youth

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

      I don’t know why you’d choose to post in Hungarian.

      • M7

        Yea that post got away from me a bit but that was a glorious game. Hours burned when it was too cold to play on the outdoor rink.

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

          Oh, I get it. For me it was Intellivision games, though. I was a complete video game “unsophisticate” till Myst came along.

          • Bullitt315

            Hmm, I should download myst again. Has to be an emulator or a free copy somewhere. At one point, I had the cd, but that’s long gone.

          • VerStig

            There’s a couple different emulators that’ll run it on my Android device. Funny to think a game like that really makes sense for a touchscreen.

            For the really, really, really nerdy among you — amazing how the thing was essentially written in HyperCard.

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

            Steam has it online … there’s a price, but it’s dirt cheap. I think all the Myst games are there–Riven, etc., etc.

          • M7

            Never had intellivision but my neighbour had Colecovision. I remember when the neighbour kids got Rocky III with the Super-Action controller. Increasingly difficult versions of Clubber Lang to combat with. Electric!

            EDIT: I think Colecovision came out a couple years after IntelliVision (I suppose google could provide exact dates but I’m lazy).

  • Troll416

    “When you play the game of thrones you either win, or you die.” – Cersei Lannister

    The truth is you can build a castle with high sturdy walls. You can place archers on the battlements to defend your home. But you can not conquer without knights riding out on horseback leading a charge against your enemies.

    The Madhouse on Madison is our fortress. With men like Corey Crawford as our gate keeper, and Keith, Hammer, O-duh-ya (on my shit list right now), Leddy as those that will reign down on those who attack our home.

    The was some critisism last night as I called Patrick Kane our super hero. There are those that believe Crawford, our very own Crow, was the real hero of the game as he played out his ass to stop the onslaught of Wild-lings trying to break down The Wall of our defense and take our prized grail from us. I am happy as hell that Crawford has taken the Black(hawks) to the next level with his play. I have been a Corey fan since he began his reign as our greatest defender. I am not one of those Crow-haters that wants to see him go.

    But wars are won on the fields as Robert Baratheon, The Kingslayer, and Ned all said. So we need our champions, our willing and able knights to go forth and take from our enemies all that they posses that can destroy us. We need our Hound, Hossa, to be the guy that lays quietly behind the scenes and then comes out of nowhere to take you down with a single merciless blow. We need our Mountain, Sharp, to challenge and get in all the other defender’s faces, ruthless and unforgiving. We need our King of the North, Toews, to lead the willing warriors to victories. We need the hedge knights like the Versteegs, and Ben Smiths to be paying the Iron Price and be there pushing deep in the realm of the enemy.

    We need our Weasle, Kane, always sneaking into places and finding ways to win against impossible odds and much bigger foes. Kane who always seems to see an angle that no one else even dare to try. Kane, who uses a puck and stick with such grace that he could surely have been a First Sword of Bravosi doing his water dance, weaving between his opponents.

    Valor Morghulis – In the end, all men must die. I love that our Crow was all but unbeatable last night, like a great wall of ice, charmed by magic, stopping the Wild-lings.
    But without our Weasle, we don’t WIN that game. And in the Game of Thrones, you either win, or you die.

    Good bye Wild. You were valored and able opponents. We will look for you in our distant future as after all, Winter is coming.

  • Matt

    So are Crawford and Bickell still overpaid? Or not anymore, after these playoffs?

    And why the hell can Sharp never score on a breakaway?

    • QCBlackhawk

      Sharp looks injured or exhausted, and if it’s the latter, I volunteer to sleep in his bed with his wife while he stays someplace where he can get a full 8 hours.