Something Flips The Switch And I Collpase Inside

Just cleaning up some stuff from last night, whatever that was. Or maybe trying to sort out why I’m not dead yet. I should be. Maybe that’s waiting for the conclusion of this madness.

I’ve said all along this series that I will no longer doubt this team. That every time I felt the axe about to fall I would no longer accept that it was coming down upon them. Of course, I can’t actually follow my words, because after the Looney Tunes marathon of last night I once again felt the cold chill and was ready to embrace it. No way could they find the reserve to conjure up one more goal in OT with a ravenous Bruins team looking sure to score on the first clean look they got. And yet the Hawks just seem to have this We’re-Not-Fucking-Losing gear that they can bring out when they absolutely have to have it. While I hate comparisons to the 2010 team, and will even if they end up accomplishing the same thing, I will say this version’s balls are bigger because they don’t have as much talent to simply break teams over time. But no one’s told them that, and no one should.

I’ll learn too late. And that will probably be just fine with everyone if it keeps going the way it has when I lose the faith.

-Last night felt like a hockey version of In The Line Of Fire. This was Mitch Leary keeping Frank Horrigan in the game merely to entertain himself and eventually undue his plans when he could have sent the president home in a box whenever he really wanted. Because the Hawks should have run this one out easily. A poor Keith pinch leading to a penalty, an iffy Kane penalty, Sharp and Oduya leaving Lucic to graze in the slot without a second look, Bolland going on walkabout to clear his thoughts away from Boychuk, and of course a terrible bounce off the end-boards when Crow had to be more concerned with not letting the puck hit him in the back of the head to go in the net, all kept giving the B’s a tow-rope.

While I have no doubts now that the Hawks can keep the speed in their game that has given the B’s so much trouble at times, I’d have to cast doubt that they’ll keep making so many mistakes. If I’m right, this series looks pretty hopeful to me. Even though it’s not going to be easy getting there.

-While everyone up to and including Deadspin wants to proclaim that Corey Crawford has been cracked because the B’s have taken dead-aim on his glove hand, this was hardly a secret for years. I know on this blog for sure that whenever the Hawks have played a team with a few talented scorers — such as Vancouver, Detroit and normally the Kings amongst others — we’ve warned that they will be going there as often as they can. Even when Crow has been great he’s stabbed at pucks with the glove. It comes and goes.

As Feather pointed out last night, more worrisome are the tendencies we saw last year where Crow, after losing his poise, comes out to far and loses the map to his net. However, the few times we saw this in this season and started to panic about a backslide into his way of last season, he’s usually reset it pretty quickly. At this point I have no reason now to think that won’t be the case Saturday.

-Crow’s broken according to everyone, but Rask’s borderline-suck rebound control that really has been on display for most of this series is a minor blip? Just want to make sure I have that right.

-I highly doubt Leddy will be a healthy scratch Saturday, and in fact I think he’ll probably get the 10-12 minutes we’re used to seeing him get at home where Q can shield him with matchups and zone starts. I didn’t like his benching, but I didn’t hate it either as at least I understood it. And he’s still the best PP QB they have, so if they get more than two power plays that run the full length, he’ll be out there running the second unit.

And you may see him more because I have this feeling that the B’s are going to break out a trap, at least to start Game 5. No way they’re going to let the neutral zone tire marks on their bodies pile up more.

-Once again, we want to thank all of you who made us Chicago Reader’s Choice for best spots blog in town for the third year running. It’s amazing to us that we were handed that even after jumping ship from SB to here, and not having all the boosts that come with an SB site. We’re very humbled. Thanks so much.

  • MySpoonIsTooBig

    People (no one here, but plenty of others especially those in MSM) have been praising Rask’s rebound control this entire series. What fucking games have they been watching? Rask has kicked out a TON of juicy rebounds every single game in this Stanley Cup Final, the difference between games 1-3 and game 4 was that in the first 3 games the Bruins D did a great job of clearing the garbage out of the crease and last night the ‘Hawks finally started finding some of those loose pucks. Those rebounds have been there for the taking every single game, more crease crashing like last night please!

    • dougwilson

      Pierre praised him in the post-game interview after Game 3. Reality is usually 100% opposite of what the penis says, so there you go.

  • dougwilson

    I think last night will end up being a turning point in the series. The lines are (presumably) not going to be messed with, our scorers are finally scoring, and minus Crow’s off night, the Hawks easily outplayed the B’s for 2/3 of the game. I’m much, much more confident after what I saw last night.

    • TheRealBBOX

      I was thinking the same thing. I admittedly didn’t get to really watch the game and just took what I could as I was stuck at work, but I really liked what I did see on the offensive side. Now that Q has stopped out-coaching himself and embraced the insanity of DDN and the other line combinations that just seem to make sense, it’s going to be Boston’s turn to adjust, but I have to wonder what they can do. I still think it’s going the distance but if the Blackhawks put on this kind of performance for the rest of the series, I like the way things are looking.

      • Fleshrifle

        I call Avatar Foul. Put that number to 2 before the hockey goods see it.

        • TheRealBBOX

          Done, just watch where you point that thing.

      • Jim

        Boston D had been collapsing around Rask and making it like a brick wall. But last night they were playing pinball around the front of the net and creating some chaos making the Boston less stationary. Chara was on the ice for 5 Hawk goals.

    • DaveM36

      After the way Games 2 and 3 went, I was waiting for a sign that the Hawks team we’ve known and loved this season would re-emerge. I’m with you 100 percent in believing that Game 4 was it. Credit whoever you want for this development.

      I think we’re really going to enjoy Game 5. Not that it won’t have it’s heart-wrenching moments, but I think the Hawks are going to overwhelm Boston at the UC.

  • 334Rules

    The Crow/Rask situation is fascinating. The super Tuker gives up six – SIX – at home, and it’s Crawford who gets called out. I simply do not get that.

    • yinkadoubledare

      The preexisting narrative. The narrative coming into the playoffs from the media was whether or not the Hawks had the goaltending, so as soon as Crow has a bad game they’re jumping all over it. Meanwhile, Rask and the Bs gave up 2 goals in 4 games to the Pens, so they just chalk that up as an outlier for him. Never mind that their save percentages were pretty close in the regular season and pretty close coming into this series.

      • Tornsys

        In addition to what you’ve said, I’m going to be *that guy* and say the East Coast bias is also at play. If not the Penguins than the team that beat the Penguins too.

    • HawkNeurotic

      Well, Rask faced almost twice as many shots, and the ones that went in were mostly non-trivial. Zeus off the post, Tazer redirect from 5′, Kane third or fourth chancer that Rask made a play for, Sharp rebound on effectively a 5 on 3.

      If you look at the number and quality of what Crow let in, there’s not much comparison. Not saying Crow sucks, but he didn’t stop many last night.

      • DesertHawk

        47 vs 33 is not almost twice as many… it’s not even 50% more.

        • Why

          No sense overreacting to the stats in one game either way. If we’re predicting, I’m not worried yet. If we’re describing, one guy was good enough to win last night and the other guy wasn’t.

          • DesertHawk

            True facts. Crow had a rough game I won’t deny that, and I don’t think there is anyone holding him more accountable than himself. But Rask wasn’t some shellacked victim in net either.

          • Jim

            It helped that they were making The Giant skate around some. If you get him chasing, you can work around him.

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          5 of Boston’s SOG were from outside the blue line. I believe 1 or 2 were even from inside Boston’s zone. Normally they don’t seem to count those.

    • Tornsys

      If I recall correctly, the announcers on NBC started talking about Crawford’s weak glove hand after either just the first or second goals last night.

  • raditzzzz

    ahh i remember this well with niemi. just go glove side and there is no way you can lose.

    ITS SOOO EASY!!!!!!!!

  • jhb

    I’d like to note on that freaky puck over the net goal: Crow tracked it and tried to swat it away with his stick, almost did, lost the stick and Bergeron had tracked it perfectly as well. I’m probably the only person who thinks Boychuk’s goal was the only “soft” one out of 5. But, it’s been discussed and I don’t think anyone is worried about Crow bouncing back.

    • Accipiter

      Not that it matters much, but I thought the 1st goal against Crow was his softest, though there were others.

  • whenhabsscoreDougMohns

    Game Four was a valiant Team effort. This team has huge heart.
    A reward for the Groundhog days of all those Predator games.
    Rozsival had a good defensive game, minimizing blunders,
    & many very successful blue line offensive efforts. Very well done.
    Seabrook was picked as the game’s star, & for anyone thinking that there was a defensive
    player better than Keith or Seabrook last night, I’m not smoking that but I like the
    contact high. There did seem to be a few whiffs of the Thai stick out there but that
    is likely not habit forming.
    The two hooking calls were not dumb penalties since they were not penalties at all,
    say compared to 54′s (I think) slash (I know) on Shaw. But better not to risk it outside
    of the crease.
    Only 1 team needs to look under the hood.

  • Why

    There should be nothing humbling about it. When I wanted to get more serious Blackhawks coverage, I figured out where you guys were and came here. I suspect a lot of other people did the same. I disagree with a lot of what’s written here but that doesn’t change the people that write here are good at the gig. The fact that you’re getting recognition seems like something that should happen.

  • 07GreyDigger

    My favorite part of Rask is watching him throw hissy fits whenever they score. I can’t quite wrap my head around how the Bruins back him up so well when he comes across as a “its your fault, not mine” kind of head case.

    • puppetmasterp

      Oh good, I thought I was the only one who relished his almost-tantrums. I really am waiting for him to just go off the rails at some point….he is SO quick to blame his teammates!

      • Fleshrifle

        TSN showed Rask throwing the puck at the Hawks celebration after Sharp’s goal. It’s great to get under the skin of a Finn. You never know what’s gonna happen.

      • lizmcneill

        Crow is such a sweetie in comparison. If one of our dmen has a bad game at least he doesn’t have to worry that Crow is having a hissyfit about him to the media.

  • chichicagochi

    I’ve been a harsh ToS critic in comments for a while, only because you guys really do have the best sports blog in Chicago and take an “even at times trollish” criticism well. The bar is set high.

    I’ve also been a harsh Cocraw critic in comments for a while, but the biggest constant in his game is his short memory which perhaps might be the the most important quality in an NHL goaltender.

    Id est: I’m on Team CI, I’m on Team CC. Let’s Go Hawks.

    • DesertHawk

      It’s easy to be a critic of a player when you ignore the stat sheets.

      • chichicagochi

        lol like when people ignore Corey’s AHL stats?

        • DesertHawk

          He’s not in the AHL anymore is he? Additionally goalies, from what I’ve seen, are worse across the board in the AHL, because they don’t have NHL caliber defensemen in front of them.

          • QCBlackhawk

            Also having the experience in the NHL, in addition to people who are assumed to be higher quality goalie coaches.

          • DesertHawk

            And would you believe that Tuuka’s AHL numbers are on par or .0x better than Crow’s for his time in the AHL… shocking!
            Having now looked up Niemi, Miller, and Quick the only ones who really had any standout AHL seasons were Quick and Miller. Both with a .922. Miller promptly dropped to a .878(IIRC) his next year in the AHL. AHL numbers are worse across the board from what I’ve seen for NHL goalies.

          • QCBlackhawk

            I mean, I don’t know how anyone can think higher quality coaches with different areas of focus won’t have a huge effect. Look at what a skating coach did for Bicks in his time in euroland…

          • DesertHawk

            NO!! Bicks was not great at skating, one time, in the past… HE CAN NEVER IMPROVE!!!!

          • Waylon

            But Bicks sucked in the minors, so you’re wrong. And, Mike Keenan.

          • Fleshrifle

            MIKE KEENAN IS NEVER WRONG. He’s just ahead of his time. And yes…he is capable of time travel.

        • The Doctor

          What? I mean…what?

        • Tornsys

          The AHL might as well be a lifetime ago.

  • Paul the Fossil

    Remember during the season when there was a burst of mediot chatter about how this Hawks team wasn’t holding all its 3rd-period leads? Suggesting that it lacked killer instincts or didn’t know how to clamp down on a team late in the games when the pressure goes up or somesuch blather?

    Record during these playoffs when ahead after two periods: 9-0.

    • Fleshrifle

      Guilty of chatting that fear. Great stat. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • puppetmasterp

    Congrats on the Chicago Reader Award Sam! You three deserve it,
    especially after launching a new site, and then having to immediately
    deal with the train-wreck that was the lockout.

    and I think you’re dead on about the trap. The Bruins were using it for stretches late in Game 2 (don’t remember about Game 3) and that worked out well for them. Can’t see why they wouldn’t go back to it now.

    • BigCSouthside

      And this is why I think its important to put one behind Rask early.

  • roadhog

    Congrats to CI and all it’s dedicated staff/contributors!!!!

  • Preacher

    CI totally deserves Best Sports Blog! Intelligent analysis, constant cultural references that cover both the nerds and the “popular” kids, musical references I rarely understand but are apparently very clever, and both sophisticated AND 7th grade locker room humor that makes me laugh out loud. Oh, and they cover the best team in Chicago, too. Simply put, there is no one who does this better. I LOVE this blog!

  • QCBlackhawk

    You shouldn’t be surprised that you guys are the number one game in town. Quality writing in both the programs and the site will have people will follow you, SB or not. I know I did.

    • Fleshrifle

      Upboat.

    • cliffkoroll

      Yup. Even with the crappy interface, quality shines through.

  • red palace

    I’d bet that however many Hawks mistakes we point to, Bruins fans will count at least one more made by their team last night. What we have here are two terrific teams that wholly deserve to be battling it out for hockey’s top prize. Players will make errors, even disappear for a game only to put a stamp on the next, and some seem to be breaking down before our eyes. But to me, the miracle of it is that, even after an abbreviated season, with all but two teams finally eliminated, the health, skill and energy level is as high as it is. The pace of play and, yes, TWTW by both sides in last night’s overtime was incredible. My cardiologist has cleared me for seven games, so if the rest of the series is anywhere as entertaining as the first four games, I’m good with it going that far. Let’s get it on, and GO HAWKS!!!

  • mightymikeD

    well done, indeed, gents. Still setting the standard…

    • Z-man19

      Quality Aye Aye. Definitely been a shortage of those around here

      • mightymikeD

        I’m taking credit for the win last night after posting a Victory Aye-Aye on Twitter

        • Z-man19

          You must post MOAR then

  • putmeinthemadhouse

    Pierre has been lauding rasks rebound control all series.

    dafuq.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      As long as Pierre is heaping praise on the B’s, I feel good.

    • BigCSouthside

      I think right before the OT goal he was tongue-ing some Boston defenseman’s asshole…then Seabrook traversed the line with space while Tazer went to work in front. Bang. Game over.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    So many times I have felt Fate working against us.

    And so many times one Hawk or another or several have whipped off their gloves, raised their middle fingers, and told Fate to go fuck itself.

    • Why

      Two.

  • mightymikeD

    Quick story, apropos of nothing: when we hit OT last night my Totally Legitimate NBC Feed decided to stop working.. I found an alternative during the intermission which turned out to be the Swedish-language broadcast. I can’t recommend this highly enough. These guys could well have been the Scandinavian equivalent of Jack Edwards and Pierre on a glue-bender, it mattered not a whit as I don’t speak a word of the language and Swedish is wonderfully euphonious to listen to.
    Best callers EVER

    • QCBlackhawk

      “my Totally Legitimate NBC Feed”

      Yup. Everything checks out here. Nothing to see, folks.

      The commercials are also kind of catchy, no?

      • mightymikeD

        The Viasat ones are awesome. I used to love it when (because Europeans don’t have commercial breaks every thirty seconds) the TV timeouts would be filled with Foley & Edzo clearing their throats and murmuring amongst themselves. Never heard anything embarrassing, though.

        • Fleshrifle

          Could you hear Foley’s cap being unscrewed on the flask?

          • mightymikeD

            the rattling of ice-cubes in a glass held by a shaking hand..

        • VerStig

          I love getting feeds where they stay at the arena instead of cutting to commercials… we’d never have gotten SECTION K otherwise

          • DesertHawk

            That was actually on TV though. So weird.

          • Z-man19

            ICE CREAM!!!!

          • Accipiter

            For the kids.

          • Z-man19

            I get some too

          • Accipiter

            Only if you steal it from one of the youngins.

          • Z-man19

            That’s age discrimination, I’ll steal it if I have to

          • Accipiter

            Is that how you ended up in the slammer ?

          • Z-man19

            They don’t lock you up for stealing a kids ice cream

        • JoeGrant

          auf speilere fur speilere

    • cliffkoroll

      I struggled with various crappy ‘free’ streams during my current, ill-timed European sojourn before buying NHL gamecenter live for $20, which gives me access to good quality NBC and CBC feeds, for the price of two beers at the UC. I recommend this.

      Is all the illegal streaming stuff an effort to save $20?

      • Accipiter

        I got GCL for the regular season. More than worth it.

        Some folks just don’t wanna give any $$ to the NHL, which is understandable.

        • cliffkoroll

          People want something and don’t want to pay anything for it. Yes, totally understandable, in the context that people are morons.

          • Accipiter

            *morans.

          • High and Wide

            I think this was specifically a season where people were hesitant to pour money into the NHL coffers. I always get GCL for the regular season now (it’s blacked out for playoffs) but I really didn’t like doing it this year, even though it was discounted. (Although, uh, probably not so much on a per-game basis.)

          • cliffkoroll

            I don’t get this at all. If you want to protest, don’t watch the NHL. Stealing feels like a self-serving form of protest. Courage of convictions etc.

      • BigCSouthside

        Beer at the UC is still under 20 bucks a pint?

  • DJ

    While everyone up to and including Deadspin

    That’s when I stopped caring. Deadspin? Whenever they try to do big-boy journalism, and get called out for not following the big-boy rules, they fall back on the “nuh-uh, we’re hip and edgy NEW Media” excuse. Can’t have it both ways.

    • Why

      If you want to know what party an athlete went to, Deadspin is number one. I’ll admit to visiting occasionally but it appears to be sports news for people that don’t like sports.

      • DesertHawk

        “sports news for people who don’t like sports” Gawker is basically just terrible, in all of its facets.

        • Why

          I’ll admit to visiting it as a guilty pleasure. I am not proud of this fact.

          • DesertHawk

            I visit Kotaku, their gaming site, because they get leaks/updates etc quickly… a bastion of journalistic integrity it is now however, and they’re a big fan of clickbait.

          • lizmcneill

            gizmodo, their tech site, is pretty good.

        • mad-hatter

          Gawker and its affiliates have gotten so bad over the past couple years, and the constant reformatting has really turned me off from actively visiting and participating there. And deadspin is less a sports news site than it is a sports gossip site. They’ll post interesting clips now and then, but there’s no analysis. However, they used to go into sports politics, history of players, and other things like that. They also broke the Manti Teo story.

          • DesertHawk

            Yeah their new “Tablet” friendly format, is awesome… if only I used a tablet instead of a real computer.

          • Z-man19

            Snob

          • VerStig

            Yeah I didn’t like that change on SBN either… not a fan of the “tablet-friendly” craze in general. Responsive design, done properly, is better.

          • DesertHawk

            Yeah SBN’s redesign also bothers me. Most people still spend most of their time on actual desktops I’d imagine.

  • 1benmenno

    Quenneville was asked why he did not put DDN back together sooner.

    “You always get second-guessed,” he said. “Maybe it looks like I didn’t know what I was doing.”

    • Accipiter

      Followed by laughter.

      • 1benmenno

        Stifled giggles.

        • Z-man19

          Giggles? More like stifled rolling on the floor in hysterics

  • Accipiter
    • 1benmenno

      Those commercials were great.

      • MattC86

        Even better – the guy on the right is Stifler and the guy playing the goalie was in Band of Brothers.

        • MattC86

          Not Stifler. Finch. Sigh.

  • CozBullsFan

    I must have completely missed the vote for the top sports blog. Who did it this year? CBS? Anyways, congrats to the ToS and contributors. You guys are top notch.

  • cliffkoroll

    The 2010 juggernaut, best Hawks team in my life, right?

    They did not face a team as good as this Bruins team. I mean, Michael Leighton? Still went to game 6 OT.

    If the Hawks pull this off, it’s a more impressive accomplishment. Find a way boys.

    • VerStig

      That was definitely an easier matchup… loaded forward lines but that was a really top-heavy D corps. With Flyers fans telling us Kimmo Timmonen got dis and all.

      • Roy Batty

        He did get dis assist on Kaner’s winning goal

  • Why

    TSN right now:

    Seabrook tells Toews to start thinking about scoring goals. Toews thinks that’s a good idea. Toews then scores goal.

    Bickell on Chara: He doesn’t like getting hit.

    Note: I am probably misunderstanding some context.

  • Accipiter

    Listen to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s “Chelsea Dagger” tribute to the Blackhawks http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2013/06/20/listen-to-the-chicago-symphony-orchestras-chelsea-dagger-tribute-to-the-blackhawks/

    • corbant

      If I could upboat your comment 1000 more times I would.

    • Why

      On the plus side, I enjoyed that. You are good at your jobs and have your priorities in order when it comes to music. I am hoping you also consider learning Stranglehold.

      On the I’m not sure how to feel about it side: Why is only one guy in gear? Is it like a status thing or motivational thing? I question your fashion choices, Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      CSO v Boston Pops is like Jimmy v Rene, minus the red hair dye.

  • Accipiter
    • Why

      Thanks for the link. I’ve grown to like Bourne’s stuff but I have no desire to question Crawford right now. However, to get everybody’s blood pressure back down, I recommend reading this right after:

      http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=425947

      To paraphrase, everybody believes in Crawford and he’s starting.

      • DesertHawk

        Don’t read the comments… my eyes and brain are sad now

        • Accipiter

          Never, ever read the comments.

          • DesertHawk

            I thought it’d be safe, TSN is Canadian right?

          • Accipiter

            It is. We have unstable people too.

          • DesertHawk

            What no!!!! My ridiculous preconceived notions about our hat are being crushed!!!! You’re all supposed to be amazing and friendly, how could you Javi, HOW COULD YOU!!

          • Accipiter

            Come on, you’ve seen the nonsense Canucks fans can produce. It all revolves around a hockey team (whichever your favourite may be, also hockey is a big deal here), people tend to lose all their rationale when they become emotionally invested in their team.

            I am amazing and rather amicable, so the stereotype holds true.

          • Why

            While Accipter’s point is generally true, I suggest Canada goes the other way on this one.

            You have a crazy hat, America. You thought you were getting a fashionable fedora but you were wrong. I mean, it’s normally pretty unassuming but then bang, a switch gets flipped and there’s flashing lights and it doubles as a beer helmet.

          • DesertHawk

            A fedora that spontaneously switches into a lighted beer helmet sounds pretty awesome to me.

          • Why

            If I’ve gotta speak for Canada, I didn’t say we weren’t awesome. I said we were crazy.

          • DesertHawk

            I was mostly kidding. I did think that with the higher importance of hockey, the acumen would be higher at least.

          • Accipiter

            Before I found SCH and TCI I couldn’t even bring myself to join the comments at sites like TSN. The people that comment there are mostly just trying to stick it to fans of other teams, especially after loses (not unlike the trolls you find here). As you know, hockey is extremely popular in Canada, it doesn’t mean Canadians (in general) have a superior understanding of the game.

          • Why

            Accipter’s point about understanding is correct. Remember, Pierre McGuire is now on your television because someone in Canada thought “Wow, this guy is good at talking about hockey.” If he’s gotten better, good for him. If not, I’m sorry America. Please don’t send him back.

            If you want to have a fun time, go to a Kindergarten to Grade 2 hockey game. If kids have to make a quick turn, they are probably going to fall down. The kids that can raise the puck are all stars. And the last time I went to one of those games, parents were screaming because the team wasn’t using the point men on the powerplay.

            I also note that once the Olympics start, I will admit to writing none of this.

          • Why

            Hockey’s also kind of a big deal (including for the unstable).

          • Why

            Why have I not figured this out yet? Wrong spot.

        • Why

          Flip comments so that you see highest score first. Urge to kill will dissipate.

      • Accipiter

        Yes, 50 is definitely starting. I have no problems with 50 starting.

        • DesertHawk

          BUT HE WAS BAD IN THE AHL!!!!

          • mad-hatter

            Well let’s hope the Bruins don’t ice an AHL team!

        • Why

          Didn’t think you did. Didn’t think the author of the post did. Just getting the blood pressure back down.

    • cliffkoroll

      The glove problem was weird, but I think it’s an aberration. If Boston wants to target Crow’s glove, by all means…

      More troubling, IMO, is Crow’s penchant for selling out on bad angle shots and vacating the blue paint. Chris Kelly missed an open net that would have been a back-breaker.

      On the positive side, Crow showed the ability to put together some really great games this year. One of those in the next week would go a long way.

      • cliffkoroll

        Throw in a great game from Dave Fucking Bolland (well…we’re WAITING!), and Bob’s your uncle.

        • cliffkoroll

          …and…this Emery nonsense has to stop. Dance with who brung ya.

          • Accipiter

            Excellent laaarmer !

      • VerStig

        This picture of Chris Kelly missing that open net is just… wow

        pic.twitter.com/8p7HIFHtDI

  • Preacher

    Are Hawks’ fans gloating over Game 4? I was looking at the Chowder blog thingy and a Boston fan living in Chicago says that now the fans are gloating again. I’m not in Chicago, I can’t listen to Chicago sports radio, I’m not in Chicago bars–where in the world are Hawks’ fans gloating? If anything, all I see is some fearful optimism that Q won’t screw this up and the Hawks have a chance. Gloating?

    • putmeinthemadhouse

      just boston fans being sensitive, i swear they are worse than detroit fans sometimes.

    • Why

      Welcome back to the bunker. It’s a nice bunker. The people that run this bunker (deservedly) win awards and everything.

      I imagine if you wear a Boston jersey around Chicago people are going to say some shit. If you care at all, you’re probably going to take it more personally than you should. I’m the guy that temporarily hates Tony Amonte. My leanings are generally to give credit to the team but I will take unsolicited pot shots at guys on the other team. I get that if my Dad had cheered for another team when I grew up, I could be on the other side of this one and understand why this would be upsetting to Bruins fans. But I do not care.

  • Hack

    “While everyone up to and including Deadspin wants to proclaim that
    Corey Crawford has been cracked because the B’s have taken dead-aim on
    his glove hand, this was hardly a secret for years…………”

    Forget the fact that it wasn’t a secret in the first place, and let’s focus on the fact that it’s low hanging fruit for simpletons. If your (not Sam-your, but general hawks-nation-your) problem with goal 1 was Corey Crawford’s weak glove hand, then you aren’t aware of the real problem. Crow was not ready for that shot, his positioning was not just “off” it was outrageously bad. Bad positioning issue > glove hand issue.

    Goal 2 – Definite low-glove-hand-side issue, but was Bergeron was a right handed shot coming out of a right-side cycle, with a player on his left, and he was shooting a one-timer. That shot is going to the right most of the time in that situation; I’d hardly call it “dead aim”.

    Goal 3 – A bang-bang play on a rebound. Crow got beat to the glove side, but that was nothing resembling a concerted effort to shoot to a particular spot.

    Goal 4 – Puh-lease

    Goal 5 – Again, positioning issue > glove hand issue. He left way too much room to the shooter’s right considering the fact that the shooter was moving that way. Look at the first photo in the Bourne article linked below and tell me that it’s not a positioning issue.

    I’m not defending Corey Crawford or telling you that his glove hand is fine (he was complete garbage last night and I was plenty pissed that he almost blew that game), but what we saw last night was a tired goalie who was sluggish/lazy with his positioning, not a goalie who got beat by a super-sniper team that incessantly attacked his glaring weakness.

    Crow will get some much needed rest and be better in game 5. Sure, he’ll still probably get beat glove side a couple times, but hopefully the bigger issue – of positioning/fatigue/just being generally bad – will be resolved.

    If you know anyone that wants to see Ray Emery start anmonumentally-huge Game 5 over Crow’s 1.86-0.931, when he hasn’t started a game in two f’ing months, kindly invite that person to consider death.

    • DesertHawk

      Finish your thoughts, you’re leaving me on tenterhooks here.

      • Why

        I understand that the last word there is game and am assuming the rest of it is just profanity, directed at whoever thinks not starting Crawford is a good idea. It could be another well-reasoned line that makes the post better but profanity is also a perfectly acceptable response when faced with the burning question of “Should the Starting Goalie Who Everyone Likes, Is Most Likely to Win the Conn Smyth If The Hawks Win and Played One Less Than Steller Game (That He Also Won By The Way) Be Benched?”

        • DesertHawk

          I mostly just wanted to use tenterhooks in a sentence.

          • Why

            I think I’ve got a decent vocabulary. I had to look up “on tenterhooks.” That’s a solid phrase.

          • DesertHawk

            I found it completely randomly while surfing the web one day. One of those, what does this phrase mean sites. Having never heard it before I immediately adopted it into my usage… I’ve rarely had a chance to actually use it though.

        • DesertHawk

          You were pretty close to spot on with your assessment.

          • Why

            Hack was pretty close to spot on with the words that led to it. Conclusions follow from the text above. I deserve no credit on this one.

        • Hack

          Even before last night’s game, my couple-games-too-early Conn Smythe ballot would look like this:

          1) Duncan Keith – Seriously, what does a Dman have to do to win this award anymore?
          2) Tie – Crawford & Sharp. Sharp’s been the beneficiary of some soft goals/tap-ins/+ENG, and Crow’s candidacy took a major hit last night. He’s been good, but he hasn’t been stealing every other game like a true Smythe winning goalie has to. The amount of high pressure OT saves bolsters his case.
          3) Michal Rosival – Not kidding.

          • mad-hatter

            “1) Duncan Keith – Seriously, what does a Dman have to do to win this award anymore?”

            Be Kris Letang apparently. Suddenly things don’t look so bleak.

          • Why

            Yep. Do you want a winner on the back end or do you want a Conn Smyth winner? There’s a good chance you can’t have both.

          • Why

            I’d love giving it to Keith. I would 2nd your vote if I could. Unfortunately, if I’m predicting rather than voting, his points simply aren’t high enough. I’m sold on Keith – Crawford in the top two spots and you could make a pretty convincing case for any number of guys for the third spot. Seabrook/Bickell/Sharp/Hossa are the guys that immediately come to mind and I’d consider taking a long look at the penalty killers (Kruger/Frolik). Goals aside, the Captain’s been pretty good defensively as well.

            I’m not as high on Rosival as you are but I’ll admit that he’s the guy who’s playing farthest above expected position value on the team (although I had to stop and consider Frolik and Kruger before making that leap).

            My general understanding of the Conn Smyth is that if you can’t find someone who has had outstanding year, the goalie often gets it as a default. It’s going to take a team win the last TWO and maybe that’s simply the best way to hand it out.

            Or the Hawks can win the thing and they can hand the Conn Smyth to Rask or Krecji. That might be the most enjoyable for me. “And while _______ was voted to be the best player, ________ was the best team.”

          • cliffkoroll

            a strong finish might put Dunc over the top. But, even though he was +3 last game, he lost two footraces to Peverly, one of which ended up in the back of the net. Time to activate 30% extra lung power.

        • cliffkoroll

          none more black?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Our black goes up to 11

      • Hack

        Sorry. Accidentally hit post before I was done. I think it’s all there now.

        Another thing while I’m here…….Asking Emery to come in to this situation and hold Boston to 2-3 goals, would be about the same as telling Patrick Kane (with Kane not having played for 50+ days) that he has to shake off the rust immediately because they can’t win Game 5 if he doesn’t produce at least a point. Get a grip, people. Crow could get lit up for 5 more glove-side goals in a Saturday night loss and Q still will have made the right decision.

        • Why

          We’ve all been there on the posting.

          I’d actually be ok with getting Kane back in those circumstances. I like Bollig but let’s face it, Kane would probably be replacing Bollig. And if Kane hadn’t played in 50 plus days, the Hawks would probably need the game.

          None of this detracts from your larger point.

          • Hack

            It’s not getting Kane back vs. not playing him, it’s the expectation of production (in a high pressure situation) after a very long layoff.

          • Why

            Yep. I get that. We generally agree here. The unrealistic expectation point you make is dead on and helps illustrate just how much pressure would be unnecessarily heaped on Crawford. It’s just that given what the stakes are, Emery for Crawford would be even worse than bringing back Kane. You can win without a forward producing. If a goalie doesn’t produce, your team is in much worse shape.

            This would be benching your starting QB after he went start to finish in the conference championship game because you didn’t like his completion percentage. It’s not trotting your number one starter out for his scheduled playoff start because your top minor leaguer pitcher got some starts in the show and your number one starter got lit up in Game 1. It’s leaving your top 10 television show because you think they’ll be another opportunity right around the corner.

            It’s a bad idea. The fact that some people are entertaining this bad idea makes me think they’re either looking for an angle that might turn heads or are simply hoping for the most controversial decision possible. Fine. No one associated with the team seems to care. Moving on, moving on.

            EDIT: I haven’t been following the Boston media scrums too closely. It looks like there’s some focus on Chara. However, if the reporters are going to ask the Hawks questions that the reporters already know the answers to, here are some questions I’d like to see asked to any and all Bruins (and may already have been):

            1. There’s been some rumours that the defenceman have been letting the goalie down. Does Rask trust his D-men? Should he?

            2. Horton, Krecji and Lucic have been struggling since game 1. Your team relied on these guys to get here. What’s causing the slump? Can you win while they’re slumping?

            Let’s be clear, these questions are patronizing and generally a waste of time. So are the Crawford questions.

        • DesertHawk

          Thanks.

        • cliffkoroll

          …the comparison would be more apt if Patrick Kane was a meh journeyman.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            …that just won the Ross because the Real Patrick Kane was centering him…

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

      Re sluggish/lazy … I’ve noticed a couple of times how insanely tired Crawford looks after long sequences or periods. Obviously, this is hardly demonstrable or objective, but really, I’ve seen him looked incredibly bagged quite a few times … more than seems normal, and more than opposing goalies.

      I don’t know why I’m noting this other than to ask if anyone else has noticed it. I’m not doubting his conditioning or anything like that. Just an observation.

    • Joe Banks

      “Low hanging fruit for simpletons.” – This explains NBC’s coverage.
      Thank god for the mute button.

  • Retire27

    At days end we’ve been the best team in the league all year regardless of Q trying to match up to them big mistake – speed kills and we’re just to fast for their backend in a 7 game series. ONE GOAL it is a lifestyle………………..

  • thepuckstopshere

    Congrats on the continuing accolades, SCH is the BEST!
    If only Crow would have snared ONE of them by the glove goals, we would’t be having this debate.
    Are we sure Driver 8 is healthy?
    Let go Hawks, Saturday night at the Madhouse in late June…Priceless!

    • thepuckstopshere

      What an ass puppet I am, I MEANT THE COMMITTED INDIAN!
      Must be the fog of hockey!
      Lets Go Hawks, and shut the fuck up Pierre!

  • Andrew Heitman

    This blog presents the best hockey knowledge informed opinions around. Homering the shit out of it as usual, but I have rarely read sports writing on hockey that understands the game so thoroughly and takes such an even keeled approach to the team that the writers are clearly madly in love with. Nice job, guys.

  • FakeASeizure

    No, thank YOU! Sam, McClure, Kills, Feather, KenOda, and Joe (and anyone else I missed). You guys kill it day in and day out to get us your saucy opinions, jaded wisdom, and interweb snippets that make our lives less miserable (or that-much-better, depending on your personal life outlook). So again I say; thank you guys for your hard work and dedication. You guys make my hockey world go ’round. Let’s go Hawks!!!

  • Country_Bumpkin

    This has got to be one of the best sports blog around period. I’m on this damn thing all day and night and while I enjoy the writing, the personalities here are what keeps me coming back. Lots of knowledge, some polite ball-busting, and lots of positive vibes emanating from here.
    Congrats Sam, MM, Kills, FF, KenOda and Joe.

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  • Ronnie’s Mustache

    First off, congrats! The NL is as good as is gets. Four of us attend every home game and we get at least 4 of them because nobody is willing to share his.

    Back to the Hawks, Crow has been incredible all season. In terms of bouncing back after sketchy games and usually does really well in making adjustments on the fly.

    Hopefully, Chara continues to fall over the paint under the ice.

  • ballyb11

    Win more fucking faceoffs.