Kukla's Korner Hockey
The teeth that are now missing from Duncan Keith’s mouth after taking a shot today.
Keith talks about it in a post-game media scrum.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Toews was four years old in 1992, growing up in Winnipeg when that team - coached by Mike Keenan with a young Jeremy Roenick leading the way - was swept out of the final by the Pittsburgh Penguins and Mario Lemieux. The Blackhawks came up short that year and Roenick and Co. never made it back to the dance - a lesson that Toews and his equally precocious line-mate Patrick Kane understand only too well.
These opportunities to win a championship don’t come along every year. You need a little of everything to go your way - a little luck, reasonable good health, timely scoring - to get to where the Blackhawks are today, awaiting the winner of the Philadelphia Flyers-Montreal Canadiens’ series over in the Eastern Conference.
So the Clarence Campbell bowl?
“It’s a made-up trophy for winning the Western Conference,” said Toews. “Big deal. It’s not what we’re after. We’re here to win the Stanley Cup.
added 8:24pm, E.J. Hradek and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN review the Chicago/San Jose series which you can watch below…
The Blackhawks sweep the San Jose Sharks to advance to the Stanley Cup Final and will be the heavy favorite to win the Cup.
San Jose just seemed to be fighting an uphill battle in every game and could not get a key goal throughout the whole series.
The only question for today is- Will there be a game 5?
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
Ever since they were kids wielding sticks on the neighborhood streets, on the frozen-over ponds or even on their own, man-made backyard rinks, guys like Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and many others wearing the Indian head on their chest have pretended they were in the Stanley Cup Final.
Win Game 4 Sunday afternoon against San Jose, and in a few days the pretending stops.
“It obviously is a nice spot to be in right now,” Keith said Saturday on what could be the final off day of the Western Conference Finals. “We can wrap our head around this. We’re in a good spot, but we’re not there yet. We’re not where we want to be and we haven’t done what we want to do yet.”
What now is to regroup and come back with the same effort. There’s really nothing else we can do. I was really happy with the way our team played to a man, whether it was from goaltender, D man, forwards. We made a few mistakes. They scored some goals. I thought it was a helluva game.
The reality is we’re down 3-0. Happened a week ago with two good teams playing and Philadelphia found a way to come back, so there’s something to draw in there. Plus the fact that we’ve been in this series I think for every minute. That’s got to leave us feeling good.
But we know we’re in a hole and we’ve got to dig our way out.
-San Jose Sharks Coach Todd McLellan after the game last night.
More from Todd…
from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog,
They’ve skated at the pace the Blackhawks wanted, and they’ve taken it to the Hawks. And they still lost.
They went with their top lines against the Hawks’ top lines, and they produced a lot of scoring chances. And they still lost.
They changed lines, drew power plays, and outshot the Hawks in the United Center in a gotta-have-it Game 3 after dropping the first two games at home. And they still lost.
They forced the Hawks’ dangerous scorers to the perimeter and cut down on the bodies in front of their goaltender. And they still lost.
They came back from a potentially killer breakaway goal late in the third period and tied the game even later. And they still lost.
I don’t know what else the Sharks can do. And it doesn’t look like they know, either.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Jonathan Toews – aka Captain Serious – continues to be Captain Fantastic for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2010 playoffs. Conn Smythe Trophy anyone?
Toews ran his playoff points streak to 12 games Friday night and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for the Blackhawks.
Toews set up two goals in regulation, but left it to his usual linemate, Dustin Byfuglien, to provide the overtime scoring heroics for the Blackhawks. Byfuglien’s goal – wide open from the high slot – came 12:24 into the wild first extra period against the Sharks’ Evgeni Nabokov and gave Chicago a 3-2 victory and a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference final.
The Blackhawks can wrap up the series with a win Sunday at the United Centre, which saw 22,311 spectators, including mega-fan Vince Vaughn, cram into the building.
As close as you can get next to a must win game for San Jose.
Chicago seems to be improving game by game and the Sharks need to find a way to win this game.
Goaltending will be a key tonight, Nabokov has to have his best game of the post season.
You can catch the game on Versus, TSN or RDS just after 8:00pm.
from Phil Coffey of NHL.com,
Heading into play Friday night, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell had 2 assists in 11 games this postseason.
At first glance, you might think that’s underwhelming for a player who joined the Hawks with great fanfare in 2008. But that’s at the first glance. Remember, Campbell is coming back from a broken collarbone suffered when he was driven into the end boards by Alex Ovechkin that caused him to miss the final 14 games of the regular season and the start of the playoffs.
More important than Campbell’s offensive game this postseason has been the help he has provided to the rest of the lineup thanks to his speed and puck-carrying skills.
continued and many more hockey topics…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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