Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
“Maybe we can put the pressure on them and get them on their heels,” Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “We’re confident we can win in their building if we play our way. [After] the last couple of losses people ask us if there is something we need to do to get our confidence back. I don’t think our confidence or self-esteem is going anywhere. It’s just at times we’ve had a few lapses and I think that’s the reason we’ve had two losses so far.
“If we start playing hard and start playing in their end, chipping pucks, and we don’t try and do it all ourselves, we can get that confidence, energy and momentum going our way. That’s how you win games.
“If we play the same patient game [we did in Game 2] we give ourselves a chance to win.”
more on the Blackhawks…
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
Here’s the thing about trying to win a Stanley Cup playoff game 1-0.
You can string four men across the blueline and choke the life out of the other team’s attack.
You can make high-percentage plays and manage the puck until you’re blue in the face.
If you follow your game plan, you can even succeed in anesthetizing 22,682 frenzied Chicagoans in the city’s most important game in a decade.
But there’s also a flip side to playing anti-hockey.
If you’re playing the game in your end, if you’re constantly surrendering possession of the puck without attempting to mount an attack, you’re playing with fire and, against a team like the Chicago Blackhawks, you will be burned.
from Eric Dutaschek of the Globe and Mail,
This is how quickly things can change in the NHL playoffs, when the quick-strike Chicago Blackhawks are in the building.
For the better part of 57 minutes last night, the Blackhawks looked as if they’d dug themselves into a black scoring hole.
They fell behind by a goal to the Vancouver Canucks, couldn’t seem to get it back, and were in danger of dropping consecutive home playoff games at the United Center, where they’d excelled this NHL season.
But these Blackhawks have been nothing if not resilient in these playoffs — overcoming deficits, large and small throughout — and they demonstrated that capacity again last night, essentially saving their playoff lives with a 2-1 come-from-behind win over the visiting Canucks.
added 1:09am, from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
But like they have all along in their thrill-a-minute postseason, Martin Havlat forced overtime—and ignited a United Center crowd that sat on their hands all night—with a wrist shot from the high slot that handcuffed Luongo.
“We’ve got a new series,” said Havlat, who scored his fourth of the playoffs.
“Whoa,” Hawks GM Dale Tallon told ESPN.com in the home dressing room, holding his chest. “I thought my ticker was going to go. These kids never give up. They’re a resilient bunch.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Altogether, Vancouver has a 7-0 cumulative scoring edge in the first 30 minutes of the first three games, heading into Wednesday’s pivotal fourth game, with the Canucks ahead in the series 2-1. The Blackhawks understand they’ve been playing with fire too long and need to do a better job off the start tonight, or else risking falling behind by two games, and leaving the Canucks with three chances to wrap it up, two at home.
“The starts are critical in the outcomes of games. You can’t expect to come back from 2-0 and 3-0 every night and win hockey games,” said Blackhawks’ coach Joel Quenneville. “It’s not the recipe for success, whether you have an older team or a younger team. Getting off on the right foot and staying out of the penalty box is what we’re going to stress - and coming with more energy at the start.”
“We’ll try to get a lead,” assessed the Blackhawks’ chatty centre Adam Burish. “Then guys will settle down and relax and play the right way. Playing from behind like we have been, you’re having to force and having to create.
Will the Ducks and/or the Canucks go up 3-1 tonight?
from Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune,
“A lot of people don’t even realize that Versus exists,” Hawks’ owner Rocky Wirtz said Tuesday before Game 3 at the United Center. “You just have to grin and bear it. It’s a league-mandated decision.”...
“Hopefully the league will realize that access can only help the game instead of trying to funnel it through a very small eye of the needle,” Wirtz said. “We didn’t make a lot of money on our WGN deal, but the idea was that eventually we would.”...
“Hopefully, the league will look at this,” Wirtz said. “What we’re competing with is everybody’s free time. There are a thousand things they could be doing besides watching the Hawks.”
from Steve Rosenbloom of RosenBlog at the Chicago Tribune,
True fact: The Hawks have played 180 minutes vs. the Canucks. They have trailed Vancouver for 112:39 of that.
The Hawks had a big crowd and a lot of momentum coming home tied in the series. Even better, they got an early power play. But they would manage only one good chance, and really, that would be it for the period.
The Canucks, meanwhile, withstood the usual 10-minute onslaught the Hawks throw at teams in the United Center, and then they took control of the game.
Sorry, but it shouldn’t have happened. Not this way. Not at home. Not after a terrorizing comeback in Game 2.
Worse, the Hawks didn’t just lose Game 3, they gave it away, making a couple awful plays that led to Vancouver’s first two goals.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
They brought in the legendary Hall Of Famer Bobby Hull for the ceremonial opening faceoff. They filled the United Center with 22,659 screaming fans, brought to their feet by Jim Cornelison’s stirring rendition of the national anthems. They came ready to celebrate the Chicago Blackhawks’ next step down the NHL playoff path.
Then ... nothing.
The Vancouver Canucks spoiled the party with a methodical and defensively sound performance last night, grinding out a 3-1 win over the Blackhawks and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final, with Game 4 set for tomorrow night.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
...Despite the job Tallon has done in four seasons as Hawks GM, rumours persist that he and McDonough don’t see eye to eye.
“No, it’s not true,” McDonough said this week, as the playoff returned to Chicago for the first Round 2 in 13 springs. His take on why the smoke of Tallon’s dismissal continues to waft over the NHL landscape?
“Any time that somebody new comes in to run an organization, and you’re getting to know people’s styles—and their styles are different than yours—that’s probably going (perceived) that there is friction between the president and the general manager,” McDonough said.
“Dale is more of a laid back, casual, get-it-done (guy), but in a different style. Mine is more aggressive. It’s everyday aggressive. So, we’re learning more about each other.
Two teams will be up 2-1 in the series after the game tonight.
Which two is the question.
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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