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Sunday, June 16

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Blackhawks Sat Jun 22 2013

Blackhawks Win Game 5 -- One To Go

Thumbnail image for GB blackhawks icon.png So it's come down to this: Game 6 on Monday night, for the whole kit and caboodle. If you'd have asked yourself earlier this year if this even would have been possible, when Gary Bettman and the like were trying to sort out millions, would you have believed it?

In any rate, here we are. On the precipice of reliving the ecstasy from 2010 when the Hawks downed the Flyers in Game 6 -- a road game, which this Monday will require calming your nerves with every superstition, Old Style, heck, every Malört shot your body can take, within arms' reach, in order to counter-balance all the stress that comes attached. Yeah, we've been here before, and no one is complaining.

The Hawks came out Saturday evening, looking to keep the momentum of Game 4 in Boston moving forward at home, at the United Center, in tact. The result was a 3-1 victory, and a reprisal of tenacity that worked during the record-breaking streak, which catapulted the Hawks into the national spotlight.

Patrick Kane, the number-one star of the night, showed Hawks fans, and the world, why questioning his ability, although certainly warranted versus the Kings early on, was not to be second-guessed. He fell one goal shy of a hat trick, and nearly completed the task after a few shots on goal thereafter.

The bigger story was the fact that the Hawks found a way to keep the puck, relatively, out of its own zone, if only for a little while longer than Game 4. That, and only Patrick Sharp (Roughing) and Michal Handzuš (Diving? Really?) were the only two Hawks called for penalties Saturday night. (Two penalties tonight, versus six in Game 4.)

Mix that in with a 32-25 shot advantage, and a Corey Crawford performance, which should shut his critics and Tony Amonte up, at least until next game, and you get Hawks fans scrambling to find vacation time for this coming Tuesday.

The thing that was most puzzling, leading into this game, was the local and national coverage on Crow. Yes, he gave up five goals in Game 4, with most of them coming from his glove side. He had a rough night, but most of those were on his teammates for not clearing the zone, not to mention one of the goals taking a bad flip off the glass and over the net. Yet, and this is most puzzling, no one mentioned how Tuukka Rask struggled at giving up six goals in Game 5.

Nevertheless, Kane showed up (again), Crawford was lights out, and Dave Bolland made everyone jump for joy, as opposed to screaming for his head in Game 3.

One item to note is that captain Jonathan Toews did not play in the third period of Game 5, due to taking a hard hit to the head from Johnny Boychuk. Boychuk was not called for a penalty near the end of the second period, and Toews did return to the bench, but did not see further action.

After the Game 5 win, head coach Joel Quenneville called it an upper-body injury (go figure), and he is hopeful Toews will be able to go Monday night in Boston for Game 6. Stay tuned.

The Bruins have their backs against the wall, and they are still a very dangerous team; albeit, with Boston's captain, mega-giant Zdeno Chára, struggling as of late, sans his goal tonight (he still ended up as a -2). The Hawks very well can end this magical season Monday night, but look for the Bruins to throw everything they have to extend things to a Game 7 in Chicago on Wednesday.

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