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Blackhawks nearly blow it…but don’t

Jun 20, 2013, 12:41 AM EST

Hawks score Getty Images

Wednesday night in Boston, the Chicago Blackhawks barely escaped a game they had no business losing, beating the Bruins, 6-5, in overtime and tying the Stanley Cup Final, 2-2.

Credit the ‘Hawks for the win, absolutely.

But boy, did they nearly waste a long list of good things:

—- A goal from Jonathan Toews, finally.

—- A power-play goal, finally.

—- The opening goal, shorthanded no less.

—- A 4-2 lead in the second period.

—- A 5-4 lead in the third.

—- A plus-14 shot differential.

—- A willingness to go to the tough areas of the ice, specifically the space in front of Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.

“We did a lot of good things tonight. We’ll look at the positives and move forward,” said Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville, who wouldn’t have had that luxury had Brent Seabrook not won it with a hard slapper at 9:51 of the extra frame.

Predictably, Bruins bench boss Claude Julien was less enthused. After better games in these playoffs, he’d lauded his team for its willingness to go “above and beyond” and defend in “layers.”

Not tonight.

“I don’t think we played our best game,” said Julien.

“I just think we weren’t very sharp in our decision-making. Where we talked about we have layers, our D’s were pinching, our forwards were not really covering up, weren’t totally committed to that part of the game.”

Bottom line: “They were better than we were.”

For the ‘Hawks, a loss would’ve been devastating. Lights out on their Cup dreams, most likely.

Of course, they didn’t lose, so maybe it’s unfair to keep harping on the fact they nearly did — especially when, as mentioned, they did so many things well.

It’s just, the difference between a 3-1 deficit and what’s now a best-of-three with home-ice advantage is so incredibly vast.

All because they got the 11th goal in a wild, thrilling game at TD Garden.

 

  1. foleysfish - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    I would just like to say before I say what I am about say that I think the hawks played a good game but I do not a great game. i don’t think they played as hard as the Bruins through the whole game. They let up after they got the lead every time. Keith, odya, Crawford and Bolland were really bad. But in saying that the hawks changed alot of what they were doing wrong. They won the face off battle. Put more guys in front of the net, and used there speed and defense to make Boston make mistakes. Now I will say what will piss off alot of Boston fans. I am so sick of hearing Julien say his team didn’t play well and just played average. That is giving the hawks no respect at all for beating you. It didn’t happen because by accident. His team played really good but the hawks play put pressure on the Bruins and made them make more mistakes than the hawks. That’s why the hawks won. These teams are the best the NHL has seen in a long time and this is going 7 games. For anyone to say that one team is going to run away with this is just dumb. Another thing well I am on my rant. Why when the hawks give a good legal hit the whole Boston teams gets all up in arms like it was dirty. Just get up and play the same way. Of all teams they should know. They are the best in the NHL at clean hard hitting hockey. I really am not bashing Boston I like there team alot and respect the hell out of the way they play. As a hawks fan I wish the hawks played as hard all game long like they do. The next 3 games will be even more entertaining. Go Hawks

    • savoirlaire - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      OK, you’re gonna post this on every thread on the board? We get it, ok??

    • imleftcoast - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      The Bruins played a tough, gritty game. Julien is challenging his team to play better. It came off as arrogant, but in truth Chicago dictated the play and Julien has to be a little worried about that. The Bruins have to tighten it up. If Chicago forwards are allowed to break out of their zone and Chara and Ferrence are gutted, it’s going to all Chicago in Game 5.

  2. titansbro - Jun 20, 2013 at 6:45 AM

    Copying & pasting comments on multiple posts is lame. Anyway, I think it’s moronic to say Chicago had no business losing this game. Yes, they were good offensively, but so were the Bruins. They were not so good defensively, neither were the Bruins. In fact, the Bruins had some great scoring chances that they simply didn’t convert. I mean, Kelly, what was that? And could a team hit any more posts than the Bruins in this series? I just think the Blackhawks finished their opportunities & the Bruins didn’t.

    • dt58 - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      To be fair, both teams had opportunities that they didn’t convert on (Sharps 2 breakaways and another in the slot for example). But you’re absolutly right, both teams had chances to win this but both teams tried to give it away at times too.

  3. ironyisadeadscene - Jun 20, 2013 at 6:45 AM

    Ugh…. tough loss but awesome game. I think I finally was able to fall asleep around 2am. Can’t wait for Saturday night

  4. r8rbhawk - Jun 20, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Jason, add this to your list of things almo rst wasted, Chara was on the ice for 5 of the 6 Chicago goals, resulting in a -3 rating, I don’t expect that to happen again. Man am I g.lad they didn’t blow it

    • r8rbhawk - Jun 20, 2013 at 9:22 AM

      Oh and Bergeron and Seidenberg were both -2. The Hawks had to win the game when the top 3tandem defensive players were a minus rating. Hell Bergeron scored 2 goals so he was on the ice defensively for 4 Hawks goals.

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