First off, please accept our apologies for the delayed recap. Adam and I watched the game at Stanley’s last evening and were grossly over-served. So you can blame them. Although I will say that we enjoyed ourselves and almost certainly abused the all you can eat catfish deal. Perhaps the most satisfying thing about the entire evening was watching all of the depressed and dejected Blues fans milling around Sedgwick’s (a St. Louis bar) next door as we stumbled out. I wanted to taste and bottle their tears. One group standing around had guys sporting Barrett Jackman, Kelly Chase and David Perron sweaters. That has to be the most pathetic collection ever assembled in one place.
Anyhow, if you told me last Saturday evening that the Blackhawks would be coming home for Game 6 with a chance to knock the Blues out, I probably would have laughed in your face and sworn under my breath. You’d think I’d have learned by now after watching the Vancouver series in 2011 and the Detroit series last year never to count this team out, but I still sunk into despair as the series headed back to Chicago. Two heartbreaking losses. Two losses pissed away in the closing minutes and seconds. A top pair defenseman banished for brutality for two absolutely must win games, and all of this with a coach making a few seemingly bizarre personnel decisions. The people who clung on to hope seemed almost delusional to me. Instead, as the series once again heads back to Chicago, fans can realistically picture the Blackhawks heading to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since before the Olympic break. Of course, they’ll have to finish the Blues off first.
* STATS ARE FOR NERDS. Check out Nick Leddy’s numbers.
* The Marian Hossa goal may have been my favorite Blackhawks goal of the playoffs so far. Bryan Bickell started the play in the Blackhawks zone by pressuring the point and exploding through Roman Polak before getting the puck to Marian Hossa, who undressed Barrett Jackman and buried his own rebound. Making Barrett Jackman and Roman Polak look like the bums they are should make every Blackhawks fan feel warm and fuzzy inside. How bad can Ian Cole be that he can’t get on the ice above one of these guys?
* Let’s hope the floodgates are going to open for Hossa, who continues to take an ungodly amount of shots. When Hossa and Sharp get going, the rest of the league is going to have a serious problem.
* I didn’t see much from Brandon Saad following his golden opportunity early on in the opening period, while others on Twitter commented that they thought he looked better. What say you?
* It’s okay to admit to yourself that T.J. Oshie’s goal was a thing of beauty. The dazzling tally followed major hits on Jonathan Toews (Ryan Reaves) and Alexander Steen (Bickell). Ken Hitchock said something about chaos being the order of the day, and that sequence was a perfect example of just that.
* Who else thought the game was over when Patrick Kane wound up from the top of the circles with about four minutes left in the third?
* I couldn’t find any Jordan Leopold quotes after the game, but I’d love to here him explain exactly what the hell he was doing on the Toews OT goal.
* Michal Handzus-Kris Versteeg-Brandon Bollig. #HATERS
* The Blackhawks can’t look ahead – but we sure all hell can. Go Wild. #UnblockAnthraxJones
* End this damn series tomorrow.
Have a great weekend. Go ‘Hawks.