Game 4: Blackhawks 7, Canucks 2

Add another chapter in the Legend of Dave Bolland.

After missing the last month of the season because of concussion symptoms, Bolland made a return that can’t be described as anything but triumphant.  Bolland scored a goal and added three assists while his linemates of Bryan Bickell and Michael Frolik also added their best games in quite some time.

I hate giving all the credit to the return of one person, especially that of a guy who is not a star.  But if Bolland has proved anything over his four years, it’s that he saves his best performances for the playoffs.  Tonight was no different. 

His return gave the Hawks something they haven’t had in quite some time: three legitimate lines.  Simply having another line to throw at the Canucks was a huge difference in the game.  Activating the defensemen didn’t hurt either. 

At the least, the Hawks gave the United Center a proper send-off for the 2010-2011 season by putting on a beating not seen since their 6-3 win over San Jose which feels like a lifetime ago.

Only Because I Have To

–Two years ago, the Canucks were probably a better team than the Hawks.  Their defensemen punished the Hawks every chance they got on their breakouts and it certainly was a huge factor through the first three games.  Brian Campbell was the equalizer, though, as he became a one-man breakout capable of slowing up the Canuck forecheckers.  It led to the Hawks winning the final three games of the series. 

Fast forward to today, and the problem still remains.  Campbell hasn’t been able to get untracked and the Canuck defensemen have punished the Hawk forwards on nearly every defensive breakout.  Until tonight.  It was only for one game, but the Hawk forwards were probably grateful they didn’t have Alex Edler tire marks on their chest for one night. 

Several times, Campbell was able to weave his way through the neutral zone and the Hawk forecheckers were able to get a full head of steam on the Canuck defensemen for a change. 

That was the biggest difference between tonight and the first three games.  For good measure, Campbell also found the back of the net to break the 1-1 tie.

–Call me crazy but John Scott is far more tolerable on defense than forward.  For one, it’s his natural position and two, he only has to cover 3/4 of the ice. 

On the other hand, Scott is on this team and in the league for one reason: he’s bigger than everyone on the ice.  

So when the opposition starts to take liberties with his teammates during a scrum, Scott has to be like a lion that just jumped the fence at Brookfield Zoo and go after everything in his sight.  When Yannick Hanson slammed Chris Campoli into the boards on an icing call, Scott went after Tanner Glass.  Glass wanted no part of him and then the two engaged in what must have been a hilarious conversation. 

Meanwhile, Kevin Bieksa was having his way with about three different Hawks. 

I don’t know if he’s too laid back or not smart enough to realize how much bigger he is, but Bieksa getting to 2nd base with half the Hawks on the ice while Scott is out there simply cannot happen.  

–Still waiting on Marian Hossa.  And Jonathan Toews to a lesser extent.  You have to think one, if not both of these players are going to break through in a big way soon.  At least that’s all we can hope.  Either way, Game 5 would probably be a good time for it.

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66 Responses to Game 4: Blackhawks 7, Canucks 2

  1. Muhr says:

    Butch: [beating up Marsellus] You feel that sting, big boy, huh? That’s pride FUCKIN’ with you! You gotta fight through that shit!

  2. Cam says:

    “Two years ago, the Canucks were probably a better team than the Hawks.”

    Do you mean in that series or overall? Because the Hawks were clearly the better team for the season.

    And forget Hossa. Might as well look for Jimmy Hoffa.

  3. Dale Halas says:

    John, Bolland may not be a star but he is a special player. Big fan of the “heavy lifter” concept. Basically, players who play the other teams top lines and win the +/- battle. Over the last three years, Bolland is like fourth only behind Datsyuk, Kesler, and Richards. And he and Samuel Pahlsson are the only ones up there that do it with traditional checking linemates. The other guys have top line or at least top 6 wingers.

    http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/article.php?type=2&articleid=704&sessionstatus=notloggedin&mode=login

  4. Cam says:

    Bieksa would never fight Scott anyway. He’s a coward who’d much rather sucker punch ruffians like Viktor Stalberg.

  5. spudskie says:

    Great game by Bolland and the Hawks. Imagine where the Hawks would have finished had Bolland stayed healthy.

    Now let’s see if our boys can keep this up in Game 5.

  6. alpo says:

    I always thought Dave Bolland was a pretty good player, but what a way to kick off his 1st game. And how about that Bickell goal? Where the hell did that rush to the net come from?

  7. Mick says:

    Yeah I’ve been waiting for the Hawks to pull that power move on Luongo since Brouwer pulled the same move on him way back at the beginning of the season in Van. If Bick played that way all the time we’d be a better team for sure.

  8. ArlingtonRob says:

    I have not given up on Mr. Bickell.

    Just a reminder, Brian is a rookie playing his first full NHL season. And at the salary he’s playing for it’s doubtful Bick’s is going anywhere soon. He should be given every opportunity to succeed as a Blackhawk over the next several years.

  9. Scott says:

    The canucks are thugs. I can’t stand their team but respect their fans The opposite of Detroit where I
    Don’t mind the team and can’t stand the fans. We probably won’t win this series but I don’t see vancouver having the mental ability to win it all. The second something didn’t go their way, they thugged it up. I’m sick of teams running at our players. I almost wouldn’t care if we slash a sedin and break a wrist. The league clearly doesn’t care. Employ thugs and live with the consequences. Our team won’t do that though. We have one of the cleanest teams in the league. Im probably just angry cause this series looks completely different with bolland in from game one.

  10. Cam says:

    “I’m sick of teams running at our players.”

    I don’t mind “running at” in terms of clean hits. What I despise is what Bieksa got away with. First, he should be suspended for instigating a fight with less than 5 minutes to go and then he should get a few John Scott haymakers. Unfortunately, the refs decided the Canucks are to be protected, so all of their dirty play goes unanswered in any way.

  11. Dominic says:

    Who has been sitting here for the last month pointing out what he means? We may not pull off a miracle, but this shows you that when healthy, we are right there.

  12. Cam says:

    Wish I could buy that, Dominic.

  13. Dominic says:

    Bolland that is…

  14. Ryan says:

    Seems to me John hits it on the head with Scott, not that Scott seemed that much interested in hitting anyone but the closest white jersey in the head. I’m not sure if it’s stupidity, though. Seems to me it’s a question of a fighting heart. I mean the dude seems to know when to go on occasion – he did get an early exit as, finally, he had more than passing words for Torres. But, how do you not jump into that scrum?!?! I like Campoli’s spirit. He’s not a puncher, though. Scott absolutely has to pummel his way through to whomever is instigating out there. He has to know he’s the friggin’ champion out there: the Ajax; the Goliath; the freakin’ Panzer Division. If there’s one thing I’ve missed from last year’s team, it’s those guys knowing the right pinpoint for the aim of a fist. Eager, Burish, even that little bastard Versteeg: I guarantee they’d have mixed it up with Bieksa. Scott has to take on the mantle of the righteous champion and aim at the root cause. Torres better end up on the freakin’ ground by this weekend.

  15. BobbyJet says:

    I was very much against dressing Bolland at all this year, but WOW. He resumed where he left off in last years playoffs.

    The question I have today is: Will Seabrook be back for game 5? If yes, this Hawk team is far superior to the one we witnessed in the first 3 games (in which we weren’t far off). In the last 10 minutes the Canucks showed signs of running around like idiots, similar to 2010. If we get then doing it again, our PP may be the key to getting back into this series.

  16. Francis Roberts says:

    Welcome back Dave.
    Also nice to see, at least for one night, how good this team can really be.
    Also great to see how deep this layer of new found maturity is on the Nucks. It looks like it’s about an inch deep.

  17. baltobob says:

    As I suggested as the end of the second game, the Hawks were going to have to put Scott on the ice to slow down the Canucks punishing Hawk D men. With five Canucks in the penalty box, its prettyclear what the Canuck strategy is. The 2010 Stanley Cup Chicago Blackhawks would simply not allow the series to end on home ice with a four game sweep. Beside Bolland, please note Mesers Kane and Toews taking the first outlet pass from the Hawk D while deep in their own zone and in heavy traffic. I’ve never seen Patrick Marleau, a 40 goal scorer, do that. A magnifiicent effort.

  18. Marts says:

    Scott – have to disagree with you on respecting Vancouver fans. Try living around them or in their midst. They are the most arrogant, self promoting fools in hockey. This comment may cross the line for some people but their multi-cultural fan base knows very little about the game relative to all other teams in Canada. Wearing a visiting jersey in their barn is extremely risky, going for a beer afterwards is going to get you punched or threatened. All for a team that hasn’t won anything ever. I was at a Hawks game with my wife & son (came in from Calgary – son was 1) and had some fools lean in and yell in his face during intermission. When I pushed the guy away I was surrounded by a half dozen arab punks in my face and my wife’s. I backed my family up behind myself and got pushed for doing so. After that I threw two bombs because I saw 2 other Hawk fans (and security approaching the situation). Fortunately security saw the whole thing play out and the 6 hoods got thrown out. A few other Canuck fans saw what happened and apologised for the “new breed” of fan they’ve got and were decent enough to understand/defuse what had happened. Its not even like I was drunk and obnoxious, Christ, I was with my young family. Brutal. I’ll be happy when that chunk of earth breaks into the pacific. Fuck Vancouver, only good thing there is the seafood restaurants (really good), everything else is shit.

  19. Lee says:

    Guess what; When Scott is in the lineup the Canucks complety change their game and are not as interested in Head hunting knowing he is going to be around. Bieska only jumped Viktor knowing that Scott was done for the night. Totally agree with John that Scott on D is not bad and his presence is needed.

  20. John says:

    Whatever you think Lee, but Vancouver has ratcheted up their usual shenanigans moreso in the last two games than the first two. Scott on D isn’t Scott at forward bad but his presence is non-existant as I stated in the post.

    Giving credit to Scott for preventing anything that Vancouver is doing is just plain wrong. Brian Campbell and Dave Bolland were the two biggest difference makers last night, not John Scott joking around with Tanner Glass while the rest of his teammates are getting mugged.

  21. Otter says:

    Lee, sorry, but that’s crazy. The Canucks gooned it up because they were down 5-1. They were head hunting far before the refs foolishly sent Scott home for the night.

    @alpo… I think the Bickell rush came from the fact that whoever was playing D took away the wrist shot, so Bickell had no clue what to do, so he became Toews for a few seconds.

    I think the Canucks are rattled. Third, period, game is over, you’re still up 3-1 in the series and half the team goes out there head hunting? Huh? Are they looking to be suspended? You’re up 3-1 in the series! Skate it out and regroup for Game 5 like any other hockey team that’s really good. If the Canucks don’t win tomorrow night, I think this is going 7… and advantage Hawks if that’s the case.

  22. Lee says:

    John and Otter, don’t agree. i think Scott, as poor of a player that he is, does serve to intimidate and that is something we are lacking this year. My opinion only but he did have a positive effect last night

  23. John says:

    Debating this is going to make my head explode, but whatever. If Scott intimidated the Canucks, then Brent Seabrook wouldn’t be out with a concussion, Yannick Hanson wouldn’t have run Campoli through the boards on a delayed icing call, and Kevin Bieksa wouldn’t have taken on three different Hawks with Scott standing just five feet away.

    Your opinion has no basis of proof whatsoever. It just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  24. BobbyJet says:

    If Seabrook returns, I don’t think we can afford to dress Scott for his 6 minutes of ice time. We need to play like we did in last years playoffs when teams tried to run us out of the rink. IE…. play smart and beat ‘em with the PP.

  25. John says:

    Of course if Seabrook returns Scott doesn’t dress. I think it’s debateable that Scott should even dress with Seabrook out. If the Hawks are going to extend this series, they’re going to have win a close game, i.e. an overtime game. Having someone on the bench the coaches can’t trust no matter the situation in a tie game speaks volume of his talent level.

    The fact that we’re even having this discussion shows how behind the times some Hawk fans are.

  26. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Rumor around town is the Nucks had a 4:00 am night on Monday, followed up by a 7,400 bar tab, maybe that explains their performance last night?

  27. Lee says:

    John because your run a hockey blog that does make you any more of an expert on hockey than me who does not run a blog. I have watched and played hockey way longer than you and never have questioned your being right up on the times.

  28. CT says:

    Looks like John will be joining me at the bike rack…

  29. John says:

    *sigh* Ok Lee, sorry you took offense to my comment. I will say your hockey resume doesn’t really matter a whole bunch in this conversation.

  30. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    I hate the Hockey resume! John did you hear the same rumor about the Nucks late night?

  31. John says:

    No I didn’t hear that. Then again, that doesn’t mean much because I’m not exactly tuned into the weekday Chicago nightlife scene.

  32. Lee says:

    CT: Where’s the bike rack?

  33. CT says:

    Just joking Lee, as I think yesterday somebody suggested that you and I should fight at the bike rack after school or something.

    Also:

    “Great game by Bolland and the Hawks. Imagine where the Hawks would have finished had Bolland stayed healthy.”

    Imagine where the Hawks would have finished if Bolland had shown up for the first two months of the season.

    Still, good to have him back.

  34. Lee says:

    I know, i wasn’t serious either

  35. rich lindbloom says:

    Although Toews did not score he had at least three prime opportunities – the best one on that two on one.

    Ireally enjoyed the moment when Scott came out of the penalty box and Torres was heading into the Hawks zone for a face off. scott was just about to enter the bench when Coach Q animatedly motioned for scott to get back out there! Now that’s hockey.

    The other teams nozzles aren’t so tough when their on the ice at the same time as scott.

  36. John says:

    Except for that whole Yannik Hanson driving Campoli through the boards on an icing call with Scott standing five feet away thing.

  37. Lee says:

    Don’t go there Rich, John will accuse you of being behind the times!

  38. I think my favorite Blackhawk last night was Roberto Luongo. The guy is still a headcase. Bolland was a stud in junior on Dale Hunter’s squad. Sure, many guys were studs in juniors, like Ben Eager, and can’t raise their game to the next level. Bolland’s defensive skills and face-off ability are more valuable than his scoring. The “rat” is back.

  39. alpo says:

    Definitely many opinions on Scott’s hockey worthiness, though I think we can all agree Scott is pretty funny guy. He pretty much knows he sucks and doesn’t take himself too seriously from what I’ve heard in WGN 720 interviews and such. And his quote on Bieksa is priceless,

    “Bieksa what a joke. Was talking how I was going to get beat wide and first shift bickell frickin beats him. He needs skating lessons”

    Bieksa wasn’t wrong in his chirping since Scott has cement legs. But off all people to have Scott question their skill I’m glad it’s Bieksa. I hate the prick.

  40. John says:

    Well I think everybody knows he sucks at hockey. My problem with him was last night when the opportunity called for him to defend his teammates during a scrum, he was having a chit-chat with Tanner Glass. He’s in the league for no other reason than situations like that and if he’s not going to do his job there, well, I think you know the rest.

  41. JimH says:

    RE: Scott

    There were several occasions where Campoli had the puck in his own end or in the neutral zone and was not pressured, he looked to switch it over to his d-mate and then remembered it was Scott so he hung onto and made a play. Saw this with a couple other Hawks as well where they were going to make a pass just to keep the puck moving but decided against giving it to Scott. They were going out of their way to not put him in situations where he was going to make a big mistake. Obviously not an ideal way to play, but at least they were thinking out there.

  42. Eric says:

    I liked the effort from the team, to me there seemed to be a look of determination on their faces when they came out onto the ice. The goal celebrations too, there seemed to be more emotion out there.

    I’m still not sure why John Scott is getting maligned so much when all he did was what he’s supposed to do. It’s not like we all didn’t know what Scott was when he was signed. I can’t fault him for the refs holding him back during the scum mentioned above. I also can’t fault him when the opponent craps their pants when challenged by him and refuses to fight. I’m just glad there were no questionable penalties called on him resulting in Van pp goals like in game 3, or bad giveaways by him that ended up as Van goals.

    I think the focus should be on the 7-2 win, the effort and gameplan that was executed, and trying to duplicate that performance in hostile territory.

  43. John says:

    The thing is Eric is that no one held him back nor did he do what he was supposed to do. He is supposed to be Mr. Intimidator and last night was a perfect opportunity to flex his muscle. Instead, he tried fighting Tanner Glass who obviously declined and then just stood there as his teammates were getting the business from Bieksa. Like I said in the post, very disappointing. If he’s going to continue to suck at hockey, he might as well do something worth while when the opportunity presents itself for shenanigans. If he doesn’t, then I’m not sure why exactly he’s here.

  44. Mick says:

    If this John Scott discussion is going to be an every game occurrence, we’re actually going to need to designate a bike rack where Lee and others will need to meet in order to square off and do battle. I was kidding the other day, but it might make sense.

    P.S. Let’s say we lose tomorrow, or whenever: does Stan keep John Scott? And, who the hell would eat the $500k cap hit for a waste of human flesh?

  45. BobbyJet says:

    Apparently Seabrook is in and Scott is out for tonight’s game. Hopefully Seabs presence will keep that high emotion game that we finally played with in game 4. Stay out of the box and let this team self destruct.

  46. Mike says:

    john scott can fight, but does not no how to engage. hawks win 7-2 and he can”t find the time to even up the score. all his talking has to stop. he does not have to invite the guy, just jump in and get him! AMEN.

  47. Brian D says:

    John,

    You make a lot of good food for thought on Scott. You do acknowledge, though, that the Vancouver hits in the first two periods were way down the other night, right? To what do you attribute this? Dumb decision by AV?

    Because it seems clear to me after 86 games that the way to beat the Hawks is to play very physical if you can.

  48. John says:

    I think I explained it in the post above. The biggest difference was Brian Campbell weaving through the neutral zone with ease. Vancouver was getting all of their big hits on breakout passes. When it’s just one guy skating it out, it slows down their forecheck and doesn’t allow their d-men to tee up on the Hawks forwards.

    You will all be shocked to hear this but Scott has to be bought out. To me, there is no other option. He can’t play; he’s not smart enough to know what his role on this team is; there is simply no use for the 6’8″ goof. Let’s just admit the mistake, be done with it, and stop trying to convince everybody about what a difference he makes.

  49. Brian D says:

    Am I correct in interpreting this as: “The Hawks, principally Campbell, foiled Vancouver’s effort to play the physical game they wanted to play”?

    If so, do you think they can repeat the trick tonight?

  50. Dominic says:

    I am glad they did not settle the score yet with Vancouver. That event may have let the air out of the building, now the Hawks still have this unsettled score. I truly think that it is a bigger distraction for Van and Sedins, as you know they hate this crap. Think AV hates it too.

    As for Scott not engaging more, I agree with John to an extent that he has to step up, however, I think he was just trying not to get a dumb penalty, when one of the Cannucks dive or walk away.

    Bottom line is the longer it goes unsettled, the better for Hawks.

  51. BobbyJet says:

    I suppose we should not be surprised at Q’s recent comments about Scott.

    ——————-
    “I think a lot of people rolled their eyes yesterday morning when we announced he was likely on the back end but at the same time we played five big games down the stretch with John Scott on the back end and he played meaningful minutes,” Quenneville said.

    Scott is under rated because he’s slow at everything he does, but that doesn’t mean he’s not doing it the right way.

    “He’s got a purpose to his game,” Quenneville said. “He’s not just a one-dimensional player. His positioning and his thought process is good. I think defensively he puts himself in a good spot.”

    ———————–

  52. John says:

    Yes and I have no idea. The Hawks are going to face the strongest Vancouver effort since Game 1.

    As for Scott not wanting to take a dumb penalty…it was 6-1 at that point. He had no problem taking a dumb penalty in a 1-0 game two days before.

    At least Quenneville knows how everybody else feels about Scott. That’s a rare admission from the Hawks that they give one iota what their fans think.

  53. BobbyJet says:

    That last game was the best I’ve Brian Campbell skate since coming back from his knee injury. Hawks are a different team when he motors like that. We will need all hands on deck tonight.

  54. Lee says:

    John: How about a little side bet that Scott is on the roster in the fall?

  55. John says:

    I’d need some odds on that.

  56. Lee says:

    Why should you get the odds, by the way most other blogs are praising Scott not demeaning him

  57. John says:

    Because the way the Hawks operate, it’s a long shot. I’m frightened to know of the other blogs you read.

    Since we’re on the topic, I hardly would call what I write as demeaning Scott. Simply, it’s a criticism of what he does or does not do, kind of similar to what we do with every other player on the Hawks. Anyone who praises him on a job well done in 13 minutes of ice time for two games or thinks for one second that he’s playing a big factor in this series has no idea what they’re looking at.

    Seriously, it’s so stupid I can’t even comprehend it. He hasn’t even done what he’s supposed to do yet somehow people love him.

  58. Lee says:

    Hockey Independent-Daily Herald-etc

  59. John says:

    Don’t put words in the mouth of the people who publish on those sites. Just because a few commenters feel that way doesn’t mean the authors do.

  60. Lee says:

    On another subject “Winning Puck” last year heres a great story

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=110421/mssingpuck

  61. CT says:

    Let’s not bring Barry Rozner into this. Nobody wants that.

  62. Lee says:

    wasn’t Barry!

  63. Lee says:

    Even JJ, who has been as anti Scott as John, said he filled a important role

  64. Lee says:

    Seabrook out for tonight, guess we got Scott again

  65. BobbyJet says:

    I suppose it could just be a very stifff neck. I doubt he would be with the team if it was a concussion.

    Ok, I’m back to being very bitter again.

  66. John Scott says:

    SCOTT MAD SCOTT SMASH

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