Game 5: Blackhawks 5, Canucks 0

And so it continues.

The Blackhawks scored early and often.  They made it look easy through the first 20 minutes and continued it into the next frame to close out the Canucks before the game was even 35 minutes old.  Duncan Keith scored twice (that’s now 4 goals for him in the last three games.  Everyone who was trading him off on Sunday for a truck of Tropical Chewy Lemonheads and Hot Tamales are suddenly re-thinking their offer), Marian Hossa scored twice to make his first appearance of the series, and Patrick Kane tipped a Duncan Keith point shot to close out the Hawks scoring.   

Roberto Luongo didn’t make it out of the second period this time.  He got the hook after Marian Hossa beat him to the glove side on a breakaway to give the Hawks a 4-0 lead. 

So now the Hawks face another must-win in Chicago on Easter Sunday.  Don’t stop now, boys.

He Bowls Overhand 

–Alain Vigneault is stuck between a rock and a hard place right now with his delicate goalie situation.  Cory Schneider had a terrific year for the Canucks.  Roberto Luongo, his no-doubt franchise goalie, has been unable to finish the last two games and was particularly bad tonight.  I would, along with the rest of the hockey world, be stunned if he went to Schneider in Game 6 but I can’t imagine he’s feeling particularly confident with Luongo.  Another subpar performance from Luongo on Sunday and the calls for Schneider will only get louder.  And then Vigneault would really have a headache on his hand. 

All that being said, I anticipate the Hawks facing Luongo’s best in Game 6 and it’s going to take their best effort yet to extend this series to the maximum.

–Another game, another headshot from the Canucks.  This time, Alexander Edler, who is most certainly not anything resembling a young Nik Lidstrom, gave the People’s Elbow to Troy Brouwer behind the Canuck net.  Somehow, Edler didn’t receive a penalty even though Brouwer’s head snapped back and the referee was just a few feet away.  Instead, Brouwer was called for slashing.  Good thing Bieksa was there to even things up otherwise the Hawks would have opened the third short-handed and Joel Quenneville would have been fully entitled to call that one of the worst calls in history.

–I’m not sure if Duncan Keith was motivated by Drew Doughty’s Game 2 where he accounted for all of Los Angeles goals but Keith’s game has elevated since Doughty’s Saturday night.  Keith was simply outstanding tonight.  Even better with the last two blowout wins, the Hawks have been able to keep his minutes under control. 

–If the odds were in Marian Hossa’s favor to find the scoresheet eventually, then it’s Jonathan Toews’ turn in Game 6.  Toews has yet to score this series.  You would have to think he’s going to be heard from before this thing is over. 

–The difference between the Hawks play when they’re able to roll four lines as opposed to playing two and mish-moshing the bottom two is simply striking.  

–This game couldn’t have started better for Vancouver.  They got a power play before the game was 30 seconds old, the crowd was into it, and they had their pick of the match-up.  The Hawks killed it with much thanks going to Niklas Hjalmarsson making a huge stop on a cross-crease pass that would have very well ended up in the Hawks net.  That’s how you anticipate a pass, something that was missing from his game for the majority of this season.

–If we use this season as our barometer, I can’t decide which scenario would be more apropo for the 2010-2011 Chicago Blackhawks: wetting the bed at home in Game 6 or extending the series to seven only to lose.

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23 Responses to Game 5: Blackhawks 5, Canucks 0

  1. ArlingtonRob says:

    Short and sweet. I’m just happy the Hawks have made a series of it. Unexpected, but thrilling turn of events. Hope they keep it up.

  2. spudskie says:

    Game 6 is a must-win for the ‘Nucks. Their confidence is sinking and if they lose Sunday it is over for them (I hope).

  3. Great win. I hope Luongo doesn’t trade his sports psychiatrist…keep up the good work Doc. Scott did his job..making sure dumb, dumber, and asshole..that’s Torres/Glass/and LaPierre or Oreskovich kept their mind on hockey. Ben Smith has to keep his head up or he will be in the hospital. Hope the Hawks go for the jugular in the United Center and Seabrook comes back. Somebaody please drop the gloves and pound the shit out that ECHL hack Torres and his dipshit linemates.

  4. Mick says:

    “Scott did his job”, followed by “Ben Smith has to keep his head up or he will be in the hospital” = paradoxical statement.

    I don’t want to start another John Scott centric comment thread here, but he in no way deters the Canucks from taking liberties with our skill players or smaller rookies, or any of our players for that matter. The sooner you all stop falling in love with him for his success with a task he has clearly failed at, the easier it will be on you when he gets traded or bought out this summer.

  5. AirTrafficAJ says:

    Agree with Mick.

    If Scott’s mere presence were such a great nuclear deterrent, Torres wouldn’t have gone knee to knee with Benji Smith, nor would Brouwer gotten jumped by an entire line of Canucks for having the audacity to wonder why he got elbowed in the nugget.

    I’m praying to Jeebus that Seabs is ready to transform and roll out Sunday, so Scott can deter Rozner from writing another article from the pressbox.

  6. alpo says:

    Holy shit, the great Hoss Boss has made an appearance! And what do you know? When he goes into beast mode it generally correlates into the Hawks winning. Let’s keep that going.

    Watching the Bulls game beforehand, I don’t know who had more errant illegal elbows – Jeff Foster or the Canucks. Both the Pacers and Nucks turned their respective games into boxing matches. Screw them. The legend of Bieksa continiues, what a freaking idiot. Honestly, that turd can go the the ECHL or WWE where his talents would be better served. What a joke of a hockey player.

    Finally, where the heck did Norris Trophy Ducncan Keith come from? Let’s still trade his ass right?!?!?!? Obviously, two games don’t repent for a whole season, but he didn’t forget how to play world-class hockey over the offseason. Let’s continue this good run and punt these overhyped Nuckleheads back to Vancouver for another one.

  7. Mike says:

    Doctor we have a heart beat!

  8. Jim says:

    I see what you mean, Scott can’t skate. And I don’ t mean that to hate on the guy, just watch him carefully in the game. I’ve seen better skaters at the Darien Sportsplex.

  9. Eric says:

    Sunday should be a barn burner!

    It sure felt nice to see the Hawks kill off that first pp for Van, and then get another early lead, extend the lead again, and play with composure when clearly Van set out to kill the Hawks with hits.

  10. CT says:

    As an aside, the refs were brutal during the 2nd period. Luckily the Canucks decided to fold up their tents in the 3rd, or the game really could have gotten out of hand.

    Joel Quenneville should have put a towel on a stick and started waiving it at the referees. Then we could have built a statute of it, to commemorate that time when everyone bitched about the officials.

  11. Otter says:

    Personally, I thought Game 5 was the ‘must win’ for the Canucks since the last thing they wanted was to come all the way to Chicago… and hope officially in the hearts of every Blackhawks fan.

    Norris Trophy Ducncan Keith… it’s great to have you back!

    It will be interesting to see what, if anything, the NHL does about the Hamhuis and Edler hits/elbows. Both can be seen as cheap, but after watching them again Hamhuis doesn’t seem to get his elbow up on Bolland and Edler was slashed and didn’t connect with his elbow.

    All I know about John Scott is he turned the puck over in the first when it was 0-0 and it was a near disaster that could have put the Canucks up 1-0. The guy has to sit because if the game is close, he’s totally useless.

    I’m a tad worried the Canucks didn’t goon it up in the 3rd like they did in Game 4. They packed it up, played out the third, and went home… that’s not very Canuck like. Part of the reason I felt good about Game 5 was because it was clear in Game 4 that the Canucks weren’t totally focused on hockey. Now I’m not sure what to think… Go Hawks!

  12. Francis Roberts says:

    Wow, that was fun. I’m not sure anyone saw this coming. Keith was truly on another planet (he has found his fifth wind). When this team can roll four effective lines they are truly fun to watch. To me the best comparison of the night was Campbell’s totally legal smackdown hit on Sedin versus the endless number of elbows, slashes, charges and cheap shots that the Nucks put forth. No matter how this series turns out the Nucks are demonstrating that they do not as yet have the emotional makeup of a champion.

  13. BobbyJet says:

    A few things that stood out for me in this game.

    – Hawks were rather fortunate in the first 5 minutes of the game and it was good to see for a change after a season where they seemed to never get a break. That first goal goes in for the opps and the game is a different one.

    – Some excellent, crisp passing by the Hawks and they hit the stretch pass literally every time they tried it.

    – Finally some presence in front of the net and point shots made with a purpose.

    – Good discipline overall (just like last years championship team) despite the usual cheap shots.

    – CC was making the first saves look easy and the few times that he let out any rebound a Hawk dman was there or the Canuck player was cleared or covered… and the failure to clear the front of the net is something that has haunted them all year.

    PS … kudos to Keith and Hossa !!

  14. Dale Halas says:

    Hey Otter, here is a link on the Hamhuis hit. Gives a better image of the elbow to the head. Definitely looks like he got his elbow up to me. I’m thinking that play will get reviewed. Not so much the anticipated response to the Brouwer slash…

  15. John says:

    The thing about the stretch pass is it’s been there this whole series. Vancouver’s overaggressive D has been looking to splatter Hawk forwards in the neutral zone in every game. If you remember in Game 1, Hamhuis went halfway across the ice to try and murder Toews. He chipped it to Kane who led a 2-on-1 but couldn’t get anything out of it. This is really nothing different from the previous two seasons, especially last year where the Hawks had much more skill to exploit. In Game 6, I want to say the Hawks scored something like 6 goals on odd-man rushes. Whatever the number was, it was obscene.

    By now, the Hawks know exactly where to be and where to look when they feel pressure from the Vancouver D. This will be the Canucks big adjustment to make going into Game 6. I think if they jump out to a lead, they’re going to sit on it much as they did the first year these teams met. Then it will be on the Hawks to score a couple greasy goals.

  16. JimH says:

    I read some comments from Keith this morning where he said he played about 115 games last year (preseason, reg season, Olympics, playoffs) and the energy just wasn’t there after 2 months of celebrating and then back to the grind. It bviously showed for the better part of this season, but he seems to have caught his second wind after the Torres hit. It may turn out to be too late, but if this team plays with the energy they’ve showed in the last 3 games they can play with and beat any team in the NHL in a 7 games series (albeit with Seabs instead of Scott).

  17. Bobby B says:

    Hilarious that as luongo is announced as a Vezina trophy finalist, he is playing matador on the ice.

  18. BobbyJet says:

    In the last 2 games, haven’t seen a true softie against Lu, to be honest. Hawks have simply dominated in all aspects of the game. The 12 goals scored could easily have ballooned to 15 or 16 or more. It is the team in front of Lu that should be chastised.

  19. John says:

    I’d imagine Luongo would like to have the first Hossa goal back. That was pretty bad.

  20. Jerry Kayne says:

    The Hawks have had any number of “must win” games this season. None bigger than this Sunday’s upcoming game. I hope they can keep up this pace. It’s almost as beautiful to watch as the Canuck’s heads imploding. They need to change “shrinks.”

  21. CT says:

    Wow. Just…wow.

  22. Mick says:

    I feel hung-over after watching that game.

  23. feyer says:

    It’s going to be difficult to wipe that smile on Ben Smith’s face. How about that clean retalitory hit Bolland placed on Hamhuis leading to the goal?

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