Big Buff, The Rat, Captain Serious, Duncs. You name them, they all had something to do with the series clinching victory for the Chicago Blackhawks as they advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1992!
In one of the most hard fought four game sweeps that the sports world has ever seen, the Hawks came back from a 2-0 deficit to score four unanswered goals (one an empty netter) and clinch the series on home ice. Dustin Byfuglien who almost has to be the series hero, had his third game winning goal of the series, as he scored on a nice pass from Patrick Kane with his big arse planted in front of Evgeni Nabokov with less than six minutes left in regulation.
Brent Seabrook got the scoring started for the Hawks on a goal that had to be reviewed, but the war room in Toronto made the correct call as the puck completely crossed the line before referee Tim Peel blew his whistle. There was no looking back after that. Dave Bolland (The Rat) tied the game with less than two minutes to go in the second on a gritty play behind the Sharks net as he wheeled around in front of the Sharks defence and put a high shot past the falling Nabokov.
But the hero of this game besides Big Buff has to be Hawks Norris Trophy candidate Duncan Keith. Keith took a shot to the mouth which was followed by the Sharks second goal from Patrick Marleau. Keith left the ice on his own during the play but returned moments later to finish the period and the game. Keith lost seven teeth on the play.
Here’s what he had to say about it after the game:
“I just smashed all my teeth out,” Keith said as he opened his mouth to reveal the damage. “They numbed it after it happened; they just stuck a bunch of needles in there and froze it all up. It feels a lot better when we win. It would probably be hurting a lot more if we lost.”
“I took one breath and it felt like my whole mouth was missing, so I knew there were some teeth gone,” Keith said. “I saw a couple fall out, and I had one in the back of my throat. I could feel it and coughed it out. A bunch of them disintegrated, it felt like.
Patrick Sharp offered this:
“I told him it’s a blessing in disguise because now he’s going to get some nice fake teeth,” teammate Patrick Sharp said. “He’s going to have a great smile in a couple weeks.
All in all this was indeed a great series that honestly could have gone either way at times. The Sharks have to be disappointed, but they can say that they lost to the better team. It was evenly matched going in, and if it weren’t for a couple plays, things could have been alot different. Buff’s game winner in O.T. on Friday most likely tilted the series the Hawks way.
San Jose opened the game up with a 2-0 lead, but just could not force the issue any further, as the Hawks who probably hate these afternoon games, stuck with their game plan, didn’t get rattled and took advantage of their youth and speed, after a very slow start in the first period.
Byfuglien now has eight goals in the playoffs for 10 points, and he’s making them count.
The Hawks now wait for the winner of the Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens matchup which could be finalized tonight as the Flyers host the Habs with a three games to one series lead.
The Cup hasn’t been raised in Chicago for 49 years, way back in 1961.
Chicago can rest a bit, but as Jonathan Toews said: “More work to do”. To show how focused this kid is, when asked by Hawks forward Patrick Sharp what his plans were after the game, Toews thought Sharpie meant dinner plans. Sharp was actually askling if Toews was going to touch the Campbell Conference Trophy or not.
For more coverage on the Hawks and their victory please go to our Fansided Chicago Blackhawks site and get all the action as reported by Jeff Bartl at Blackhawk Up.
Going to be hard to work today, but things will get done. I have a few days to catch up on all this.
Thanks for reading.
Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.