The Blackhawks Find New Life In Game Four

stanley cup


The Series shifts back to Chicago tied at two games a piece.


What the Blackhawks lacked in defense on Wednesday night they definitely made up for it with offense and a new found aggression. In a thrilling 6-5 overtime victory, the Hawks stars came out to play as Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Marcus Kruger, Michal Handzus and Brent Seabrook {responsible for the game-winning goal} all scored in a valiant offensive effort.

After only scraping up one goal in the last two games, the Hawks were desperate to keep their season alive after losses in games two and three. They out shot the Bruins 47-to-33 in game four, asserted themselves on the ice and managed to find a way to keep putting bodies in front of Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. ¬†Aside from scoring, winning face-off’s and power plays were also major issues.

The Blackhawks went 1-for-4 on power plays in game four ending an o-for-20 skid. They lost the face-off battle 39-38 but that number is a significant improvement compared to the last couple of games. Their defense lacked to some degree as Corey Crawford only saved 28 of Boston’s 33 shots { he finished with an .848 save percentage} Four of Boston’s five goals occurred literally in front of Crawford’s face.

The Hawks had a 4-2 lead at one point and let it slip away. In the third period, the Hawks lead 5-4 but gave up a game-tying goal to Johnny Boychuk which ultimately sent the game into the extra period.

The Bruins got deep into the Hawks zone too many times for comfort on Wednesday. At times it seemed like Zdeno Chara and his group moved about freely and uncontested on the Hawks’ side of the blue line. Had it not been for the Hawks’ aggressiveness and determination, the offense wouldn’t have been successful.

This new found aggression is exactly what Joel Quenneville’s group needed to get back into the series and make it competitive again. It resulted in 4 takeaways, 13 blocked shots and they dished out 34 hits. Although some of those hits resulted in 12 penalty minutes but I don’t think anyone the Hawks’ locker room seemed to care.

It’s not that the Hawks never play with aggression, the problem is that they weren’t aggressive enough in the last two games. It must be noted that Marian Hossa did return to the lineup as he had four shots and one assist in 19:07 of ice time. Not exactly effective but it was good to see him back on the ice after missing game three and the verbal bashing that followed.

For now, the momentum is on the Blackhawks side as they return to Chicago for Game Five at the United Center on Saturday night. If they can play the way they did in game four and mix it up with a better defensive effort, they can take the series lead. They will have a couple of days to digest Wednesday’s triumph before hitting the ice again.

The most important thing in all of this is that the Hawks managed to steal one in Boston.

I am still needing your votes in Lakeshore Public Television’s “Sportscaster for a Day” contest. For those of you with Facebook, go to this Facebook page, scroll down until you see the post with my name {Gabe Salgado} on it and click “like”. Voting ends June 26th, I am currently in third place and I need your votes in order to win.

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