The Blackhawks stay alive in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs after Patrick Kane’s double overtime goal to give the Hawks a 4-3 win over the Blues, and force a Game 6 Saturday night back in Chicago.
Two words for that one: Holy Balls. As one on Twitter put it, the Hawks looked like Kramer in the Seinfeld episode when he keeps trying to go further and further on the tank of gas. The Hawks held a 3-1 lead going into the third period, but once again could not hold the lead. As Chicago sat back, the Blues surged and tied the game 3-3 to force overtime. My initial thought was that if you can’t hold a 3-1 lead in an elimination game then you deserve to go home. But these Hawks, once again, had the character to respond and get the job done. It wasn’t pretty, but the Hawks got the win. Let’s unpack this one…
-The Blues turned up the dial offensively. St. Louis chucked 46 shots on goal. Corey Crawford was once again sensational, only allowing three pucks get past him. The Hawks honestly were not too shabby offensively either. The only issue was that it was very sporadic, but they did turn 35 shots on Elliott.
-It was concerning that the Hawks couldn’t hold the 3-1 lead to close this one out in regulation. But fair play to St. Louis. This Blues team has shown a lot of resiliency this series. That being said, the Hawks definitely sat back in their shell in the third. Nothing good comes from playing prevent defense. Ever.
-I felt bad for Rundblad. The poor guy looked lost out there. The Hawks’ lack of defensive depth is obviously still a huge issue. A muffled change led to the Fabbri goal, and a Seabrook turnover led to the Blues’ tying goal. Leading the way on defense, Duncan Keith had to play 42 minutes in Game 5… What else is new.
-So far one of the big factors in the series has been St. Louis’ stars showing up, and the Hawks’ star skaters being generally invisible. That changed tonight for Chicago as Hossa and Panarin hit the score sheet, and of course Kane in overtime. I thought Toews was heating up nicely as the game went on. His time is coming. Watch.
-Kane’s 2OT goal was a thing of absolute beauty. Describing it won’t give it justice, so simply give it a watch.
The Blackhawks are alive. Somehow, someway, they are still fighting. The series returns to the United Center for a prime time puck drop Saturday night for Game 6. The UC will be absolutely shaking, and you’d think there’s no way the Hawks lose three straight at home. The pressure is now squarely back on St. Louis. After Game 5’s madness, the Hawks are playing with house money. They ain’t dead yet…