The three ways the Hawks have forced a Game 7
Hjalmarsson: “This series deserved a Game 7, and I think the crowd deserved it, too. It’s going to be a great finish to a great series.”
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) May 31, 2014
It was clear after Game 5 that the Blackhawks were not going down without a fight. They proved again Friday night that you can never count them out. I took a look at how the Blackhawks have taken this series from being down 3-1 to tied at 3-3 and a Game 7.
— NHL (@NHL) May 31, 2014
1-Patrick Kane. Do I really need to say more then that? Once again, Kane came out of a slump at exactly the right time. Not only did he overcome his slump, but he came out with a bang. Game 5 was when he started to excel ending the game with four assists. Game 6 is when he really flourished finishing the game with two goals and an assist. One of those goals was the game winner.
“It’s amazing how he turns it on in these big games,” Jonathan Toews said. “I think a lot of guys are maybe making sure they don’t make mistakes with the puck and getting rid of the puck in certain areas, but he’s as calm as ever with it even if it’s late in the period and the ice is a little rough. He just keeps that puck flat, and he’s got his head up and he makes some amazing plays. For him to come up with those two plays with the tying goal and winning goal, there’s pretty much nothing you can say. It’s pretty amazing.”
2-They played with purpose. The Hawks only had 25 shots on goal in Game 6 but they scored on four of those. Their focus was on the puck and on the win. You could see it across the ice. They knew they were up against elimination in Game 5 and Game 6, and they kicked it into high gear. Instead of looking sloppy, they played with the precision we’ve been waiting for. They cleaned up a lot of the little mistakes they were making on defense as well. Corey Crawford stepped up his game only allowing three goals on 29 shots. And yes, they even scored a power play goal on the road.
Blackhawks had only 3 shots in 3rd period, but managed 2 goals to beat Kings in Game 6 last night
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 31, 2014
3-Everybody is contributing. In Game 5, it was Michal Handzus with the game wining goal. Game 6, Duncan Keith tied the game in the third period. Each of the five goals in Game 5 were scored by different players. Ben Smith has four goals throughout the playoffs, and two were in the last two games. Everybody is stepping up when the Hawks need it. Brandon Saad has been exceptional these last few games, earning respect from everyone including his teammates.
And of course there was the line change in Game 5 that has dominated ever since.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) May 31, 2014
If the Hawks can continue what they did in Game 5 and Game 6, they can take Game 7 while at home and advance to the Stanley Cup finals.