Chicago, Il — The Blackhawks are back to where they feel most at home – the Stanley Cup Final. They are back to the biggest stage of their sport and you can be rest assured they love it. A lot of blood, sweat and tears has gotten them to this point and they deserve to be here.
Chicago is privileged enough to be witnessing a phenomenal hockey team, the best this town has seen. Relish this Chicago, as it doesn’t come around often. The “inhuman” athletes and leaders on this team is something this city has never seen before on ice.
All of the dribble from the media about the Hawks getting hit so much and wearing down was nonsense. Hello, other teams have tried this and it does not work. You CAN NOT intimidate the Hawks. Do we have the straight now other NHL teams, so please do not even try to beat them that way. I can guarantee it will not work.
The Blackhawks actually got stronger as the series went on. In games 4-7 you witnessed the Hawks really take control of the series led by the indomitable captain Jonathan Toews and it filters throughout the team.
The Hawks are so fortunate to not only have great athletes they also have great players with character and heart and just a will to win that won’t settle for anything other than winning.
As a Blackhawks fans we are so lucky to witness the growth and development of Brandon Saad and Teuvo Teravainen and that speaks to the organization as a whole and the development process of young players. This will be key going forward in this salary cap strapped team.
That Saad speed is simply something most teams can not contain and Teravainen who is only 20 years old and a rookie will only improve on his smarts and that should be really really scary for every other NHL team. Teravainen already has high hockey IQ and vision that is probably among the best on this team wait it will only improve the more he plays and the bigger and stronger he gets Yowzer.
What can be said about those top four defenseman, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Nik Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya are just warriors. Make no mistake they took a beating but never complained never really even got rattled and some how found a way through it with a level of play that was superhuman. Hats off to these gentleman, Chicago salutes you.
Chicago Blackhawks fans will know this look but when Jonathan Toews gets that look in his eyes, you know the look, do you really think that the Hawks are going to lose? No if they do it is a rare rare occasion. There is nothing more you can say about this guy other than he is simply the best.
I wrote that this series was a battle of titans physical goliath vs mental goliath. The mental goliath won this series. In games 6 & 7 the hockey intelligence on all the goals was other worldly. Starting in game 6 the double triple fake by Keith I mean really? The shimmy shake we take for granted in Chicago from Patrick Kane is other worldly and the Toews goals with the IQ to be in the proper positions to score.
Brent Seabrook, babe you need to just keep shooting from whenever. His shot is so heavy and you had to love the placement and the skilled hands it took in game 6 from that great pass from Teravainen to beat Andersen. It always seems too that Seabrook knows exactly when a goal is needed for his team and just goes out and gets one.
For all the press about the decision to change the line-up in game 3 when Teravainen and Vermette was sat, you have to give coach Quenneville props for making the right choices in putting Toews, Kane and Saad together on a line and it exposed Getzlafs defensive weaknesses.
Don’t get me wrong Getzlaf is a great player but very few can play a full 200 foot game which is another reason Jonathan Toews is so special because he can play that game.
In fact the Hawks have several that can add in Hossa, Saad, Sharp and yes Vermette is very responsible defensively. I will put in there Teravainen plays positionally really well even in his own zone and back checks well for a young guy.
It should also be noted coach Quenneville also made a change on his D core when he sat Timonen for Cumiskey and Rundblad who managed to play fairly well. That I’m sure was not an easy decision with the shaky start Rundblad had in the series but as it turned out it was the right one.
If there is any doubt coach Q is a great coach who really does have a pulse of his team and knows when his team needs jolts and when to remain status quo. He out coached Bruce Boudreau in game 7 for sure when the Ducks had last change so that is really impressive.
Corey Crawford there should be a photo of you next to metal fortitude because this guy is just solid mentally, emotionally and physically. From where he started in the Nashville series to now the battle in this guy is on real.
The fourth line of Kruger, Shaw and Desjardins what a great shut down line. For players that did not play together all year long they came together quick and at times through the series were the most effective. Kudos to everyone on this line.
In fact the battle level of the entire team is unbelievable to most except Hawks fans. We know never to count this team out no matter how dire a situation is they will somehow find a way and that is what makes this team great, the likes of which has not been seen in the salary cap era.
Patrick Kane probably said it best that they have not accomplished anything yet. They know there is more work to be done and is there any question that this team can get it done? If there is I’m not sure what team you’re watching.
Congratulations Chicago Blackhawks you’re in the Stanley Cup Final. Live your dreams and we want the Cup!