I already went long on Bryan Bickell's contributions in Game 5 on Wednesday and throughout the postseason, but don't let that overshadow the fact that the Blackhawks big name stars have also been very good. Jonathan Toews, in particular, was everywhere in Game 5. From Scott Powers at ESPN Chicago:
Toews was ineffective in Game 4 of the second-round series against the Minnesota Wild on Friday. He had a season-worst 27.6 Corsi percentage; the Blackhawks had eight shots for and 21 shots against with him on the ice in 5-on-5 situations, according to extraskater.com. He was also held without a point and had a minus-1 rating.
Just a game later, the Wild couldn’t contain Toews.
He had a 76 Corsi percentage, his sixth highest of the season, and the Blackhawks had 19 shots for and six against with him on the ice.
Bickell may be tied for the league-lead in the playoffs with six goals, but the rest of the statistical leaders for the 'Hawks show that everyone else is still very much pulling their weight. Marian Hossa leads the team and is sixth overall with 11 points. Toews and Patrick Kane each have five goals. Brent Seabrook -- when he isn't being suspended for vicious cheapshots -- has been a pretty great two-way threat as well, tying for seventh overall in the postseason with 10 points.
- I'll admit, I was never feeling particularly comfortable in Game 5. Minnesota came out skating hard and fast and controlling the puck. The Blackhawks mostly looked like idiots -- weak passes, players colliding, no hard pushes to the net. When Erik Haula scored to give the Wild a 1-0 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the period, it felt completely inevitable. Fortunately, the 'Hawks got their shit together in the second.
Bickell scored the only goal, but the 'Hawks seemed to control the action throughout the second. They fired 15 shots at the net and finally started generating chances offensively. I'm still shocked whenever this team scores a power play goal even with this much offensive talent because they struggled so much last year in that department. Shout-out to Jonas Brodin for a) carrying the wheel and b) taking that two-minute hooking penalty that led to Bickell's goal.
- LOOK WHO I FOUND AT THE UNITED CENTER:
Yo, it's Doug McDermott at the Blackhawks game. pic.twitter.com/JF5qU54T4Z— Ricky O'Donnell (@SBN_Ricky) May 12, 2014
First of all, super nice guy. I thought it was weird no one else seemed to noticed him, if only because he's 6'8 and has been all over TV and magazines the last three months, but I guess nobody in Chicago really gives a shit about college sports, particularly Creighton basketball. FINE. I asked him if the Bulls brought him here, and of course they didn't: he was in town for the NBA Draft Combine, which starts on Thursday. I'll be there!
I asked him if he was going to be a three or a four in the NBA, and he said he was going to mostly be a three. I told him, the thing is, it's going to be super tough to guard threes in the NBA because there's so many great ones. That was probably an impolite thing to say, sure, but he did respond with "I know", which is pretty great.
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