Five Things Learned: Game 5
CHICAGO (AP) - Five things learned in the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals on Saturday night:
STANLEY IS WAITING: The Chicago streets aren't being shut down for a victory party just yet, but don't blame city officials if they've already started planning the parade. After looking as lively as road kill in Game 3, the Blackhawks have bounced back behind the reconfigured line of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell. Four goals in two games, 10 points and, in the most important stat of all, two wins after Saturday night's commanding 3-1 win. Now it's Boston that reeks of desperation. The Bruins were no match for Chicago's speed and skill in Game 5, and resorted to hits - big, cheap and otherwise - to try and keep it close. Expect more of the same in Game 6 on Monday night in Boston, but expect an inspired effort from the Blackhawks, too. ``It's going to be exciting,'' Bickell said. ``One win from the ultimate goal when you're a kid, to win the cup. ... It's going to be a hard task going to Boston. Hopefully we can finish it up then and not come back here.''
NOT SO FAST: Sure, it sounds good for players to say they're not discouraged and they still think they've got a chance. But the Bruins have the record to prove it. This, after all, is a team that was down 4-1 to Toronto with 11 minutes left in Game 7 in the first round of the playoffs. We all know how that one ended. Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron scored to tie it up, and Bergeron scored the game winner in overtime. And the last time the Bruins won the Stanley Cup? Yep. They fell behind Vancouver 3-2 in 2011, only to come back and win the last two games. ``We're just going to worry about Game 6,'' David Krejci said. ``We're not going to give them anything easily. If they want to win the cup, they're going to have to fight for it because we're going to be ready."
BERGERON'S STATUS: Boston's hopes of forcing a Game 7 may very well rest with Patrice Bergeron. Which is not exactly encouraging considering the Bruins assistant captain was admitted to a Chicago hospital for observation in the third period Saturday night. The Bruins aren't saying what's wrong with Bergeron or how the injury happened, let alone predict whether the Selke Trophy finalist will be able to play Monday. But if coach Claude Julien's prickliness is any indication, it doesn't look good. ``I'm not going there, so anything else but injury here,'' Julien said after getting a third straight question about Bergeron's status. ``I'll update you when I have an update. There's nothing more. We can ask a million questions. I don't have any more information than probably you guys do right now.''
FITS LIKE A GLOVE: The ``Kick Me'' sign is off Corey Crawford's back for at least a day. Despite having his team one win from the Stanley Cup title, Crawford continues to be the source of great angst in Chicago. He gives up soft goals. He's vulnerable on his glove side. He's bland. And what's wrong with giving Ray Emery a shot, anyway? (Emery was 17-1 during the regular season.) Yet Crawford keeps doing his thing - and doing it quite well, thank you. Yes, Zdeno Chara scored Boston's lone goal on Crawford's glove side. But it was one goal! Tuukka Rask, who has been elevated almost to Martin Brodeur status during the playoffs, has been playing more like Martin Short, giving up eight goals - EIGHT! - in the last two games alone.
POWER OUTAGE: The Boston Bruins did not have a single power play in Game 5. That may not be a big deal for the Blackhawks, whose power play is worse than that of some pee-wee teams. But the man-advantage has been big for the Bruins, who have scored four of their 13 goals in this series on power plays.