Chicago had won a
What just happened, Chicago wondered? How could the Blackhawks recover in the final 12 minutes, let alone rebound mentally Monday in Game 5 back in Anaheim? Could this really be the last game this season at 1901 W. Madison? How do you explain a game decided by inches determining legacies?
The answer is you don't. In the words of
Both goalies, Corey Crawford and
It isn't every day you see a team score three goals in 37 seconds, after all. It's only happened one other time in
This time surely was harder for Quenneville to watch.
The Blackhawks had a 3-1 lead after
It reminded everybody how shaky the Chicago defense has been.
In the breathless buildup to the latest must-win for the Blackhawks, the name Trevor van Riemsdyk oddly piqued Chicago's curiosity. A fine prospect, the rookie defenseman is 23 and looks young enough to have delivered your Sunday paper. Yet you probably wouldn't recognize Van Riemsdyk because injuries have kept him off home ice. Put it this way: Derrick Rose looks at Van Riemsdyk's health history the last couple years and feels lucky.
In the last 18 months, "TVR" has suffered a broken ankle, a broken kneecap and a wrist injury. All required surgery. On Friday, doctors cleared van Riemsdyk, offering Chicago fans seeing red over persistent blue-line breakdowns an exciting alternative. When Beleskey deked
Yet nothing against the potential of the young defenseman, but nobody around town would have been scrambling to learn how to spell Van Riemsdyk or pining for a player they wouldn't recognize at Starbucks if the team's offensive stars were playing like stars. They hadn't for most of the Western Conference finals.
That all changed in one of the wilder third periods of these or any playoffs when
It all disappeared when Toews elevated a shot past Andersen with 17:22 left in the third to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead. Toews' celebration suggested how long of a wait it had been for him, the second member of the top line to finally break through.
Brandon Saad ended his own 22-day goal drought Saturday scoring short-handed with 46.5 seconds left in the first period.
And what a goal it was. Saad broke into the clear near the opposite blue line after Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin tangled up with referee Chris Rooney and lost his footing. At that point, Saad displayed the speed that makes him so dangerous and sprinted past a diving Kesler to beat Andersen.
Kane's goal was more greasy than Toews' but no less important. It came at 12:39 of the third after the Blackhawks had blown a 3-1 lead and trailed 4-3 — the game's fifth goal in a 5:01 span. Kane slid the puck between Andersen's legs just above the left crease on a power play.
The stars everyone in red wanted to see, the ones who had been too quiet, announced the Blackhawks were still very much alive.