The Blackhawks’ game seven, 2-1 OT loss to the Canucks last night was absolutely heartbreaking. It was also an incredible hockey game.
Alex Burrows scored just 2:43 in, and that goal would stand for almost the entire night. Every Canuck player seemed 10 feet tall at times – the Hawks couldn’t go through or around them, and they were getting hit from all sides. Vancouver had 3 shots on a penalty kill while the Hawks had none with the man advantage. But Chicago kept coming: always scrappy, always giving everything.
Corey Crawford was an actual miracle in net. If you could win the Conn Smythe in a single game, Crawford and Ryan Kessler could have sawed in it half. Game 7 was like an endless boxing match and I felt beaten.
With 5 minutes left in the third, the hairs on my arms were standing up. I could feel the electric charge building and something was going to snap. At 18:04,shorthanded, on a second attempt nearly laying on the ice, Jonathan Toews scored the tying goal.
This actually makes me cry. He willed this to happen – with all of our help this puck went in the net by sheer force of will. Jonathan Toews has the heart of a lion and I will fight anyone who questions his place as captain. I could see the “History Will Be Made” commercial, taste the champagne.
But luck, you are a bastard. The Hawks were lucky to make the playoffs. They were lucky to make it to game 7 and lucky to make it to overtime. I was hoping luck would hold out just a few more shifts. But in maybe the perfect metaphor for their 2010-2011 season, the Blackhawks just couldn’t quite get there.
The had a very rough start to the year, like their 3-0 record to start this series. In the second half, they came on huge like they did to make this series 3-3. Right at the end of the regular season, when it was within reach, the Blackhawks couldn’t get that last game to clinch. Someone else’s loss was their gain. And that’s where this playoff story had a different ending. Chicago had more guts in Game 7 than they did at any single moment all season long. Just because it didn’t happen doesn’t mean they didn’t earn it.
So Chicago is out. But after a very long season that fought back at every turn, at least they went out like Champs.chicago, corey crawford, jonathan toews, Vancouver Canucks