Game of the Night

2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 2: Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks @ United Center
2-4 Final

After a very disappointing Saturday night, the Blackhawks looked to bouncing back in game 2, but was it enough?  Are they enough?

Right off the opening faceoff, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville put his checking line up against the Vancouver top line of Swedes.  Just goes to show that last game had no passion, and that was what the Hawks needed to get themselves into this game.

Chicago started off on the poorest of strides!  First off, they got scored against 1:22 into the game, then they were put on the PK (a 5-on-3 nonetheless) and let in a PPG from Mikael Samuelsson 5:02 into the game.  And the Jonathan Toews line wasn't being all that brilliant.  But after I tweeted that the Hawks need a spark from the whole line (more so the Toews line), that's what I got from them.

The Toews line woke up and created some of the first real chances Chicago had and then Brent Seabrook really woke up the United Center with his first of this playoffs at 7:40.  And Chelsea Daggers played (and my head started bobbing).

After the Fratellis finished playing their song, Chicago had a swagger; one that was absent in game one and finally came back in game 2 (half-way through).  The fiery that existed all regular season long was alight again, the hits were more punishing and driven, the shots were more scoring worthy, and the play from the two teams were what everyone expected for so long.

If you weren't aware that we were in round 2, the defensive and offensive capabilities of both of these teams screamd 2nd round!  One instance where Chicago had a partial breakaway, Sami Salo dived from behind and made the poke-check between the Hawk's legs and Roberto Luongo came up bigger with the save on the rebound.  That lead to a short momentum shift, before Chicago created some momentum of their own with great shifts and both ends of the ice saw great scoring opportunities.

After the first eye-opening 20 minutes, the rest of the game was HUGE!  The chances the two teams got were better than the first period's!  And the plays that were made responsibly and the intensity was now what the series was supposed to be.

And like I said, this was more like the series we wanted.  After a horrible game 1 by the Hawks, they came back with a different (better) mind-set and a hungrier stomach.  Now, the series has gotten a little more interesting...

Canucks have the home-ice next.  Chicago will learn why we have been named one of the best home-ice teams in the NHL.

3 stars:
1) Kris Versteeg
2) Brent Seabrook
3) Roberto Luongo

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