9:01 AM CDT, June 20, 2013
You know who’s most thankful for Brent Seabrook’s overtime goal that gave the Blackhawks a 6-5 overtime win in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final?
Corey Crawford’s glove, that’s who.
Hey, if Coach Q’s Mustache can tweet like it’s a human, then I can personify Crawford’s glove.
And if Crawford’s glove were an actual person, it wouldn’t dress for Game 5.
Amazingly, the Blackhawks head to Game 5 tied with the Bruins at two games apiece. I say amazingly because the Hawks blew leads of 1-0, 4-2 and 5-4. That wouldn’t be my plan for a must-win game. But it worked for them.
And every part of those blown leads came courtesy of Crawford’s awful glove. Quick, someone take away the Adam Dunn defensive video he must be watching.
As well as Crawford has played in the postseason --- he was probably the Hawks’ Conn Smythe leader entering the final --- that’s how bad he was on the glove side Wednesday night.
The Bruins have targeted Crawford’s glove side all series, and Crawford knows it. “Ninety-nine percent of the shots were going glove side,’’ Crawford said, but that estimate might be low.
Whatever the percentage, the Bruins hit the jackpot Wednesday night.
Rich Peverley, Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron twice and Johnny Boychuk all scored on the glove side. Goal after goal after goal beat Crawford --- everybody say it with me --- on the glove side.
One of Bergeron’s goals came after a strange bounce off the glass and the top of the net, but still. High, low, middle --- the glove side was open all night.
Same goes for the game. At least in the last three periods. A tight game and tight series turned into pond hockey in a seven-goal second period and a three-goal third.
And look at that: Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored after finally being reunited in earnest for the first time since they tore up the end of the Western Conference finals.
Toews scored on a deflection at 6:33 of the second period, then 2:08 later, Kane backhanded the puck over a fallen Tuukka Rask. What’s more, that line helped produce Seabrook’s winner.
Welcome to the final, guys. You, too, Joel Quenneville.
And welcome the power play to the championship round. The Hawks' power play scored --- are you sitting down? --- an actual goal. The Hawks also scored a short-hander and got one from the fourth line. It should’ve been enough to win in regulation.
Sure, Crawford grabbed enough pucks to help the Hawks win, and he made a big save on Brad Marchand moments before the decisive sequence, but any kind of proficiency with the glove would’ve saved an overworked bunch the fatigue of overtime.
The Bruins aren’t going to change their offensive approach. The Hawks have to hope that Crawford can.
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