Where are the Blackhawks' stars?
In Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Hawks grabbed a win with goals from four unlikely sources: Brandon Saad, Johnny Oduya, Andrew Shaw and Dave Bolland. Since then, the offense has been hauntingly quiet, especially the likes of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa.
Without contributions from their most potent offensive weapons, it's unlikely Hawks will trump Boston, whose best players have been fantastic this series.
Getting Hossa back for Wednesday's Game 4 after an injury sidelined him in Game 3 on Monday was only a good first step for the Hawks. Who would rise to the occasion and who would slink into the shadows? Here's the breakdown.
Rising star: Jonathan Toews wins the opening faceoff! It's sad that this counts as a positive for the Hawks captain. But when you have just one goal all postseason, one looks for any sign of life
Falling star: After the Hawks dominate the first five minutes, Johnny Oduya saps the momentum by committing a penalty. Clean it up, mister.
Rising star: GOAL! Michal Handzus scores his first of the playoffs. And SHORTHANDED no less. We'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge the Manchild's (that would be Brandon Saad) pretty pass to set it all up.Rising star: Bryan Bickell knocks down Zdeno Chara. These two almost tore each other's heads off at the end of Game 3.
Falling star: Well, Saad's gotta take heat for this. He turns over the puck not once but twice, the second of which leads to a Bruins power play goal.Score: Blackhawks 1, Bruins 1
Rising star: Corey Crawford makes a terrific save reaching out with his stick to stuff Nathan Horton's putback attempt on a Bruins power play. Stick happens.
Rising star: GOAL! Toews taps one in off a shot from the point by Michal Rozsival. Captain Serious must have heard the whole city of Chicago yelling at him to show up.
Rising star: GOAL! What's this, first Toews scores, and then Kane finds the net?! It's a Hawks fan dream come true. Better late than never, boys.
Falling star: D'oh. Patrick Sharp's ill-advised clearing attempt leads to a Boston goal. You know better than that, Sharpie.
Rising star: GOAL! Marcus Kruger strikes on a sweet two-on-one with Michael Frolik. Tuukka Rask makes the initial save, but Krugs sticks with it and stuffs in the rebound.Score: Blackhawks 4, Bruins 3
Falling star: Oduya lets 41-year-old Jaromir Jagr hold on to the puck for a day and a half, and he eventually feeds Patrice Bergeron for the Boston goal. Oduya's never going to hear the end of it.
Rising star: Bryan Bickell flies up the wing at cranks a slap shot ... that bangs off the post. Keep firing, big guy.Rising star: GOAL! Sharp solves Rask ... on the power play, no less. We'll refrain from making an "it's about friggin' time" reference.
Falling star: Crawford gets beat on the glove side. Again. But this is thumbs-down goes to NBC's announcers, who won't shut up about it.Score: Blackhawks 5, Bruins 5
Rising star: GOAL! Brent Seabrook blasts one pasts Rask, and this series is now a best of three. Wow.
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