Friday, April 22, 2011
Posted: 9:21 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
Jonathan Toews was rolling off teammates names that broke through their scoring silence in Game 5, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa among them.
Ive got to feel like theyre coming for me as well, he said with a smile. Im just waiting for the right moment here.
Indeed, the Blackhawks top guns couldnt have picked a better time to get going; and the ones who havent quite revved it up seem to be inching their foot toward the gas pedal.
We always hear it, especially at this time of the season: a teams best players have to perform as such. In Game 5, the Blackhawks best were just that. Kane was deflecting a Duncan Keith shot for his first goal of the postseason.
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Hossa was teeing it up from the ladies tees, as Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault put it, for his first goal of these playoffs and driving goaltender Roberto Luongo from the game with his second.
It was Keith putting up career numbers in honor of fallen partner Brent Seabrook and Toews doing everything but scoring. The captain joked about his inability to put the puck in the net thus far this postseason, but even the casual Game 5 observer can see hes close. Save a collar hook by Daniel Sedin, Toews probably does get his first Thursday night.
It was an across-the-board performance on a night when the Blackhawks needed it. They seized control early. And while they quickly had a multi-goal lead they played throughout like a team trying to gain separation in a one-goal affair: relentless, cohesive and determined.
Now the Blackhawks need a repeat in Game 6. Their confidence is building and their stars postseason games are budding. Theyve outscored Vancouver 12-2 in these last two games. The Canucks say theyre still in control, and according to the best-of-seven tote board, they are, 3-2. But their grip is slipping. And considering they had the golden chance to eliminate the Blackhawks in front of their home fans, their Game 5 performance was perplexing.
Brian Campbell spelled it out before the Blackhawks flew to Vancouver for Game 5 on Wednesday. Maybe if you win the next one you feel stronger about yourselves. At that time the Canucks were up 3-1 and this wasnt a series yet.
Thanks to the Blackhawks best playing their best, it is now.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.