Blackhawks Want to Re-Visit that 1938 Feeling
With Saturday night's 2-1 road victory over Tampa Bay, the Chicago Blackhawks are one win from their third Stanley Cup in six years.
That means they can clinch the Cup at home for the first time since 1938.
The one goal victory by Chicago was the fifth straight one-goal game in this Stanley Cup final, and that last happened was in 1951.
After a split in Chicago, the Lightning came home for Game 5 looking to get close to their first Cup since 2004 and second overall.
Ben Bishop, after missing Game 4 with an undisclosed injury, was back in net for Tampa, and although he made 27 saves, a terrible giveaway led to the first Chicago goal by Patrick Sharp.
Maybe they should take a hint from the other winning team in Tampa Bay and learn to cope without being able to hear:
No matter where the Blackhawks finish in the regular season, they're like the Los Angeles Kings, ie- always a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs.
Last season, Chicago thought they should've been in the final, but the Kings beat them Game 7 of a Conference final that was decided in overtime. This season, they and Crawford struggled early against Nashville, and easily defeated Minnesota before going on the road and winning Game 7 on the road at Anaheim in the Conference Finals.
Now with one more win at home, captain Jonathan Toews can lift the Cup one more time, but this time in front of the screaming fans in the Madhouse ot Madison.
That's right. Just pick a year. Those dudes and dudettes are consistent.
An elimination game on the road isn't exactly new to Tampa Bay. Winning one is how they got here.
In order to get the series back home for Game 7, the Bolts must get something out of Steven Stamkos, who was great against the Rangers in the Conference final, but is without a goal in this series. In fact, he wasn't on the ice for much of the crunch time in a one-goal game last night.
And Munchkin Magic may work in the Eastern Conference, but the tiny line of Tyler Johnson-Nikita Kucherov-Ondrej Palat has been progressively smothered by the bigger Blackhawks. Now, The Lightning also have to worry about the health of Nikita Kucherov, who was injured early in Game 5 and did not return.
That, along with Bishop's lingering health issues, puts the Bolts on the brink for Game 6, but in these playoffs, heroics are where you find them. And to date, don't bother looking in the expected places.