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Out Of The Woods: Blues At Chicago Blackhawks Game 6 Preview

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That thing you've already done a couple of times? Do it one more time, please.

Fight Steen Fight!
Fight Steen Fight!
Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

I don't know about you all, but I'm only just now getting close to being recovered from Game 5. A good long sleep helped, but here we are again, already staring down yet another game. I can only imagine how the players feel, either physically or mentally. All that we ask of them is to beat the defending Cup champs in their own house, again. That's all, NBD.

Losing Game 5 was disappointing, but not nearly the disaster that it was made out to be online. The future is unwritten, so I don't understand the sense of inevitability about this. The games will play out as they do.

Since this matchup doesn't really require much of a preview, here are some thoughts from the beat writers covering this series.

Looking at it now
It all seems so simple

From the game preview by our town's Lou Korac (link)

"Honestly I didn't think about (it being an elimination game) way too much," Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said. "You just try to take one shift at a time. That's just how it is.

Of course the Keep It Simple, Stupid works well in hockey, but is much easier to say than do.

The rest of the world was black and white
But we were in screaming color

The Hawks are starting to see their stars take charge:

From CSN Chicago's Tracey Myers (link):

The Blackhawks made drastic line changes entering Thursday’s game for several reasons. A few top players, Hossa included, were still looking for their first goal of the postseason. The Blackhawks were down 3-1 in the series and looking for a spark of any kind.

and

Hossa played just under 25 minutes on Thursday, recording a team-high seven shots on goal and three takeaways.

Marian Hossa scored the first goal of Game 5, and of his series. Patrick Kane scored his first of the series as well, ending the game in 2OT. The other star forward, Jonathan Toews, still is without a goal.

from Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times (link)

A Hawks playoff series is rarely over without Toews making a dent... And he usually comes up with something when the Hawks are in a bind. Famously in 2011, he was struggling against the Canucks — no goals in the first six games — when he scored a short-handed game-tying goal off a mad dash with 1:56 to play in regulation at Rogers Arena. In 2012, with the Hawks again facing elimination, down 3-1 to the Coyotes, Toews scored the winning goal in overtime in Game 5 to keep his team alive.

The Hawks are ready to come storming back, as they have before against other opponents. The hockey world is watching for the Blues to allow that to happen, as they have before against other opponents. But it would be dumb to assume that is how it's going to play out

We were built to fall apart
Then fall back together

The Hawks also benefit from the return of Andrew Shaw, who has been effective for this team in this series. Expect him to be in Brian Elliott's grill all night, as that's what he does. The Blues will have to walk a fine line with him. They cannot afford to let him draw penalties with his chaos-driven game, but at the same time - he's been known to take a few himself.

Shaw, Hossa, Toews, Kane ... all are looking to make a mark on tonight's game

But the monsters turned out to be just trees

Further Reading:

Second City Hockey

The Committed Indian

GameDay Twitter Feed

Final Verse: Of course, the league makes the weekend game a normal start time. Dunces. The puck drops at 7:00 officially, but more likely around 7:20. The GDT should drop shortly beforehand. Come join us, please. Also, be sure to hit the store before the game, because it is #ShotsForGoals tonight.

Also Also, while we mourn the passing of Prince, a definite musical genius, let's not overlook the fact that he was also one weird dude. Long video, but worth it:

LGB!!!