Seabrook tired of praise for Toews
CHICAGO – Brent Seabrook had had enough of hearing about all the good things Jonathan Toews was doing for the Chicago Blackhawks. The bottom line: Their captain wasn’t scoring.
That finally changed in Wednesday’s 6-5 overtime win at Boston.
Toews was one of six Blackhawks players to score, notching his second goal of the playoffs to help Chicago tie the Stanley Cup finals at two games apiece. Game 5 is tomorrow night at the United Center.
“To be completely honest, I was sick and tired of hearing everybody talk about everything that Johnny’s doing right,” Seabrook said. “He’s a great player. He’s one of the best in the league, and I just told him that he’s got to stop thinking about that, too. He’s got to stop thinking about everything that he’s doing right and stop worrying about not scoring goals. He’s got to score goals for us. He’s a big part of our team.”
Toews had gone 10 games without a goal when he tipped in a shot by Michal Rozsival in the second period. That gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead, and he also had a hand in the game-winner, screening Boston’s Tuukka Rask as Seabrook unleashed a slap shot 9:51 into overtime.
That was more like it for Chicago.
Seabrook has given Toews several pep talks during this playoff run, whether he was calming the Blackhawks’ star after he collected three penalties in 11 minutes against Detroit in Game 4 of their second-round series, or demanding more on offense from him.
Demanding might be a strong word, actually. Toews insisted Seabrook was calm and not in his face, but either way, he made his point.
“Let’s set it straight here,” Toews said. “It was – not a joke – but he’d be sitting in the lounge or whatever at the hotel, and he just looked at me and I answered it wrong one time because he just asked me, “What are you thinking about,” and I was like, “Nothing; what are you thinking about?” And he looked at me again and I realized what he wanted me to say, and I snapped back and said, ‘Scoring goals.’ There you go. That was all it was.”
Toews added Seabrook never mentioned being sick of the talk about what he was doing well “unless that was to someone else and I didn’t hear it. I’m glad I didn’t until now.”
No goalie switch
Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville made it clear he’s sticking with Corey Crawford in goal and has no intention of going with Ray Emery.
“No, we’re very comfortable with Corey,” Quenneville said yesterday. “Corey’s been rock solid all year for us. He’s got the ball. He’s been outstanding. He’s the biggest reason why we’re here today.”
Crawford and Emery shared the William M. Jennings Award while leading Chicago to the best record during the regular season. The Blackhawks allowed a league-low 97 goals, and there was even some debate over who should be their No. 1 goalie in the postseason.
A late injury to Emery along with Crawford’s strong play in the postseason ended that debate. Quenneville did his best to squash it before it got reignited, and it’s not hard to see why. Even with a rough outing in Wednesday’s 6-5 overtime win, Crawford still has a 1.86 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage in the playoffs.
Emery has not appeared in the postseason after going 17-1-0. He set a league record with 12 straight wins to start the season and was one of only two goalies to make at least 10 starts and finish with one loss. He was also Ottawa’s goalie when the Senators reached the Stanley Cup finals in 2007.
No big deal
With or without the 6-foot-9, 255-pound Zdeno Chara on the ice, the Boston Bruins might seem to be bigger and taller than the Chicago Blackhawks.
It’s an optical illusion.
According to STATS, the average height for both Bruins and Blackhawks players this season is 73.9 inches, or a hair under 6-foot-2. That’s almost an inch shorter – 0.7 inches, to be exact – than the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers, the tallest teams in the NHL this season, and puts them right in the middle of the 30 teams.
And when it comes to weight, the Blackhawks are actually slightly bigger than the Bruins. Chicago’s players weighed an average of 201 pounds while Boston’s were 200.8 pounds, according to STATS. That’s practically svelte compared with the Los Angeles Kings, who tipped the scales at an average of 209.9 pounds this year.
Kane comes through
Just like Toews, Patrick Kane had been quiet on offense. That changed with a goal on Wednesday to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead in the game.
“As an offensive player, that’s what you want to do and what you’re supposed to do on the ice is produce,” Kane said. “You know, our line was on the ice for three goals that we had yesterday. I thought all of them were pretty big goals, Toews, myself and obviously Seabrook in overtime, so it’s good to be out there and contribute.”
Kane has seven goals in the postseason, but they’ve come in bunches. He had four in the final two games against Los Angeles in the Western Conference finals and did not score in the first three games against Boston.
He said it
Rask on whether he feels more motivation to shut down the Blackhawks after a high-scoring game: “I always like to shut them down, obviously, but I just try not to let in six goals again. I mean you let in six goals that’s not something you look forward to repeating, I guess.”