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Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Big win gives Hawks confidence

By Jesse Rogers

CHICAGO -- Facing the brink of elimination, the Chicago Blackhawks came together for a complete win, 7-2 over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 4. It was a victory reminiscent of the dominant Hawks team which won the Stanley Cup a season ago.

And it’s been a while since they’ve had one.

Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp celebrates his third-period goal with Marian Hossa in the Blackhawks' 7-2 victory over the Canucks on Tuesday.
“It’s definitely what we needed,” Jonathan Toews said. “Not only did we need a win, but it was great to win big and prove a point. It gives us a lot of confidence going into Game 5.”

Was the point proven to the Hawks or their opponent?

“Probably a little bit of both,” Toews said. “Mostly in our room. It’s what we expected. We wanted to play for each other. We want to play for Brent Seabrook and in a way it was our way of showing a little payback.”

Playing for each other was a theme in the Hawks locker room after the game.

“There is nothing better than wining in the playoffs and the camaraderie with the fellows,” Brian Campbell said. “We’ve taken a little bit too long to do that in this series.”

It’s just one game but can it spark them for one more? The Hawks are hoping so.

Chippie play: As you’d expect in a 7-2 blowout, the game got very chippie. As the Hawks began to pull away, the penalties started to rack up.

“That was all based on the score,” Joel Quenneville said.

The Canucks took eight minors, four 10-minute misconducts and a fighting major. The Hawks had six minors, two 10-minute infractions and a fighting major as well.

Not surprising, John Scott was in the middle of it all. Scott and Raffi Torres were booted out in the third period while lining up for a faceoff. There is little doubt what was on Scott’s mind. Torres delivered a blow to Seabrook's head in Game 3, sidelining him for Game 4.

"I think he just said he wanted to beat me up, so I was like, 'OK. Great. Good for you,’ ” Torres said.

Scott claimed, with a wink, they talked about each other’s family but added, “He took a dirty hit on Seabrook so whatever happens, happens. But nothing came to fruition.”

When asked about Kevin Bieksa jumping Viktor Stalberg in the third period, Scott said: “Bieksa? What a joke. He was talking how I was going to get beat wide and first shift [Bryan] Bickell [expletive] beats him. He needs skating lessons, not me."

The lines: The Hawks started the game with three different centers than they employed in Game 3. Patrick Sharp moved to the middle for the first time in the playoffs, playing between Marian Hossa and Ben Smith. Viktor Stalberg skated with Toews and Patrick Kane while Bolland debut this postseason centering Bryan Bickell and Michael Frolik. Ryan Johnson was a healthy scratch in Game 3 but played with Troy Brouwer and Marcus Kruger in Game 4.

The result? Seven of 12 forwards had at least a point in the game while the Bolland line combined for eight.

Slappers

  • Eleven Hawks earned points on the night, including goalie Corey Crawford, who assisted on Brian Campbell’s goal in the second period. It was Crawford’s second helper this season. Marian Hossa earned his first point of the series.

  • Five Hawks were plus-4 in the game, including the entire forward line of Bolland, Bickell, and Frolik. Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brian Campbell were also plus-4.

  • Campbell and Duncan Keith’s goals, 17 seconds apart in the second period, were the fastest two scores for the Hawks this season.