Joel Quenneville’s Blackhawks are tough to beat in this Game 5 situation
ANAHEIM – Take it for what it’s worth.
It’s how some respond when given a statistic that either does or doesn’t favor their favorite team. Blackhawks fans will really want to take this one seriously.
Since taking over the Chicago job early in the 2008-2009 season, Joel Quenneville’s team has been tied in a playoff series after four games seven times. In the next Game 5 his teams are undefeated.
That’s 7-0 in the third-to-last potential game of a series in the playoffs over the last seven years which the first four games were split. Good news for the Blackhawks is that they’re back in the same situation in the Western Conference Finals in 2015 as they head to Anaheim for Game 5.
Thanks to another multiple overtime win on Saturday at the United Center the Blackhawks were able to tie their series with the Ducks at 2-2 and make this conference championship a best-of-three series. History would seem to be in the Blackhawks favor as they take the ice on Monday night at the Honda Center.
“We’re going to go out and look to have a good Game 5. I think last game, Game 3 was it? it was a tight game. It could have gone either way. We were one post away from tying that and going into an overtime again,” said defenseman Brent Seabrook. “We got to come out with a good effort off the start. I think our starts have been key. When we start well, we usually give ourselves a chance to have a good game and get a win.
“That’s going to be tomorrow’s theme, I’m sure, getting off to a good start and trying to do some good things in a hostile building in Anaheim.”
Frankly it’s been a hostile series overall.
Both teams have engaged in tight, physical hockey that has featured a number of twists and turns during the first four games. After the Ducks’ three-goal victory in Game 1 the last three have been decided by just a single goal and two others in marathon overtime sessions.
Blackhawks’ victories have come in triple and double overtime efforts in the even games of the series. It’s made for an exhausting week for the teams but little time to rest with a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals just two games away.
“Well, I think you reach a certain point where you stop listening to what your body’s telling you. You got to keep pushing forward,” said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. “Same thing for both teams at the end of the day. You got to dig deep and find a way to bring that same emotion that you had a couple nights ago.
“I think as a team we’ve done a good job of just moving on from our wins especially, putting them behind us, focusing on the next game. It comes quicker than you might think.”
So might a victory if the Quenneville era of Blackhawks hockey has shown in the past when it comes to a Game 5 played in this situation.