Blackhawks stars shine bright in Game 4

After being shut down for the majority of the first three games of the Stanley Cup Final, the Chicago Blackhawks star players broke out in a big way in Game 4.

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook combined to total only one goal and two assists in Games 1-3, unable to solve the Boston Bruins’ smothering defense and goaltender Tuukka Rask.

Game 4 was a different story for the group, combining for four goals and 7 points in Chicago’s thrilling 6-5 overtime win.

Toews and Kane both scored their first goals of the series, Sharp netted the Blackhawks’ first power play goal of the series and his playoff leading 10th goal, while Seabrook scored the game-winner 9:51 into overtime to even the series at 2.

Although they didn’t score goals, Hossa and Keith may have been Chicago’s best two players. Hossa, after missing Game 3, assisted on Sharp’s goal along with putting four shots on goal. Keith also picked up an assist on the Sharp goal and was a plus-3 while having a game-high 32:37 of ice time.

Toews’s goal was especially important for the Blackhawks, as their captain was able to snap a 10-game goalless draught. Toews has been repeatedly questioned about his lack of scoring in these playoffs. Seabrook had heard enough of the questions about his captain, telling the Associated Press, “To be completely honest, I was sick and tired of hearing everybody talk about everything that Johnny’s doing right…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.”

His goal could be the beginning of a breakout.

In the Blackhawks’ Conference Final series against the Los Angeles Kings, Kane had been in the middle of scoring woes, before scoring once in Game 4 and then finishing off a hat trick in Game 5 with the series clincher in overtime. Chicago fans, players, and Toews are hoping for the same result.

If the Blackhawks want to win the Stanley Cup for the second time in four seasons, they’ll need Toews, Kane, and the rest of their stars to continue playing like they did during Game 4.

Categories: Columnist,Hockey