The Chicago Blackhawks’ 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday was supposed to be all about Corey Crawford’s performance after allowing five goals glove side in Game 4. While the question of whether he was still weak there wasn’t really answered, it was overshadowed by more important matters. When the dust settled, each team was worried about the fate of their best player.
The star of the night was Patrick Kane, who had six shots on goal for the game and scored the Blackhawks first two goals, giving him eight goals and 19 points in the playoffs. It was the second game in which he was reunited with Jonathan Toews on the top line, and their success continued with Kane’s goals. Toews himself had a few good looks on shots, with one in the first period coming close but hitting the post.
But with the win and the Stanley Cup seemingly within the Blackhawks’ grasp, there was a price to be paid for both teams. Both Toews and Patrice Bergeron, Selke Trophy winners for this year and last, were injured in the second period. Toews had been taking hard hits all evening, but Johnny Boychuk’s hit at the front of the net was the hardest, and Toews spent the entire third period on the bench despite demanding to be allowed to play. Using his favorite words “we’ll see”, coach Joel Quenneville said that Toews could likely play on Monday.
For Bergeron, something happened to warrant him leaving the bench after sitting out part of the second period. By the time the third period started, he was not on the bench, and he soon left the United Center in an ambulance. Although coach Claude Julien didn’t know anything specific, it was rumored that Bergeron had suffered a spleen injury.
The Stanley Cup Final now goes back to Boston. It’s the Bruins’ game to win or lose, and the Blackhawks know that they’ll be desperate. Both teams will be running on desperation if they’re missing the most important piece of their rosters.