Blackhawks still alive against Golden Knights entering Game 5
Plus, Adam Boqvist discusses being healthy scratched for Game 2, and Rocky Wirtz clarifies a few things about the Hawks’ presidency search.
The Blackhawks objectively didn’t deserve to win Sunday against the Golden Knights. But coach Jeremy Colliton believes they do deserve to still be alive in this playoff series, with their lucky Game 4 victory cancelling out their bad luck in Games 2 and 3.
“We’re in the series still, and we have a chance to come back,” Colliton said Monday. “We feel that in the first three games, we were hard done by to have zero wins. We probably stole one last night. Now we’ve got a chance to take momentum in the series and put some pressure on them. We’re here to win.”
Statistically, Game 4 was the Hawks’ worst game yet against the Knights (and one of their worst games in years), as they were out-chanced 41-14.
On the other hand, the Hawks were an overtime crossbar snipe by Dylan Strome away from winning Game 2 and kept up tightly with the Knights in Game 3, when they were only out-chanced 26-23.
The feeling is that the karma has perhaps evened out as the Hawks now face the difficult-but-not-impossible task of rattling off three more victories and advancing.
“Our mind is just so entrenched in the series, that’s what we’re really focusing on: recovering or getting ready for the next game,” forward Ryan Carpenter said. “It’s pretty simple to stay focused.”
Boqvist reflects on scratch
Colliton’s decision to scratch rookie defenseman Adam Boqvist for Game 2 last Thursday came as a surprise, and a number of Hawks voiced anger about the move on social media.
But Boqvist said Monday the scratch was both deserved and beneficial.
“It was good for me to get a game off there,” he said. “I wasn’t playing really good.”
He instead watched from the press box — “It seems so speedy down there,” he joked — and later watched film of his playoff performances with the coaching staff.
Still mere weeks into his first NHL playoff experience, the 20-year-old blueliner isn’t in a position to fight back against his coaches’ assessments.
“You kind of go into your head and think what you can do better — like gap control, closer to your guy in the ‘D-zone,’ jump in the play more, get more confident with the puck,” Boqvist said. “I always want to do more out there.”
Chairman Rocky Wirtz gave a few clarifications about the Hawks’ ongoing search for a team president during a radio interview Monday on 670 The Score.
Wirtz said his son Danny — who has been interim president since John McDonough’s firing in April — likely won’t remain president for good.
“I don’t see him permanently being in that position, only because he’s involved in all our other [family] businesses,” Wirtz said.
He added that the Hawks’ permanent president also won’t be a “hockey retread,” referencing a bad habit among many NHL franchises of hiring coaches, general managers or presidents recently fired by other franchises.
A hire doesn’t seem remotely imminent. Danny Wirtz told the Sun-Times recently that a permanent president won’t be hired until the Hawks have created more specific goals and a clearer timeline for implementing their recently unveiled long-term vision.