With Game 6 on the road, Blackhawks could have a tough time matching up
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org May 26, 2013 8:50PM
Updated: May 26, 2013 10:10PM
As the home team in Game 5, the Blackhawks had the luxury of making the last line change after whistles. That allowed coach Joel Quenneville to keep Jonathan Toews away from Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg, who has hounded the Hawks’ captain all series. Back at Joe Louis Arena for Game 6, the Hawks won’t have that advantage.
“It’s an ongoing challenge,” Quenneville said.
Quenneville matched his new-look second line, featuring Michal Handzus centering Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa — a line with a good mix of size, savvy and skill — against Zetterberg’s line. It’s a matchup the physical Bickell enjoyed, and one he hopes can continue even on the road.
“I hope so; I think our matchups were good for us,” Bickell said. “But they have the last change. I know Q is going to be trying to match it up. But, yeah, I enjoy playing against those guys. They’re skilled, and we just need to be physical against them.”
When an octopus was thrown onto the ice — a Detroit tradition, of course — near the end of Game 4, Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith skated over to Joe Louis Arena ice manager (and chief cephalopod retriever) Al Sobotka to take a look.
“I just wanted to look at that thing,” Keith said Sunday. “That was a big octopus. I’ve never seen something like that, that big. That thing’s gross. He told me to get out of the way or I was going to get hit.”
Some intrepid Wings fan even snuck an octopus into the United Center for Game 5. NHL rule 63.4 gives officials the ability to assess a minor penalty to the home team for objects thrown on the ice (only after a warning announcement), but octopus-throwing always has been tolerated.
“I’m sure they’re allowed to in Joe Louis,” Keith said, half-joking. “I thought it was a penalty when their fans are throwing things on the ice. It’s in the rulebook. We should get a power play from that.”
Said Andrew Shaw: “I think they threw about a dozen on the ice this series. I’d like to see none thrown on the ice next game.”
Bickell’s first-period goal in Game 5 shattered the goal cam in the back of the net.
“It’s funny to break the [goal] cam,” Bickell said. “I saw a couple of pictures. Hopefully, I don’t get billed for it.”