Few epitomize the never-say-die attitude the Blackhawks have taken into their opening series like defenseman Brent Seabrook.
In consecutive games, it’s been howitzers from the point by No. 7 that have resulted in last-second goals to send both games to overtime — the first on his own and the second on a re-direction by Patrick Sharp.
“He’s been awesome in the last two games making some good plays to tie it up,” said goalie Corey Crawford, who was pulled late for an extra attacker in each game. “He’s done a great job of scoring, getting in front and kicking it to his stick and scoring.”
It’s all part of the “attack” mindset of Seabrook and his teammates during the closing seconds of a game.
“One hundred percent getting a goal,” Seabrook said of his mission. “You’re not really worried about giving up anything. For us D men, we’re forwards on the back end. Help out and get pucks to the net and try to score — that’s our main focus.”
A blast for Bickell and Bollig:
Saturday was quite a night for road roommates Bryan Bickell and Brandon Bollig.
Bollig scored the first goal of his NHL career to tie the game midway through and Bickell scored twice on the night, including the game-winner in overtime.
“I had a lot family and friends from back home who stayed up to watch the game,” Bickell said. “They’re excited. It’s cool. We came out of there tied 1-1 and that’s what we wanted to do.”
Even though the game-winner was a little more nerve-wracking than it may have appeared.
“I kind of panicked,” Bickell admitted. “I was surprised it hit my stick in the slot. I just threw at the net and I got a squeaky one ... but we’ll take it.”
Bollig will soon be getting a plaque featuring the puck used on his first NHL goal. The Hawks’ tough guy admitted that being held without a goal until Saturday had been weighing on him.
A little bit, but obviously that’s not what I’m here to do,” the rookie said. “I’m glad that I did, especially during the playoffs and especially at the time I did score. Obviously I wanted to get a couple (this season), but I’m glad that it finally came.”
While a couple of hits by Hawks rookie Andrew Shaw have garnered the headlines, defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson has also been throwing his body around big-time, including a crushing hit on Coyotes captain Shane Doan in Game 2.
“That happens in the playoffs,” Hjalmarsson said. “I got him pretty good once and he got me a couple times. But that’s just playoffs. I love that kind of game. He hits pretty clean so it doesn’t really hurt too much.
“It keeps me in the game mentally. It’s fun — big hits and fun games to play.”
He said it:
“It’s been unbelievable. I waited 250-some games to get back in. This is why you play hockey.”
— Hawks defenseman Johnny Oduya on participating in the playoffs again.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.