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updated: 6/23/2013 4:06 PM

Hawks-Bruins series truly a hard-fought affair

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  • After struggling earlier in the series, the Blackhawks won 58 percent of the faceoffs Saturday in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

      After struggling earlier in the series, the Blackhawks won 58 percent of the faceoffs Saturday in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 

Q. Are we witnessing history with this series?

A. Regardless of who's leading or who's going to win this series, this is just a tremendous showcase for hockey. These two teams, in every single game, have left everything out there on the ice.

It's been so close; one bounce one way or the other has made the difference in these games. It's been an incredible level of hockey and I think this is going to be a classic. People will look back on this series years from now and go, 'Man, that was good hockey.'

Q. On the subject of an injured star from each team -- Jonathan Toews and Patrice Bergeron -- does one of those guys mean more to his team than the other?

A. It's tough to say. I know how much the Blackhawks would miss Jonathan if he wasn't able to play in Game 6.

Bergeron is the same kind of person inside his locker room as Jonathan is, so you don't replace those guys, you just hope somebody can fill the space.

If either or both aren't able to play, somebody's going to have to step up and fill a huge void.

Q. What does it say about Toews that his teammates were so pumped just to have him on the bench with them in the third period?

A. It's important to have that support. Several times during the third when I looked down there, Jonathan was talking to players on the bench. You could use that as some ways as a rallying point to say here's our guy that has gone to battle for us all season long and now it's time to step up and help him out.

Q. The Hawks quietly won 58 percent of their faceoffs Saturday. It's no coincidence since those numbers have improved lately so have their victory totals, right?

A. It isn't. They got off to a good start in that game in the faceoff circles. You look at what Toews did -- he won 9 of 12 going into the third period.

On the flipside, Bergeron is their key guy and he takes all their key faceoffs -- penalty kill, power play and all the critical areas. That gives (Boston coach) Claude Julien the ability to throw out on the ice, if not the best faceoff guy in the NHL, then close to in Bergeron.

If he's not able to play in Game 6, that's going to be a bonus for the Blackhawks.

Q. In a sentence or two, what should we expect in Game 6?

A. More of the same (laughs). That's the truth.

I've really not had a sense of one team having the upper hand, except maybe Game 3 when it just didn't seem like the Blackhawks were able to generate anything to the level that they were looking for.

Other than that, this has just been an amazingly hard-fought series with every player on every shift just giving it their all.

Troy Murray is in his 13th year as a member of the Blackhawks broadcast team and his eighth year as the color analyst for the team's radio broadcasts. The Selke Award winner was a five-time 20-goal scorer and a veteran of 15 years in the NHL, playing in 915 career games.

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