A sweep of the defending Stanley Cup champions was asking too much.
There was too much pride in the Chicago Blackhawks dressing room. And on the ice, there was too much Dave Bolland.
The Hawks super pest returned from a concussion in time to save his team from playoff elimination. Bolland had four points as Chicago won 7-2 and forced a Game 5 in Vancouver.
Now we'll see if the "juice" Chicago received from Bolland's return was a one-off, or if he has some mystical power over the Sedin twins (who were a combined minus-7).
Some other impressions on Game 4...
- Turning point
The Canucks lost 7-1 to Chicago at home on Nov. 20. It sparked a team meeting and a turn in competitive fortunes. Will this loss have the same effect?
- Kevin Bieksa
Last year, former Hawks forward Adam Burish called him a "spot picker," and there is no other way to describe his third-period beat down on pacifist winger Viktor Stalberg. Raffi Torres handed the Hawks a rallying point with his hit on Brent Seabrook in Game 3. You wonder if Bieksa did the same in Game 4.
- Michael Frolik
Bolland got all the press because he was returning from a concussion and a 17-game absence, but Frolik was no worse than the second best player on the ice. He had three points, and that doesn't count his setup of the fourth goal, when he forced a Tanner Glass turnover.
- Active defence
The game was over when Brian Campbell and Duncan Keith scored 17 seconds apart in the second period. Campbell jumped into the rush, and Keith jumped off the point. Offence from the D is a necessary ingredient given how many Hawks forwards are struggling.