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Handshakes (From The Press Box)

It's kind of tough to write a handshake post when you saw only one game of the series thanks to a spectacular trip across Europe, but here goes.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

So as the intro to this article said, I'm writing about a series I didn't see much of here. When faceoff was anywhere from 1am to 3am local time for me, it got pretty tough to keep up, and I'll tell you nothing is more brutal than having to wake up and check your phone (if you had wifi) to see if the team pulled it off. Three days I woke up elated. Three days I woke up to disappointment. And of course all of it led to yet another ultimate letdown in an end that I hate to say but I expected the moment the team lost game six so badly.

-Kudos to Marian Hossa, who at the age of 36 continues to be one of the most dominant top-six forwards in the NHL. His combination of size, skill, strength, and countless experiences makes him one of the most dangerous guys on the ice nearly every time he sets foot on it. He played a huge role in the series in providing the Chicago Blackhawks with just that little extra offensive spark that gave them an offensive edge on most nights.

-Kudos to the best centerman in the series, Jonathan Toews, who had to fight tooth and nail to get past Ryan Kesler for most of the series, but showed that comparisons between him and Ryan Getzlaf are outright silly. Toews is a better defender, better play-pusher, better scorer, and overall better player than the Ducks number-one man. Which leads me to a related one:

-Kudos to coach Joel Quennville, who when the chips were down and his back was against the wall, completely outcoached Bruce Boudreau, including finding a clever strategy to free his number-one center from the guy who was doing so well shutting him down, and putting him in a matchup he flat-out dominated. And perhaps what made it even worse, is that he managed to do so in Anaheim on Honda Center ice, which more or less caused the entire Anaheim system and structure to collapse into yet another embarrassing exit on home ice (ho hum, right?).

-Kudos to Teuvo Teravainen, who is showing a ton of promise as a young rookie as yet another guy the Hawks will get five or six good years out of before he eventually gets an offer sheet thrown his way and screws the Chicago salary cap.

And lastly....

-Kudos to the Chicago goalpost, because without its timely help, this series may very well have been done in five games with the Ducks going back to the Stanley Cup Final.