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With Game 6, Hawks must continue to force the issue
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff

Troy Murray

 

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Published: 4/27/2009 12:06 AM

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Troy Murray, who spent 12 years of a 15-year career with the Blackhawks and now is the team's color analyst on WGN 720-AM, offers his perspective on the Blackhawks-Flames series.

Q: In that first period, was it just that the Hawks were so energized or were the Flames so lethargic?

Murray: It was a combination of both. I think Calgary was caught off guard with the resolve of the Blackhawks and the way they started that hockey game and never let off the gas pedal.

Calgary was never able to get back in. Dustin Boyd got the goal to start the second period, but then there was a great response by the Blackhawks to come back with a couple of great shifts, and then answering with a goal of their own to take away any momentum Calgary might have had.

Q: Was that cross-checking penalty on Cory Sarich on Dave Bolland in the first period one of the keys Saturday?

Murray: Absolutely. Cory Sarich, at the end of the game, admitted it was bad penalty and the wrong time to take it. That really put Calgary on their heels. The Blackhawks built off that momentum and never really let them back into that hockey game.

Q: Can a thumping like that be a backbreaker for Calgary?

Murray: I looked at some of their players Saturday night, and I think some of their key players are banged up a little more than they're leading on. In the big scheme, it's one game and it doesn't matter if it was a close game or not, you've got to put that behind you. But I think the Blackhawks planted a seed of doubt in the way they dominated that game.

Q: Best game the Hawks have played this year?

Murray: I would say from start to finish it ranks right up there. That was a full 60-minute effort.

Q: How do the Hawks finish off the series tonight?

Murray: They have to be very respectful of what Calgary is going to bring to that game. They have a lot of guys that have a lot of pride.

Jarome Iginla was one of the first guys to admit that he was not good in that hockey game; expect him to be a major force in Game 6.

The one thing the Blackhawks have to do is force the issue and really get Calgary on their heels because their crowd is going to be full of energy, the team is going to be full of energy. The longer you can take the life away from them, at some point there's a breaking point. It may not be from Iginla or (goalie) Miikka Kiprusoff, but a seed of doubt somewhere along the line may make the difference if the Blackhawks force the issue.

• Mike Spellman interviews Troy Murray before each playoff game. Murray is in his sixth season as color analyst for Blackhawks radio broadcasts on WGN 720-AM.