Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardins will be blogging for NHL.com periodically throughout the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In this edition, he provides his thoughts on Chicago's 2-1 victory in Game 5.
TAMPA -- I thought that was our best game of the series.
We played a pretty sound game. After every other game of the series I could think of a bunch of things we needed to improve on, but I can't really think of one after this game.
Still, we know we can be better.
I think our line played a little bit more direct tonight. I was talking about that predictability, speed to the puck, smart, simple with the puck, and I think that helped our line have a little bit more success. We didn't score, but the chances were there and it comes down to beating the same drum and kind of saying the same things.
I had a couple of great chances myself tonight. The first one came off a turnover and Shawsie [Andrew Shaw] made a heck of a play. We kind of locked eyes and I knew it was coming. It was a good save. I never second-guessed it, I thought it was a good shot and he [Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop] made a good save on it. I shot it pretty well where I wanted to.
The second one was a jam play at the net. It was the same kind of thing, a turnover off the cycle and I knew Krugs [Marcus Kruger] was going to try to wrap it, so I just tried to drive to the far post, put my stick on the ice and shovel away. Again, the puck sat on the side of the post and didn't find its way in.
The chances were there, and that's always a positive.
Being sent out there at the end of the game to protect the lead is a big responsibility, and our line has kind of fallen into that role throughout the playoffs. We take a lot of pride in that. It's a huge thing to be responsible for and we really pride ourselves on being very good in those situations. The trust they have in us in that situation just feels unbelievable.
It's exciting to be in those situations, and it's an awesome feeling.
It's about getting better every game, and I thought our line got better tonight. As a team we got better tonight.
We did good things with the puck as a team, and we checked well too.
So now we're one win away, but we can't think like that. We just need to think about winning that game and playing the right way, period by period, shift by shift. Getting ahead of yourselves or thinking about that end goal is not the way to reach that goal. You've just got to think about doing the right things and everything else will follow.
We need to get even better off this game and build off of this game. There's still more, and we all know it.
We're excited for the next game and to challenge ourselves to be better.
Author: Andrew Desjardins | Special to NHL.com