1. Hossa was out last game, a last-minute scratch. Did Toews win the Selke for being defensive in the post-game interviews about whether they knew or not?
Hardy-Har. I'm guessing they didn't know and it was something that happened in the warm-up (this stuff about "Not wanting to tip our hand about Playoff Hero Ben Smith coming in" from Q is egregious bullshit.) In case you didn't know, the Hawks are notoriously tight-lipped about injuries.. but years of decoding Q-Speak makes me believe that Hossa will be in the line-up tonight. The rumour is that it was a neck injury.. said neck has had Roman Polak and Raffi Torres happen to it over the years, so possibly it was a precaution due to a twinge. But we'll never know for sure.
2. It's deep into a playoff run at this point so you probably know what you have with your team, but have any Blackhawks stepped up in the Final and surprised you with their play?
Not really. Mainly because no-one has stepped up. Dave Bolland showed flashes of actually getting involved this year during Game 1, but has gone back to taking stupid penalties and losing faceoffs. I'm more surprised by the lack of production from Shaw and Bickell, both of whom are tailor-made for this sort of series. I'm not worried about the Top-End more-or-less cancelling each other out on both teams, but the offensive depth was meant to be where Chicago have the edge. Post Game 1, we've not seen much of that. If it's the Bruins shutting it down, kudos. Oh, and it's no surprise, based on his play all year, but if the Hawks do win the Cup, I'm going to beat the drum for Michael Frolik as Conn Smythe candidate.
3. Through three games, who's your favorite Bruin? Least favorite Bruin?
My favourite Bruin is always going to be Chara. Living in the UK I've been lucky enough to meet a lot of Slovaks and they are wonderful (if completely crazy) people. After Demitra died, I had a lengthy pub conversation with two massive, shaven headed Slovak guys who were weeping like babies over it. So I'm a fan of Slovakia in general (and really glad the Cup is going back there this year, whatever happens) Everything about Chara's story is inspiring and the fact that he's a cycling fan seals the deal for me. He's also very, very good at his job, of course. Bergeron should have won the Selke. He's been excellent. Seidenberg too..
I'm not going to pick Marchand for least favourite because that's a bit too obvious. He's a turd, but if he was wearing a Hawks jersey I'd love him. It'll have to be Rask, I guess. Hopefully he'll channel some Inner-Brian-Elliott soon.. please? Additionally: I'm surprised and pleased that this series has, mostly, been played in pretty good spirit. Two fucking good Hockey Teams giving the League a Final it doesn't deserve after a Lockout.
Thanks again for answering my questions, Mike!