As if they knew something nobody else in Chicago did, that all along the Western Conference finals would come down to this. As if, why would anybody ever doubt this team?
There was no need for words from Toews after Kane rendered the rest of us speechless with his jaw-dropping, game-winning goal with 3:45 left in a 4-3 victory over the Kings that forced Game 7 on Sunday night. The Hawks have a special way of communicating best interpreted by the scoreboard.
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"I looked at him, I think it was about a minute left, there was a stoppage of play and I almost started laughing," Toews said. "It's amazing what he can do in these big games when our season is on the line."
It's just as amazing how the Hawks responded after falling behind 3-1 in this series. In the dressing room after their third straight loss Monday night in Los Angeles, oddly the vibe felt more upbeat than angry. Players exuded more purpose than panic, confidence outweighing concern. More than anything said, the body language sent the Blackhawks' strongest message: We believe.
Then in two of the most exhilarating hockey games these NHL playoffs have produced, the Hawks backed up that belief. They proved their resolve is more than just something discussed by talk-radio hosts and opposing coaches. A proud team on the verge of a dynasty suddenly looks like a team of destiny too.
"There's a wow factor in this series, especially the last two games," coach Joel Quenneville said. "As good as it gets."
Don't be surprised if it gets even better for the Blackhawks, who scored twice in the final 8:26 Friday to win a road playoff game the way championship teams do. When it comes to the Kings, the Hawks clearly aren't ready to crown 'em. Nothing else matters now but the proud defending Stanley Cup champions having home ice for the biggest game of the year. No team wants to play the Hawks under those circumstances. Nobody should.
Just ask Drew Doughty, who admitted as much before the Blackhawks tightened their psychological grip on the Kings.
"We know we can't let it go to Game 7," Doughty said before Game 6.
Not only has Doughty been the Kings' best player this series but their most honest.
Welcome to Game 7, the two most magical words in sports the Kings insist still inspire hope despite the doubt raised by Doughty. They have Justin Williams, who has 12 points in six career Game 7s. They have a core — Williams, Mike Richards, Marian Gaborik, Jeff Carter and Jonathan Quick — who are a combined 25-0 in Game 7s. They have an unflappable coach in Darryl Sutter, a transplanted Southern Californian who probably shrugs at earthquakes.
"Doesn't matter if it's (Game) 1 or 7," Sutter said.
It does if you're Kane.
Chicago's most clutch athlete since Michael Jordan thrives under such pressure, responding remarkably to the latest good gut move by Quenneville teaming Kane with Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad on what has been a "4-Letter Word" line to the Kings.
Kane became the first player in 22 years to post three or more points in consecutive games with his team facing elimination. Of Kane's 37 career playoff goals, 21 have come in the third period or overtime. Magic Johnson never timed the drama of "Showtime" any better.
"You try to take it upon yourself to try and step up in big situations," Kane said. "But we have a lot of guys that do that."
As do the Kings, who will take the ice with more on the line than just the Clarence Campbell Bowl in what really is a de facto Cup final. Besides immediately emerging as a big favorite against the Rangers, the winner of the West can lay claim to the title of the NHL's most successful post-salary-cap-era organization. Nobody has built stronger rosters any smarter than the Hawks or Kings, who successfully blend stars with promising homegrown players.
The Kings have won two previous Game 7s this postseason but arrived for both of those challenges riding winning streaks instead of reeling after a rare meltdown by their world-class goalie. Is it a coincidence Quick allowed two goals on three third-period shots Friday after losing his focus so much he head-butted counterpart Corey Crawford?
Can the Kings find a way to offset the will of Toews and his team that's even harder to overcome than its skill?
What did Sutter say to his team postgame to prepare for this penultimate moment?
"Fly at 11," Sutter told the Kings.
It's hard now to imagine these Hawks landing anywhere but the Stanley Cup Final.