Who's feeling more pressure now?

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Who's feeling more pressure now?

There were certainly some bumps along the way in Game 5. But you're going to have that when a team Is trying to close you out.

The frustrating thing for Joel Quenneville has been something he expressed after his team stayed alive: They still haven't played their best game yet. Saturday may have been, down to their so-called final bullet (which they still are). But in victory, it was still an example of how tough this Coyotes team is to play against.

Getting the rare opportunity to stand in the hallway between periods, I can see who's hurting, who's limping in when they don't even show it out there on the ice. I can hear the volume through the closed doors at how hard Quenneville's working -- encouraging and directing this team -- and it offers a different appreciation, even if they had been closed out.

But a game after the double-dose of costly mistakes on the winning goal two nights earlier, you feel good for Nick Leddy scoring the tying goal, and it makes a reporter feel good to ask Corey Crawford some questions about a win after you painfully ask and painfully listen to him about what happened to decide Games 3 and 4.

Now comes the interesting question of pressure: Who has it more? Is still squarely on the Hawks, still facing elimination, and even though they're going home - 0-4 versus Phoenix this season at the United Center, where Mike Smith has never lost?

Or is it on the Coyotes after failing to close it out and start a celebration for their fans who have never witnessed them win a postseason series since moving from Winnipeg - with first-round exits each of the past two years.

The monkey on their back isn't a fully-grown gorilla yet, but it might be if the Hawks follow them back to Jobing.com Arena after Monday night.

Blackhawks 2017 NHL Draft capsules: Scouting reports

Blackhawks 2017 NHL Draft capsules: Scouting reports

Stay up to date with the Blackhawks' selections in the 2017 NHL Draft, and their scouting reports.

Round 1, pick 29: Henri Jokiharju, defenseman

Round 2, pick 57: Ian Mitchell, defenseman 

— What you need to know: Mitchell, 18, scored eight goals and 29 assists in 53 regular-season games with the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, and also scored a goal and three assists in 10 playoff contests.

— Scouting report: Mitchell is a little undersized (5-foot-11, 165 pounds), but is known to be a smooth skater and puck-mover. He carries a right-handed shot, which GM Stan Bowman said is a "commodity" in the NHL these days.

Round 3, pick 70: Andrei Altybarmakyan, forward

— What you need to know: Altybarmakyan, 18, scored 20 goals and 25 assists in 31 regular-season games with the Serebryanye Lvy St. Petersburg of the Maritime Hockey League. He also tallied nine points in 27 games with SKA-Neva St. Petersburg.

— Scouting report: An offensively skilled player with a sneaky good shot. He's 5-foot-11, 183 pounds with a left-handed shot, and is known to be a playmaker.

 

Tim Anderson's birthday present from home plate umpire was first major-league ejection

Tim Anderson's birthday present from home plate umpire was first major-league ejection

On his 24th birthday, Tim Anderson’s present from home plate umpire Jim Wolf was his first major-league ejection.

In the fifth inning of the White Sox 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics, Anderson fouled off a pitch that landed in the opposing batter’s box. But A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell picked it up in what was ruled to be fair territory and threw the ball to first for the out.

Anderson pleaded his case saying the ball went foul. Wolf agreed, according to Anderson, which only further confused the White Sox shortstop.

“I told him that was BS,” Anderson said. “And he tossed me.”

Anderson said that he was surprised to be ejected so fast. So was manager Rick Renteria, who was thrown out moments after Anderson.

“I don’t want to get in trouble,” Renteria said. “The players having emotion, they are battling. I just think we need to grow a little thicker skin.”

Anderson said that he was appreciative of his manager coming to his defense.

“He kinda had a point and let me know he had my back,” Anderson said of Renteria. “Speaks a lot of him.”

A day after scoring nine runs on 18 hits, the White Sox failed to generate any offense on Friday. The team’s best chance came in the ninth inning.

But with runners at the corners and two outs, Matt Davidson put a good rip on the ball to center field, only to fly out at the warning track.

Anderson and Renteria were watching the game together in the clubhouse, and both believed the White Sox had tied the ballgame.

“We all jumped up and were excited but it kind of fell short,” Anderson said.