Things are bad if you’re the Chicago Blackhawks.
After taking an early 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals, the ‘Hawks now find themselves down 3-1 and have been soundly beaten in every important aspect of the game. The Los Angeles Kings have outplayed the ‘Hawks defensively, in the face-off circle, and on the power play.
When the Kings are on their game, it’s almost impossible to beat them, so it’s going to take a lot for Chicago make a comeback, but history tells us the ‘Hawks still have a chance at winning this series.
I haven’t had a lot of fun watching this series, but it has reminded me of last year’s playoffs and the dire situation the ‘Hawks found themselves in.
Last year, the ‘Hawks beat the Detroit Red Wings in the first game of their Western Conference semifinal series only to drop the next three in the same way they’ve lost the past three games – getting their butts kicked all over the ice. The Red Wings were shouting down the ‘Hawks much the same way the Kings are now – by outplaying them defensively and shutting down their star players like Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane, and Jonathan Toews.
The Blackhawks didn’t give up, though. Instead, they kept their heads up and refocused. The subsequent three game winning streak and 4-3 series win over the Red Wings became a franchise first and paved the way for the Chicago to win its second Stanley Cup in four years.
It happened last year, so why can’t it happen again this year? That’s the question I asked myself after the final horn sounded on Monday night’s game. The Blackhawks have been severely outplayed in the past three games, but they were severely outplayed last season too. Unlike the NBA, where only eight teams in the entire history of the NBA have come back from a 3-1 series deficit, the NHL playoffs aren’t so black-and-white.
The Blackhawks locker room after Monday night’s game seemed to have the same quiet confidence as last year, and as a fan I like that even if they only manage to delay a series loss. Blackhawks coach, Joel Quenneville, put Toews and Kane on the same line late in Monday night’s game to help stir up the offense just like he did last season against against the Red Wings. Both times it worked. The Blackhawks are going to need it to continue to work if they want a chance to win this series.
No lead is safe in the NHL. As long as there’s still a chance, the Blackhawks’ “one goal” is still attainable