After Saturday night’s horrifying 5-0 loss to the Nashville Predators , the Chicago Blackhawks have dug themselves a hole that’s hard to climb out of, being down 2-0 in a series with home ice advantage.
You can stir up the conversation that they’ve done this before, they have the skill, we’ve been in worse situations, blah blah blah.
It’s all nonsense.
This might be the worst shape I’ve seen this team in a playoff series in a very, very long time.
As the top seed in the western conference, with one of the best home ice records in the league, the Hawks have fought hard and vigilantly all season long. With a 50-23-9 record, they’ve proven to be one of the league’s most elite talent this season. With six 20+ goal scorers on the roster, it’s hard to watch them get shutout in their first two home games of the series.
Having said that, it’s like the team has lost their virtue, their will to label themselves as such heroic players and superstars. There’s no spark on the bench, no one is accumulating a bubble to keep this team afloat during these tide of rough waters.
It’s times like these when the Hawks can look back at when a guy like Andrew Shaw kept the team on edge with his agitating antics, keeping moral high and confidence at stable condition. Not to mention, he knew how to get to the dirty areas and net a few in a playoff series.
If the Hawks want to turn this around, which they can still do, It’s going to take a lot to do so.
First off, you need to get your top lines scoring.
Switching up lines constantly and trying to waver up chemistry when your superstars can’t find their groove is extremely dangerous, and it seems that’s what Coach Q and the gang are doing right now.
It’s a judgmental move, for sure, but when you have the lines that have been consistently well throughout the final weeks of the regular season when you were one of the hottest teams, it can ruin your structure to keep changing up and mixing up combinations. It takes away the plan of the lines and what they intended to do moving forward.
To me, it’s like starting the process all over again and again, but with Joel Quenneville behind the bench, he obviously has other things in mind and has a lot of confidence with whoever plays on either line.
Game three in Nashville is going to be tough with all momentum in favor of the Preds. But if the Hawks can get a voice, someone, a top guy, to get on the board and separate them from a par three next week, they just might have a chance to comeback and give them life.
It’s a time where you need to play it shift by shift, minute by minute, and period by period. Hopefully this time around, we see a few goals or even an inch closer to redeeming ourselves in this series.
We all know they can do it, it’s just a matter of if or when. That when, however, needs to be soon.