Want to start this off by saying I am writing this from the bar at my hotel since I could not get into any of the bars here in Nashville, as I have the face of a 12 year old boy. I knew this was gonna happen, which didn’t make it nearly as depressing as it was having to walk out of Bridgestone Arena with my tail between my legs because my Chicago Blackhawks got their asses handed to them on a silver platter and were SWEPT by the Nashville Predators Thursday night, losing 4-1 in Game 4. It was embarrassing to say the least.
As you can see, I was pretty confident heading into Game 4. I genuinely thought that the Hawks would do whatever necessary to bring the series back to Chicago and avoid the sweep. I thought Coach Q would find a way to rally his team. I thought their core group of guys would set the example they always set come playoff time and grind out ways to stay alive and survive to play another game.
CLEARLY this didn’t happen, as I had to sit through 4 “Crawford, You Suck, It’s All Your Fault” chants and watch my favorite team get swept in the first round of the playoffs by the (granted, very good) 8th seed in the Western Conference.
To be fair, we stumbled across Nashville at the worst time possible, as they were clicking on all cylinders and the Great Wall of Finland Pekka Rinne was playing out of his GOSH DARN MIND!! With this, the Blackhawks did things that you simply cannot do if you want to make any kind of playoff run in the NHL. First off, you need to score the friggin puck. We barely were able to put three goals past Rinne in the series, and when we did we seemed to have little to no urgency in trying to get more. You also can’t have a defense that is softer than a baby’s bottom on the ice half the time. Whether it’s Seabrook turning the puck over, Oduya not getting back on D after a pinch because he’s slow as all hell, or TVR just being TVR, defense wins championships, and we certainly did not bring what it took on the defensive end to win games. When the opposing goalie has more points than anyone on your team in the series, you know you didn’t bring nearly enough to the table to compete.
What’s interesting is that how well we did in the regular season in comparison to this series. We blew past almost all expectations for the season, getting first place in the West while dealing with losing key pieces and starting several rookies. With the salary cap set to attack our roster like a pack of rabid dogs like it does to us every offseason, it will be even more interesting to see how the dynamic of the team shapes out and how we approach 2017-2018. (I don’t want, I NEED Alex Debrincat to be the stud that everyone is saying he’ll be.)
One positive thing that came from this series was Keith’s hit on Viktor Arvidsson, Duncs laid the WOOD.