Chicago Soul by mmD

 

The series resumes at the United Center tonight, the Hawks are 0-2, Brent Seabrook is suspended, Corey Crawford is blaming himself and it’s been nearly 148 minutes of Hockey since a Blackhawks forward scored a goal. How we all doing?

 

Let me make this very clear: I love this team and I still believe they’re going to pull this off. There are things that need to change to make this happen, though and there are other things that I never want to see again.

Seabrook got off lightly with three games. For some reason the DoPS, mandated to get headshots out of the game, decided to ignore the blatant targeting of the head and focus on the timing and charging element. I wouldn’t have blinked at a heavier suspension. Likewise, Bryan Bickell appears to have escaped further sanction for a dreadful knee-on-knee collision with Vlad Sobotka.  Lucky break for Bicks, there, because that should have seen him sitting out at least a game.

There’s still no word on whether David Backes will be good to go.. one would think not, having seen how out of it he was, but “It’s The Playoffs” so they may point him in the general direction of the ice and send him out there anyway. (and I must mention, in passing, that I’ve seen a fair amount of “Screw him, it’s Backes, he deserves it”. Folks, I know Backes is a turd, but if you’re wishing a serious brain injury on another human being.. well, you maybe need to think about that for a minute)

There have been a slew of articles (and I’m sure you’ll see more today) about “How the Hawks can get back into this series”. To my mind there’s a very simple way: resume playing like the Chicago Blackhawks.  Attack at speed and in numbers. Keep the stretch passes to a minimum (yes, one got a sweet goal for Kane in Game 1, doesn’t mean it needs to be the go-to tactic however much of a stiffie it gives to Engblom & Edzo). Above all cut out the thuggery and the dumb fucking penalties.  Part of what made the finale to Saturday’s game so hard to watch was that it was a perfect role-reversal of what normally happens between these two: this time, the Blues let the Hawks lose their minds and punished them on the scoreboard.

Sheldon Brookbank draws in, not sure where he’ll be slotted. If, as my esteemed colleague Nakis has suggested, they pair Keith and Hjammer (and he may have been joking!) then this is going to be a very bumpy ride.

These have been two very close games that could have gone either way, but they haven’t and that’s the plain truth. So the Hawks need to get on their game and get on it right early. With or without Backes, this is going to be a fired-up, pissed-off Blues team coming to Chicago with a point to prove.

Stop them here, and the series is up for grabs again. Go in a 0-3 hole and it’s time to start looking up tee times. Get it done, gentlemen.