10:33 PM CDT, April 17, 2011
Do we have to summon the Flyers? Is that what we're reduced to? Summoning up the team that made last year's playoffs on the last game of the season and eventually overcame a three-games-to-none deficit to make the Stanley Cup Finals?
I guess that indeed is what we're reduced to because these Hawks appear lucky to make it past Tuesday after Sunday night's devastating 3-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks that has left them in a three-oh hole.
It might not be officially over, but it's over. The Hawks aren't going to come back on the Canucks they owned the last couple springs. These aren't those Hawks, and these are those Canucks. The Hawks aren't going beat this team four straight when they can't beat them even once. I mean, the Hawks have led just once after the nine periods in this series.
The Hawks blew a chance to end Game 3 early when their skating and effort earned them a 5-on-3 advantage after taking a 1-0 lead on the power play. But the Hawks failed, then failed on the ensuing 5-on-4. Unfortunately, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville was right about his belief that the team that wins the 5-on-3 usually wins the game.
The Hawks got seven power plays and scored twice. You could argue the Hawks should've had a five-minute power play in the second period when Vancouver idiot Raffi Torres leveled Brent Seabrook with an elbow behind the net. Torres only got two minutes -- NHL officiating can be downright stupid -- and the Hawks scored to tie it at 2, but they were denied a chance to continue with the extra man and perhaps take the lead.
Scream about it if you want, but save some anger for the Hawks' failure at even-strength. The Hawks have three goals when skating 5-on-5 in this series, none from Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa. The Canucks, meanwhile, have seven goals at even-strength in the three games, including a go-ahead goal and the winner Sunday.
The Hawks' ability to roll line after talented line isn't happening. The Canucks hold that valuable edge. The Canucks have proven stronger, faster, better and tougher. They have proven they can stand up to the pressure of the NHL's best record. They have proven they can ruin their playoff nemesis.
"One Goal'' lasted one year.
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