Sports
Sports

Before you bail, Hawks fans, ask yourselves this

For second-wave Blackhawks fans, you've finally got a real reason to hate Detroit. Since Chicago's 2009 playoff elimination at the hands of the Wings, the historically testy rivalry hasn't featured the same acrimony as Vancouver. Or St. Louis. Or even Phoenix. The Hawks have dominated, going 15-4-3 against Detroit since the '09 ouster.

And then the Blackhawks lost two games in a row and you've already tossed your Hossa shirtsey into the hamper. For shame.

How soon we forget 2010. Remember that scrappy 7-seed Nashville Predators team that seemed to be "coming together at the right time" and had "hot goalie" Pekka Rinne? They smoked Chicago 4-1 in Games 1 and 3, taking a 2-1 series lead and freaking out the more-freakoutable hockey fans and media. (On April 21, 2010, this very newspaper ran the headline "Smashed in Nashville," with quotes like "officially jangled the last nerve of Hawks faithful everywhere" and "the suddenly-wobbly Hawks assured of another 48 hours of teeth-gnashing over the possible seismic upset at hand." That was US!)

Feel familiar? Fact is, the road is almost never smooth for a Stanley Cup-winning team. Since 1988, only the 2008 Red Wings and last year's L.A. Kings hoisted the Cup without trailing in a postseason series. That's going back to when Wayne Gretzky was winning Hart Trophies in Edmonton, and also the year Paulina Gretzky was born. (Whoa.) Falling behind in a series should be expected by a Cup-winning team.

If the Blackhawks had played Game 3 like they played Game 2, there'd be more evidence to worry. But if you're still ready to jump ship, ask yourself these questions:

>> Do you think Jimmy Howard will stop 39 of 40 shots again? The same Jimmy Howard who allowed eight goals on exactly 100 shots against Chicago this regular season?

>> Do you think Andrew Shaw will get another perfectly legal goal taken away from him?

>> Do you think Jonathan Toews will hit the crossbar on a wide-open 8-footer again?

>> Do you think Michal Roszival will even play in Game 4?

>> Why am I on this ship?

If Game 3 were replayed with the same chances, same intensity and same players four times, the Blackhawks would win three of them. And that's all they need to do now, in this series. Save the "season in danger!" talk for actual elimination games.

Alex Quigley is a RedEye special contributor.

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Rescue dogs named after Blackhawks

    Rescue dogs named after Blackhawks

    Project Rescue Chicago (1535 N. Dayton St., 312-623-0939) takes in abused dogs, many of whom the staff names for Blackhawks and other hockey terms. Bridgid Nolan, owner of the shelter, describes how they got their names. And some of the dogs are available for adoption! Want more? Discuss this article...

  • 2013 RedEye-Blackhawks Beardoff

    2013 RedEye-Blackhawks Beardoff

  • Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Chicago's ban on plastic bags starts to take effect at many big stores Saturday, but an alderman who helped craft the law already is talking about changing it in order to thwart a few large retail chains that he says are trying to skirt the new rules.

  • State police: Man shot while riding in van on Eisenhower

    State police: Man shot while riding in van on Eisenhower

    A man was shot multiple times while traveling in a minivan on the inbound Eisenhower Expressway on Friday morning, authorities said.

  • Lollapalooza liquor gardening: fact or fiction?

    Lollapalooza liquor gardening: fact or fiction?

    It may sound like an urban legend: Music festival-goers bury bottles of booze in Chicago parks, plot a GPS location for the goods and uncover them days later when the festival comes alive.

  • Chicago plans to cut O'Hare noise by rotating runways at night

    Chicago plans to cut O'Hare noise by rotating runways at night

    The Emanuel administration on Friday will propose an experiment at O'Hare International Airport to rotate the runways used late at night, possibly on a weekly basis, to spread out jet noise, the city's aviation chief told the Chicago Tribune.

  • Almost 6 acres of land added near Fullerton Avenue Beach

    Almost 6 acres of land added near Fullerton Avenue Beach

    Along Chicago's lakefront at Fullerton Avenue Beach, cranes rolled along a causeway that only a few months ago was part of the lake itself. Every day this summer, roughly 40 construction workers are filling in Lake Michigan with dredged material and gravel, which will eventually add up to 5.8 acres...

  • Doughnut panic

    Doughnut panic

    I'm not ashamed to admit that for the past several years, I have mapped my walk to work around which doughnut shop I'd like an excuse to stop at on the way. There's nothing like the thought of a crunchy, craggy old fashioned doughnut or the sweet, yeasty chew of a classic glazed doughnut to help...

Comments
Loading
68°