You've been here before, Blackhawks fans. Wasn't even all that long ago! You watched your Hawks split a pair at home before a sometimes-ugly two-goal road loss in Game 3.
Heck, that Detroit series got even worse before it got better. And yet your favorite hockey team showed great resolve, patience and skill to win three straight elimination games, including an overtime Game 7 that thankfully is NOT known in Chicago as The Steve Walkom Game. (We haven't forgotten.)
So why are we collectively freaking out about a 2-1 deficit to the Bruins? On Monday night my Twitter timeline read like an obituary—one of those really good obits where the guy who died knew everyone in his small town and really only had one character flaw (he had a couple of illegitimate kids; the power play).
The Blackhawks were the best team in the league all season, and if you thought they would take down Boston in less than six games, you're a fool. It doesn't matter what order the games are won or lost; it only matter that your team wins four.
Are the Bruins a better team than the Red Wings? Yes, particularly at one position: the freaking goaltender. But even Tuukka Rask was beaten on a few chances in Game 3. It was the Blackhawks who uncharacteristically missed wide-open nets (Kane, Toews) or drew iron instead of twine (Bickell). These chances even out over a best-of-seven, and much like the Detroit series you should expect a positive response from the Hawks on Wednesday.
Look for the Blackhawks to come out strong in the first period, hoping to use their superior speed to capitalize on the precious few minutes of good ice at the game's start. (Seriously, TD Garden, you can't afford to crank the AC down a few notches for the Stanley Cup Final? Even Rask called it "[S-word]" on national TV.)
Then the slogfest cometh, plus Shaw-Marchand II: The Re-Pestering. And a 2-1 Blackhawks win.
RedEye special contributor Alex Quigley can be heard on WGN Radio 720.
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