Is the Blackhawk's season Over. A 2-0 deficit to Vancouver proves daunting.

When Toews came flying out of the neutral zone and blew past both Vancouver defenders in the early part of this game, I jumped out my chair at the neighborhood bar and grill (that's where I watch games when I don't trust the internet). Now we're talking, this is what I expected to see, but much like this season, and this series is proving to be, disappointment set in when the puck stayed out of the net. What followed was a slightly better 1st period than last game, but an overall weak performance for the game.

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Live or die by Toews. The Sedin entity scored twice to carry their team to a 2-0 lead in the series, while Toews finished with nada except for his -1. Unlike my counterparts Vegas and fourfeather, I do think the Hawks are giving it away. I now they have better, I have seen better, and when the loss boils down to defensive breakdowns, it says there is an execution problem, not a talent problem. All of our top guys are better than they are giving, and it is the back half of the roster that produced yesterday.
The defense that costs so much money is underperforming so much. Keith still hasn't stepped up, and his mistakes are the results of Vancouver chances and sometimes goals. The inability to clear the zone is what allowed the first Vancouver goal to happen, Campbell's fear of taking a hit to blame for that. Sometimes it was just a lack of communication. When the Chicago defensive line has to be the difference, no one can expect a win with that performance.
Where the terrible clearing attempts killed them early, an even more terrible excuse for a power-play killed them later. When Vancouver scored the late 2nd period goal I accepted it as the nail in my symbolic coffin. What followed didn't matter anymore.
And yet, this game was almost taken away from Vancouver.
Can I ask really quickly why Dowell was not on the ice? What the hell, I thought he had a good last game and he is far better than Kruger.
I fear that Vegas and fourfeather might have summed up the situation. Vancouver is too tight and conditioned for this depleted Hawk's team. This series is not over yet, but the Hawks are hurting, and I fear they were never prepared for this season. Present injuries are adding insult which leads me to ask if the Hawks need the summer off to regroup. 
With all that said, I have not given up just yet. Game 3 is a must win and I feel some momentum shifting back to Chicago. The Hawks had 40 hits! Holy crap. Seabrook, who I think is playing just fine, had a big part in that. He, Brouwer and Bickell might be the only natural hitters on the team. Consequently, I have no gripes about their play, although I wish Brouwer would be more of a difference maker.
And What the hell got into Sharp? He looked kind of mad out there.Getting away with a wicked couple of slashes early in the game, he continued to run into Nuck bodies at any opportunity and got feisty on many occasions. Too bad it kept him from scoring. Which brings me to this question, "should the Hawks let Vancouver take them off of their game?" Being physical is not their thing, why start now?
Momentum can also be found in the 3 goals Chicago scored on Luongo last night. This can only be a good thing. The Hawks did not let him be the difference and we all know how fragile he is.
Stalberg, Bickell, and Smith had great games. When depth has been the reason for concern all year long, it is that so-called lack of depth that is stepping up when it counts. Smith is a treat to watch, and if Stalberg can get a pair of hands over the summer I feel he can be a giant scoring threat. 
As fourfeather put it, the Nucks were standing the Hawks up on the blue line. When the Hawks finally began dumping and chasing things started to turn around. They showed resiliency in the end and that is something to carry back home. The game ended up being much closer than what the first half predicted. Got to give them that.
To win, the Hawks need to be healthy. We need Bolland back, Kopecky is a huge loss right now. Bickell didn't look good when he left the game holding his wrist. We need these guys, and we need the top players to step up and be just that. Hossa especially. If he continues his crappy playoff performance, leading to an early departure, I think it is his ass that needs to depart. If you can not show up in the playoffs than your worth is pretty low.
Prediction: If Toews gets a point Sunday, the Hawks win.


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  • I agree entirely that the Hawks have the talent, but I don't know what Q can do at this point. Some nights, I definitely feel like the top stars are not giving their best efforts. But right now, I'm going to say Vancouver is outplaying them. It's too early to do a post mortem, so I'll steer away from that. I don't think they are mailing it in, but I look at the faces of the Canucks, I look at the discipline they are showing and I see what I saw last year in the Hawks.

    In other news, I have decided to shave the winter beard for the hope of a reverse psychology. Last year I moved before the playoffs started, so maybe I need to keep going in the opposite direction. I don't think it can hurt at this point LOL

  • I hesitate writing because opining will re-state what HH said, but.....

    Expecting the Hawks to match the Canucks' intensity by bringing an amped physical game of their own is not going to work. They are not wired to hit and doing so throws throws them off their possession skating game. Seabrook is the only true pounder on the team whose play improves the more he hits. bickell

  • Will get there. Brouwer remains heap big man play small and his un- fulfilled promise for the role the Hawks glaringly need has to be dealt with in the offseason.

    The hawks are built for speed and why that kind of game is not producing is the question. The effort is there, but it is headless. The passing is sloppy, shooting inaccurate and they don't look together as a team. That beautiful, high speed precision game is so far off they have been reduced to the dump and chase days of Mike Keenan. And that is a pounding game won in the corners, bringing us back to square one.

    While I would never give up on our guys, a full summer of rest and re-tooling sounds ok to me.

  • "The effort is there, but it is headless. The passing is sloppy, shooting inaccurate and they don't look together as a team."

  • HH, any chance of getting an edit post function here?

  • ChicagoNow is moving to wordpress which usually has that function.

    To add to your comments on Keith, I agree completely. What really gets me though is how he is consistently the guy with the most ice-time. Campoli has shown great talent and dependability, and yet he skates 10 minutes less than Keith. I have held off for a while, but I am back to really questioning Q's choices.

  • Word is that John Scott is in and Brian Bickell is out for today's game. This move has me going "hmmmmmmm". Just what the heck is the team's worst player going to do to win the game and turn the series around? Elbow a Sedin in head from behind? Other that fighting, the man is useless. Maybe it's time to rethink the direction this team is being lead.


  • In reply to beaverwarrior:

    I'm guessing the only ones left on the bench atr too AHL to throw into the frying pan. I like the risk.

  • In reply to beaverwarrior:

    Scott will try and instigate in his two and half minutes of ice time. Canucks won't be biting unless the game is out of hand one way or the other

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