Right now, Chicago hockey fans are panicked. A 2-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks has been amplified to a 7-0 blowout loss. Please step off the ledge…the season isn’t over.
The first period last night was a huge problem. The Hawks had no answer for the Canucks’ onslaught. It was men vs boys for 20 minutes…there is no question about that.
Let’s take a step back as Hawk fans, and look at this realistically. If Game 1 of a playoff series could ever be “must win”, it was “must win” for the Canucks. All week long, they had to answer questions about playing the Blackhawks. Do the Hawks have their number? Can Roberto Luongo win a big series or are the Hawks in their heads?
The Canucks had to answer these questions, on and off the ice. They came out fired up, inspired by their home crowd who was out of control for most of the game, and took it to the Hawks for 20 minutes.
The other 40 minutes were a different story.
After getting outshot 13-7 in the first period, the Hawks went on to outshoot the Canucks 25-20 the rest of the game. They had the edge in play the final two thirds of the game, but Roberto Luongo (and his friend the post) had answers.
This game was NOT a blowout by any measure. The Hawks were a bounce away the entire game, and Vancouver felt it, despite the overconfidence of their fans.
Game 2 looms large for both teams. Obviously, the Hawks don’t want to go down 2-0 in the series, and Vancouver doesn’t want to lose home ice advantage. If the Hawks can do what they did for the final 40 minutes of game one, they’ll come home with the series tied.
It is NOT time to dress John Scott, or Garnett Exelby, or the ghost of Bob Probert.
Despite the panic in the streets, the Hawks are good enough to eliminate the Canucks…again.