The Blackhawks now trail Boston 2-1 after Monday night’s loss. Sports editor Jon Styf and reporter Jeff Arnold discuss what it means:
Arnold: Well, I’m not sure the Blackhawks could have made any worse of a first impression in Boston than they did. The defense hung Corey Crawford out to dry, the offense was lackluster at best and the result was pretty much predictable. Anything I missed?
Styf: Hossa couldn’t even make it through pre-game. So yeah, as bad as it gets. They’re down 2-1, back against the wall, needing to steal one to avoid falling into what looks like it would be an insurmountable 3-1 hold. We remember Detroit. We know this one would be a little more difficult.
Arnold: Detroit certainly fits the hostile territory category, but the Bruins are much more formidable and that’s going to be hard for the Hawks to overcome – especially on the road. As bad as the Hawks were (again) on the power play in Game 3, they certainly weren’t impressive 5-on-5, losing yet another third game of a series. The way the Bruins are playing, is there any way the Hawks don’t come back to Chicago on Saturday on the brink of elimination?
Styf: There’s always a way. They played even-up hockey in almost every way until Monday. Monday just looked bad. All their warts were showing. They’re not as bad as that looked, clearly. And they’re going to bring it back to Chicago even.
Arnold: As someone who picked the Hawks in 7, talking to someone who picked the Bruins in 6, I’m certainly surprised to hear you say that. I think Boston’s physical style is starting to wear on the Hawks. But as seemingly invisible as Jonathan Toews was in Game 3, he tends to get his team ready when they face a challenge. And trying to get back home tied up may be the biggest challenge the Hawks have faced in the playoffs, including being down 3-1 to the Red Wings.
Styf: You can fall on your face after 2-2. I guess that’s what I’m seeing. I just know the pendulum swings back with much more velocity after one that looks this bad. It’s not over, not by a longshot. Plenty more extra time in front of us.
Arnold: If the Hawks had to choose a time to get a bad game out of their system, this was a beaut with all that went wrong. That being said, the Hawks tend to make adjustments pretty quickly and they’re going to clean their game up and force the action early on Wednesday night if they hope to keep my dream alive for a seven-game Stanley Cup Final.
Styf: It’s not about your pick Jeff, it’s bigger than that. And it’s bigger than a few failed power plays. Yeah, there are structural issues when you fail that many consecutive times. But you also start thinking about it, too much, and start making bad decisions trying to get the perfect opportunity. Sometimes you just have to let loose and attack. That time is now.