Blackhawk Down In Canada
The Hawks made one hell of a run to get back in the series, but eventually came up just short. While it didn’t actually accomplish anything, I feel much better with the team having pushed the President’s Trophy-winning Canucks to a Game 7 OT. After barely sneaking into the playoffs, I think the fans needed that in order to stay interested going forward. Even our very own Ed Silha had abandoned his favorite team after Game 3.
There’s no shame in losing to the best team in the league. Heading into the series, the Blackhawks were major underdogs, and the Canucks showed why in the first three games. Game 4 though they started dominating Luongo and eventually lued him right out of the building. Unfortunately the Ottawa defense came back with a vengeance in game seven and showed exactly why they gave up the fewest goals this season. But where was Toews?
Captain Serious averaged the most time on the ice of any Blackhawk forward during the series, but until 2 minutes to go in game seven he hadn’t scored a goal (how awesome was that shortie?). Had he matched his regular season average, he would have netted about 3 against the Canucks. I’m not blaming him for the loss, but you can’t have your captain under-producing when it counts the most and expect to win. I don’t put a whole lot of stock in the +/- stat, but for those who do, he was -4.
Maybe it’s a good thing that they lost; I’m not sure that my heart could take much more of that stress. After nearly having several heart attacks during the past two games, I’m pretty sure my ticker could use an off-season. I know there are many people out there who would gladly trade me for another Stanley Cup, but I’m not willing to make that exchange just yet. (See what happened there? I skipped straight to the 5th stage of grief. What can I say; I’m a pro.)
Next season will be the true litmus test for fans. They struggled to get excited at the beginning of this past season even though the Hawks were coming off of a Cup-winning season, and the city had already transformed into a Bulls town while the Blackhawks were still alive in the playoffs. If the Bulls manage to lose next round, we may find ourselves back to simply being a Bears town come next season. I guess time will tell, but hopefully not too soon. We still have a 138 baseball games to watch.