In the third frame, suddenly Corey Crawford appeared to revert to his 2012 version, the one that suddenly allows super soft goals. At about the same time the rest of the Hawks seemed to mentally checkout. That’s all it took, a bad 3:30 and a sure win was in jeopardy.
The Predators then controlled the momentum and managed to even the score at two. The Blackhawks won in a shootout 3-2 but Nashville captured an important point in their playoff quest.
Crawford hung tough enough to get the game to a shootout. It was then an unlikely hero Michal Rozsival put the game winner past Pekka Rinne with a slick move.
In the third period it was easier for the more desperate team to stay focused and this is starting to become a trend.
The Hawks will have to be weary of the same thing happening over the final 13 games of the regular season. This last stretch of games can be a useful learning experience as they will be a different kind of challenge.
My guess is the President’s Trophy wasn’t on Joel Quenneville’s wish list before this abbreviated campaign began.
Coming away with the best regular season record is an accomplishment but it hasn’t led to a Stanley Cup victory in most cases. Since being established in 1986, only sevens Cup winners out of 26 have gone on to win the Cup after claiming the President’s Trophy.
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