Sometimes a team with a lot of talent tends to cheat a little on their chores. Whether that chore is to dump it by a Ryan Suter or back check a Zach Parise, their confidence can’t become their downfall.
That isn’t hockey hair you’re seeing grow out at this time, it’s the inflated melons of some of these skilled players on the Blackhawks. With their heads so big after a Presidents Trophy season, an impressive streak and pretty passing plays that make the fans gasp in awe, they must have too many thoughts rattling around up there clouding their decision making.
This was touched on during and post-game on Hockey Night in Canada. The Hawks look like they expect to win. This is a good thing because it instills a ton of “swagger” (a word used so much in sports now, I don’t think I even need those “quotation marks”). However, when this swagger takes over and you leave your goalie out to dry like hickory smokehouse beef jerky because you think you can just turn around with a scoring chance, this is bad!
The Hawks are effective when they have the puck: fact. The Hawks were so bloody successful during that streak because they were so effective using their skill and speed to back check to get said puck: super fact. They need to get into the mode of the latter to get back to their winning ways.
Coach Q has continued to impress me this year and there’s no doubt that Game #4 will see a couple of changes in lines and style. The Hawks need to come out and expect to get hit but that does not mean that can’t engage the Wild physically as well.
It doesn’t need to be said but Toews, Hossa, Seabrook are three leaders that need to get going. Crawford was very solid last game until the game winner by Zucker in OT. Whether it was fatigue or if he lost the puck behind the net, he needs to be up on his feet for that play.
It would be a shock not to see the Hawks bounce back with a better effort. Whether that turns into a W, that’s another story. The Wild will continue to try to grind out 1-goal wins. At least they know their game plan… their opponent needs to get back to theirs.
~ The Blackhawks might also want to check that swagger at the door until they get their PP back in order. Unfortunately, it’s a little late to be re-inventing their strategy so fingers crossed they start getting some bounces.
~ The linesmen need to realize no ounce of swagger should be carried by them during these playoffs. Not only does it make for awful television, but it’s not good for the game to watch them toss out… and talk… and toss out another centreman on each draw.
~ Congrats to Brandon Saad on getting nominated for the Calder Trophy. I will admit I didn’t think he had a season like this in him this early in his career. Then again, I didn’t expect him to play with Toews and Hossa all year.
Ty Cam out!
Filed Under: Chicago Blackhawks
About the Author: I am a rare Chicago Blackhawks fan from Canada, one might describe me as a hockey connoisseur and a solid checking line centre to your local rec hockey team. I once lived in a town of 500 people and now work in the hockey mecca that is Toronto. I work in the wonderful world of Advertising and these opinions are one of my own and not of my company - don't get it twisted.