Skip to main content

ONE GOAL!: Boston 2, Blackhawks didn't show up

Ok. Losing a player as key as Marian Hossa doesn't help. But that's no excuse.

I lack cable and have to wait until dark to hold my clock radio up to the window in order to get bits and snatches of WGN, whose signal is directionally pointed East. Last night the interference was especially bad. It appears that I was lucky.

From what I made out from Troy Murray, our play was lackidasical and complacent. Sounds familiar. This team seems to need pressure to play at their best. Well, they sure have pressure now- though I don't think they'll respond to it fully until Game 5 in Chicago.

But they'd better. I know all about the Detroit series, and I've praised this team for its heart over and over. But this is not Detroit we're playing, and if we don't win tomorrow night in Boston, I think we're pretty much done.

Which I will especially hate, because most Bruin fans and the Boston media generally are making even the folks in Philly look like good sports.

In fairness to both the Hawks and the Bruins, it's not just a matter of our not playing up to par. This is a pretty damned good defensive team we're playing. They've been blocking as many shots as we've gotten on goal! And Rask is reminding me of Ken Dryden back in '71. Give credit where credit is due; it's not just that the Hawks are screwing up. Boston is doing an awful lot of things awfully well.

While it's still too early to be looking forward to next year- barely- Bowman has to deal with slot presence as his number one priority. That and play design, which- as Mike Milbury (whom I greatly respect, btw) keeps pointing out, has sucked for the Hawks this series. There is no excuse for forming up your power play backwards! And then, there's execution. They're just not getting it done even when they don't mess up in some obvious way.

The power play is composed of a great many component parts. Slot presence will help. Better play design and execution will help. We need somehow to land the personnel to get more physical without losing skill. Something tells me this is not the last time we'll see Boston in the playoffs. The Hawks will be going deep into the playoffs for years to come, if they don't totally fall apart after this disappointment and lose their mojo or start making stupid personnel moves. We have to gear up to face Rask and this same bunch next year.

I have a hunch Boston may even become our new nemesis.

But I get ahead of myself. A victory tomorrow night would turn the whole series around. A defeat is certain to energize this team. I think they'll be energized to some extent tomorrow night, and play much better than they did last night. For sure they;ll be at the top of their game when they get back home.

But while I wouldn't pull it past them to have two miracles like they pulled off against the Octopus Boys up their sleeve, I don't see it happening against Boston. They're just too good.

Everybody sold them short. And despite the heart of this Blackhawks team, they seem to have an awfully tough time getting it through their heads that just because they had the best start in league history and won the President's Trophy doesn't mean that they can cruise through the playoffs.

Every game in this series will be decided by which team wants it more. And right now, it looks like that team is Boston.


Popular posts from this blog

McMullin, Kasich, Hickenlooper, Huntsman, or somebody else sane in 2020!

I don't expect to be disenfranchised in 2020. I'm looking forward to Evan McMullin running against President Trump and whatever left-wing extremist the Democrats nominate. McMullin may or may not run for the Senate next year, and he may or may not run for president as an independent again next time around, but the nation can't afford to lose its most eloquent and intelligent critic of the populist takeover of the Republican party and the Executive Branch. We need the man in public life.

But interesting alternatives have developed. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been mentioned as a potential primary challenger for Mr. Trump. I hope somebody continues the fight for the soul of my former party, even though I believe it to be a lost cause. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is reportedly also considering a challenge to Mr. Trump. While I tend to see him at this point as somewhere to the left of where a candidate I would feel comfortable supporting might be, I would wish him well. Still, I see…

A modest proposal for a shocking innovation which is completely within the rules but which would, if adopted, revolutionize college football

I call it defense.

The idea- crazy as it may sound- is to supplement the scoring of points by your offense with an attempt to stop the other team from scoring them. Yeah, I know.  Really "out there," isn't it? But it has a history of winning not only games but championships. Modern college teams should try it more.

I'm a bit bummed about the Rose Bowl outcome but amused by the score. It seems that certain conferences aren't sure whether they're playing college football or high school basketball! I've noticed that in the scores of Sooner games. Last season the nation's college teams set a record by scoring an average of slightly more than 30 points each per game. That's a lot. Historically, that's a REAL lot.

The final score of the Rose Bowl was 54-48, though to be fair that was in double overtime. But to get there, the teams had to be tied 45-45 at the end of regulation! Last year was even worse. Southern Cal beat Penn State 52-49- in regulat…

Reflections on the present and future of my Blackhawks

As this season from hell creeps to its close at an excruciating pace and makes all of us devote more of our attention to spring training for the Cubs than we otherwise might, there are calls for the heads of Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman and even the greatest coach in Blackhawks history, Joel Quenneville.

No general manager or coach could have made Marian Hossa and Corey Crawford healthy or prevented Toews and Keith and Saad from having the worst seasons of their careers or foreseen that a series of trades most of which made perfect sense at the time wouldn't pan out. The Hawks are one season removed from the second-best regular season in their history. This will be the first time in a decade that they haven't made the playoffs.

With the exception of the Pens, maybe the Kings and (for different reasons) the Golden Knights, every other team in the NHL would kill to have won three Stanley Cups in the past decade. In fact, only the Hawks, the Pens, the Kings, the Wings, and the Brui…