Glad I Didn’t Pay Good Money to See THAT

The Blackhawks discovered how Stanley Cup hockey is really played yesterday.

Calgary, that was nice, thanks for the effort, and Vancouver, you’ve got a nice club.

But it was obvious from yesterday’s 5-2 drubbing by Detroit that the Blackhawks have some things to improve upon.

  • Play your game, not the other team’s game. Use your strengths, i.e., speed and puck-handling skills. Dump the puck and dig it out of the corners instead of trying to make fancy plays in the neutral zone.
  • Limit turnovers, because they will absolutely kill you against a quality, battle-tested club like the Red Wings; the first two goals resulted from turnovers by their two best defensemen, Seabrook and Keith.
  • Hit some people. I didn’t see much hitting in this game. Partly, this is because they didn’t dump-and-forecheck, which limits opportunities to hit them and wear them down.

Even if Detroit proves to be able to stop the Hawks at their best, you have to at least try to play the way you played to get here. This is who you are, and what you do, and how you win, so you have to dance with who brung you.

Positives? A few. The first period was mostly even. The fourth line, Sharp, Eager, and Burish, played very well.

But the front line players? They got owned.

I’m not expecting a win in this series, frankly. But I do expect them to compete, and to adjust, and to get better as the series goes on.

That’s how you learn to win championships, by playing teams who are better than you, and who have won championships.This Hawks team has enough talent to win a Cup, though probably not this year. They are still young, and undisciplined at times.

It should be a great learning experience, and who knows? Maybe they can force a game 7.

Make them work harder for it, guys.

  1. Mike said:

    I finally got to see a ‘Hawks playoff game because it was on NBC, not Versus. The latter isn’t included with cable in my area.

    My simple first impression: The Red Wings are better.

    Your article pretty much expresses the same conclusion. I agree that if we’re going to beat them, we need to be more physical. We can’t beat them with a helter-skelter, back-and-forth game. They’re more polished and less mistake-prone.

    I would also say that our defense needs to tighten up as the Red Wings seemed to get more open looks from standard sets.

    I hope we make a better showing in game two, but at this point, I’d be surprised if this goes 6 games.

  2. fredsmilek001 said:

    The Red Wings are on a different level than the Blackhawks right now… They took a solid punch but I expect the blackhawks to bounce back and give Detroit a fight…

  3. Ditto to all that. Even if they lose, I’m OK with it, as long as (1) they learn “how to win”, and we see results next year or the year after, and (2) they give it their best shot and lose only because the other team is just flat-out a better team.

    The Jordan-era Bulls had to learn how to win by losing to the Pistons (ironically enough) two years running (… or was it three?). Winning championships is a sort of skill you have to acquire over time, I think.