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.