The Hawks dropped another to the Blues last night. They were outplayed down the stretch and made uncharacteristic mistakes at the end of the game to seal the deal for the away team. Now they’re heading to St. Louis down 3-1, not an unfamiliar spot but definitely not an advantageous one either. It’s going to take a level of play that the Hawks haven’t really reached yet, some puck luck, and some calls going their way (which has already happened).
In 2013 the Hawks went down 3-1 to the Red Wings. They lost three straight games and were outscored 9-2 in those losses…they pretty much couldn’t have looked worse. As we know they came back and won that series, crushing the souls of every Detroit fan. Make no mistake, this St. Louis team is far superior to that Detroit team. The Blues have received outstanding goaltending from Brian Elliot, something they haven’t received in the past. Tarasenko has been stellar. His first goal last night is what dreams are made of. Ridiculously quick release, Crawford had no chance.
The Hawks have also been committing some really uncharacteristic acts down the stretch. In Game 3 Patrick Kane committed a penalty that led to a four minute powerplay and resulted in a St. Louis win. Last night Andrew Shaw had one of the dumbest penalties I’ve seen in quite a while, ending any hope the Hawks had to tying the game. He also acted like a complete jackass, but that’s another issue. Not to mention the turnover by TVR late in the game to give the Blues a two goal lead, which is like the ’85 Bears having a three touchdown cushion in the fourth quarter. These mistakes could be classified as a meltdown, dare I say…a Blues-like meltdown.
Against Detroit, the Hawks were clearly the superior team. It just took a bit for them to get their heads out of their asses. Even so, it still took overtime in the last game to put the Red Wings away. One odd bounce here or there and we’re talking about two rings, not three. So if we assume luck and calls will be on the Hawks’ side, do they have enough to beat the Blues three times in a row? Yes, they’ll be taking things one game at a time but it is what it is. They have to beat a team that scored 107 points in the regular season three times in a row. It would be great if the Blues were to “Blues this up”…the entire city of St. Louis might spontaneously combust if that did happen. I just don’t see it. They’ve already answered a couple of trials of adversity. St. Louis might just be the better team.