If you’re a Columbus Blue Jacket, Minnesota Wild or Chicago Blackhawk fan you best be planning some spring and summer activities. You’re seasons are just about over. Three clubs. Three good clubs. Just about to go to the National Hockey League sidelines for the 2016-17 season.
The simple reason. They all lost their mojo from great regular season play and haven’t been able to get it back in the post season. And their opponents have taken full advantage of the weakness. Let’s stick to the Blackhawks. Monday night’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Nashville Predators ought to be a wakeup call. Many times throughout the current campaign, Chicago has shown cracks in the wall. The biggest failure has been the backline which no matter who has been trying to provide defense, has not gotten the job done. Sure, the season is not done yet. But the writing is on the wall. The “core” has been a good one for the Hawks for many years now. But it’s time to flip the switch.
If you look at the success of a champion like the New England Patriots they’ve been able to stay ahead of the curve by making changes before being forced too. Nothing like getting rid of a player a year to early than a year to late. That’s where the Hawks are. Would Brent Seabrook bring anything in a trade? Would Corey Crawford? We shall see.
These words are difficult to express if you’re a follower of Chicago Blackhawk hockey. Truth hurts when it’s obvious. Last night the Hawks struck for two goals in the second period. Dennis Rasmussen and Patrick Kane helped a nation of Red Sweaters hope a turn around in the series was about to begin. But not to be. The third showed why the Predators are the better team. They were faster, they were dominate and they had Chicago on their heels. Overtime was a continuation of the same. Three times Kevin Fiala had opportunities to put the Hawks away. He finally succeeded.
Predator netminder Pekka Rinne said yesterday Nashville needed to get over the hump by beating the Hawks. In 2010 and 2015 Chicago had proved to be the better team in winning two series by 4-2 margins. Thursday night the fork will be present as the Predators look to close out the series.
Four. Oops. That was a golf term. Getting ahead of myself. Let’s just say it’s the number of wins Nashville strung together in winning the opening round of the 2016-17 playoffs. Like to say I’m wrong. But not likely. Looking ajead. a Nashville-St. Louis series could be very, very interesting. And one last parting shot. Hey, you could be a Washington Capitals fan. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Toronto Maple Leafs knocked them off. That’s the NHL playoffs. Anything can happen.
Thanks for checking in,