Two games. Two Shutouts….
Two games. Shutout out twice. Not one score for one of the top scoring teams in the National Hockey League. Figure that one out, will you? First it was a 1-0 loss to Nashville on Thursday night and then Saturday night, the Chicago Blackhawks got goose egged 5-0 by the Predators.
Now down 2-0 in the first round series, Chicago will have to move on to Monday night and hope, hope they can get one game. It has to start there. Drop down to 3-0 deficit in the series and it would be monumental to think the Hawks could come back.
Sadly this is the second game in the playoffs where the intensity of the Hawks is in question. But it shouldn’t be a huge surprise. The last three-game road trip of the regular season did nothing to elevate the Chicago play. One point in three games against Colorado, Anaheim and Los Angeles was the culprit. In all likelihood, their play of late was set up by jumbled lines, players resting and a big jolt to any momentum they could have had going into the playoffs.
What to do? For a start, I think you have to go with Scott Darling in net. He showed grit a number of years ago against this same Nashville team. Could he do it again? Possibly. But it won’t be him alone. Four lines and three sets of D are going to have to go all in. And that might not be enough. The Predators have been a punching bag of Chicago for some time in the playoffs. With a trip now to Nashville, the Preds fans will be nuts. That certainly could be enough to catapult the Predators to choke hold on the series.
Not feeling confident. But “one goal”, the theme Chicago has thrown around all year could change things. Keep one eye closed at the start on Monday. If Nashville scores first…..yikes.
Thanks for checking in,