hicago Blackhawks are down 2-1 in the series against the Detroit Red Wings, and the reasons can be picked out and analyzed in detail. Bad penalties, fruitless power plays, and losing faceoffs, battles, and races for the puck are key themes in every Chicago loss. But one of the biggest factors is the team’s playoff mindset. They say all the right things and even won round 1 against the Minnesota Wild in 5 games, so how could they be so far behind the Red Wings in playoff mentality?
We all know that the playoffs get more and more intense as the series and rounds go on, and the Blackhawks’ first round was geared more towards exploiting the Wild’s goaltending issues rather than using the emotion of the series to amp up their play. The Blackhawks never really reached the playoff mentality in their series with Minnesota, and it took losing two games in a row to a playoff-focused Red Wings team and excellent goaltending of Jimmy Howard to work their way up to that determination and intensity.
After watching the Los Angeles Kings bulldoze their way through the playoffs all the way to the Stanley Cup last year, we new fans might think that’s how it’s always supposed to be for the champions. But looking back at the Blackhawks’ 2010 Stanley Cup run, it’s clear that the Blackhawks are a team that improves with hardship and opposition. There might need to be a prolonged moment when their run seems bleak, but if they come out of this series against the Red Wings, they will have what it takes to get through the rest of the playoffs and onto the Stanley Cup!
Do you think adversity is necessary for the Blackhawks to improve throughout the playoffs?