Blackhawks News

Such a perfect place to start: Blackhawks @ Predators, Game 4

By Jeffrey Bartl
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"Not shy of a spark,A knife twists at the thought that I should fall short of the mark,Frightened by the bite though its no harsher than the bark,Middle of adventure, such a perfect place to start— Arctic Monkeys, “505”"

This quote seems fitting in describing the Blackhawks and the city’s mentality heading into Game 4 in Nashville. You read what I had to say after Game 3, along with the rest of the blogosphere’s and the mainstream media’s reactions. We’re all a bit worried and we’ve placed blame in many different places for the ‘Hawks’ sub-par perforamance in this series.

But, there’s always the possibility the Blackhawks have received the Predators’ worst bite, and now they just have to overcome all the barking from Nashville and their doubters. It’s been a wild ride of ups and downs through the first three games, but there’s no better place to start getting the wheels back in motion than in tonight’s Game 4.

Brian Campbell  is a game-time decision and will take warm-ups to see how he feels. As Second City Hockey points out, there’s a chance QStache’s line juggling in practice yesterday could be a decoy in an attempt to throw off the Preds’ coaching staff. I’ll say this — Troy Brouwer  needs to see more ice time and not sit on the fourth line all night.

Why? The Blackhawks aren’t getting nearly enough from Ladd, Versteeg or Bolland and Kopecky is not a second line forward — although him and Hossa have played well together when paired. Brouwer has been a steady performer all season and has earned his playoff ice time. His game needs a bit of a boost, and he may need to be with Kane and Toews to do that. I say make that happen.

Since the NHL went to a best-of-7 first round for the 1987 playoffs, only two teams have played in the Stanley Cup Finals after going the full seven games in round one. Neither team won the Cup. A loss tonight means the Blackhawks will have to go seven games just to win this series. While I am slowly hurting myself thinking about the future when all I’m really hoping for is to get through this series with Nashville, it’s a rough stat to think about. Another Nashville win not only puts the Blackhawks at the base of a gigantic mountain to climb in this series, it also means the mountain gets taller to reach the One Goal.

I’m not going to break down this game, because it’s pointless. I don’t care how it happens, who has to shine or who gets killed — I just want a victory tonight to make this series a best-of-3. Faceoff is 7:30 p.m. Let’s get nasty.

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