May 26, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) is defended by Los Angeles Kings center Trevor Lewis (22) in the third period in game four of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Blackhawks 5-2 to take a 3-1 series lead. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
We are just hours away from puck drop in Game 5. It’s time to start the Chicago Comeback Countdown clock.
The Blackhawks have been here before – just last year, in fact. Down 3-1 in the series against the Detroit Red Wings, the Hawks won three straight games to move on. And it all came down to a Brent Seabrook’s series-clinching overtime goal in Game 7.
Here we are, almost exactly one year later, and the Hawks once again face elimination. Many of the talking heads in the sports world have already written off the Hawks. Even a few “fans” have written them off as well.
What remains to be seen tonight is whether the Hawks have written themselves off. And if you’ve been paying attention to this team at all over the past few years, that seems highly unlikely.
It’s true that this is not the same Los Angeles Kings team that the Hawks beat rather handily in five games during last year’s Western Conference Finals. They have much more grit, and apparently much more stamina as well, bouncing back from a three-game deficit in each of the previous two rounds.
The good news is that Game 5 is a home game for the Hawks, and they undoubtedly have not forgotten the embarrassment of Game 2, where the Kings scored six unanswered goals to trounce the Hawks by a score of 6-2. Games 3 and 4 weren’t much better, but the Hawks excel at a very important facet of professional sports: they can shake off bad losses and come back charging, just as well if not better than the Kings can.
“Yes, perhaps they can, but will they?” Even for the most ardent fan, that seems to be the primary question that remains to be answered tonight. We all may have some doubt tucked away in the corner of our minds, but if the Hawks want to live to fight another game, both players and fans alike have to push that doubt aside for at least 60 minutes and just believe.
If you are lucky enough to be attending the game live tonight, be loud. I want to be able to hear you over the announcers. If you are watching or listening to the broadcast at home, be loud too. Send all the positive energy you can to the team. If you believe, and if they believe, that the Hawks can pull this off (because we know in our heart of hearts that they indeed can), this will be a comeback of proportions that are even more epic than 17 Seconds.
Let the Comeback Countdown commence! Go Hawks!