Last year, when the Hawks season was over, it was just relief. It has become too hard to watch, and it was clear everyone involved just wanted to see the back of the season. No one was upset when it came to an end in Winnipeg.
This year is different, for many reasons. Because of what the Hawks said, because there isn’t the ready-made excuse that Crawford’s injury was last year, because of what the Hawks wasted. They have two 40-goal scorers. Five 20-goal scorers. A d-man with 60 points, even if he can’t read a map in his own zone. And they’re not even going to come close.
It’s going to be very hard to match all that again. Kane and DeBrincat will score a lot of course, but they may not score this much. Toews might not either. You can’t blow this kind of thing, and the Hawks did spectacularly.
Think about how bad you have to defensively to waste that many goals. They were eighth in goals-for this year. No matter the metrics or analytics, the game is about goals. The seven teams ahead of them not only are playoff teams, they are comfortably so. Five of the six teams behind them are playoff teams, the lone exception being the Panthers. How do you do that?
Hopefully the stewing spurs something. You can’t really do this again.
Game #82 Preview Suite