In the aftermath of this one, and even really during it, I saw a lot of citing of how much time the Hawks had off, combined with not even really trying in the last week, and how bad they are when they get a lot of rest. I don’t know that this is really a viable excuse. After all, the Preds had to keep trying throughout the season and they capped it off by losing to the fucking Jets. But we’ve been down this road with the Hawks before, including against this very team seven years ago. The Hawks are rarely totally sharp in a Game 1 in the first round, and couldn’t save this one tonight even though it was sitting there like a pig on a spit. The Preds almost certainly won’t be so lucky next time.
But we did learn some things tonight.