Even under normal circumstances, this stretch of the year can feel arduous and get to be a slog, and that’s without the now constant looming specter of random roster configurations and potential postponements at every turn. Furthermore, the style of hockey the Hawks are now trying to win with is anything but scintillating, but at least it netted results on this 3 game, 3 time zone trip, with the Hawks taking 2 of 3, and two in regulation, though not necessarily the games one would have guessed going into it.
While at face value, Game 4’s preview could qualify as a textbook motherfuck with the fates aligning to subject the general public to another game in this series, it has also been reiterated numerous times that it was going to take something truly weird for the Hawks to even push it to this point, and this indeed what happened. So, as usual, once again we are right in our analysis.
That the Blackhawks are down three games to none to Vegas (or literally any team they could have potentially faced in the first round of the real playoffs) is not surprising in the least. It was always going to take a minor miracle to win one, maybe two games here given the disparity between what the top half of what the West has to offer and what the Hawks are trotting out there. But that doesn’t make the process here any less infuriating to anyone with any kind of hockey sensibilities whatsoever.
With Game 1 playing out about the way it should have between a top seed and the twelfth best team in the conference, the Hawks find themselves down 1-0 in the series, with today’s matinee slated to begin shortly.
Well, it finally happened. The Hawks made it back to the playoffs. Yippee, yahoo, and such and such. All it took was a pandemic and its resultant and necessary return to play tournament against an opponent who couldn’t want to impale itself in its collective dick with a Hattori Hanzo sword. And what did they get for their troubles? A matchup against a team they’ve beaten once in their three years of existence, and who couldn’t be a worse stylistic matchup. But hey, it’s the beginning of another Hawks Renaissance.
It was always going to shake out this way wasn’t it? In a year where the Hawks finally tried to fully supplant Corey Crawford in net with noted asswipe Robin Lehner, or at the very least cover themselves against more Crawford injuries, the Hawks were out of it by the deadline, and decided to get what they could for Lehner after he very publicly started demanding to finally be paid what he’s worth, even as Crawford was outplaying him and had been for a couple of months. He was shipped to Vegas who could no longer rely on Marc-Andre Fleury despite giving him a huge contract after harnessing the Reality Stone in the 2018 post-season, and now with the wacky return to play tournament format, the two teams find themselves squaring off against one another for the fate of all humanity.
Well, the Hawks have a FOR REAL first round opponent after Vegas knocked off the Avs in OT earlier this afternoon for the privilege of now getting to play the lowest remaining seed as the Stanley Cup Playoffs now begin in earnest. There is no schedule set yet for the series, but we’ll try to get in as much preview as possible for the matchup ahead, which really it could not have been any other way now that Robin Lehner is in Vegas. But this isn’t the goalie preview. This is the forwards preview, complete with the first of several hundred thousand Killers references, and Vegas is obviously considerably deeper than the Oilers were with another very matchy-uppy if boring coach in Peter DeBoer (yeah, he’s here now).
Because getting territorially dominated by a Randy Carlyle coached team without two of its best ice flipping defenseman wasn’t insulting enough, the Hawks now have no time to even sit in the corner and feel shame for it with a tilt tonight in Vegas against a Knights team that completely clowned them on national TV and in their own building two weeks ago.
At the risk of putting the Fels Motherfuck on the Capitals, it’s a fairly safe bet that Alex Ovechkin will be hoisting The Chalice if not tonight, by Monday. Only the Maple Leafs of 76 years ago have overcome a 3-1 deficit in the Cup Final, and that was a 3-0 comeback back when friend of the program Forklift was just finishing his doctoral thesis. And should that likelihood play out, a couple of different storylines should finally fall by the wayside.