They won a record amount of games in a record amount of time but despite being the best team in hockey the Chicago Blackhawks are 60 minutes away from elimination and watching their promising season completely crumble to mere ashes. And while the Blackhawks travel back to Chicago bloodied, beaten and lost, fans are left wondering one simple question about the last two game: how and why?
How is the easiest to answer as the Red Wings have dismantled the Hawks in every single way imaginable in the last two games of the series. But the why part of the answer is a bit harder to grasp, especially when we’re all being blinded by the awesome regular season Chicago put together.
But when it comes down to why they’re losing, look no further than captain Jonathan Toews, who is currently playing in a very un-captain like manner at the moment. What the Red Wings have done is successfully gotten inside the head of the Blackhawks captain and it’s showing during games. Toews is not only the captain of the Hawks, he’s captain of cool and he’s lost his more than once this series.
That’s the main reason the Blackhawks are in the funk they’re in as Toews is setting the wrong tone for the team. Chicago should be cool and collected and they’re coming out panicked and gasping for air which is a great way to lose a hockey game and end a season in the playoffs.
With the tone set on the wrong dial, the offensive production that usually pours out of the Hawks is missing — and not scoring goals is the way to not win hockey games. Corey Crawford hasn’t been replaced in net because nobody can handle the Red Wings with the run support Chicago is handing out at the moment.
The Blackhawks haven’t scored a goal since the first period of Game 3, which means Jimmy Howard has shut down the Blackhawks lighting fast offensive for 5 consecutive periods and that’s a running streak. With their tone askew and the stick colder than the ice they’re playing on, Chicago is in a hole much deeper than the 3-1 hole appearing near box scores.
If Chicago wants to get back into this series, they first need to allow Jonathan Toews to screw his head on right and kick the Red Wings out of the kitchen. Toews cannot be barking at the refs, hacking at the legs of Wings defenders or wasting his time sitting in the penalty box. Once Toews gets it together, the offense will start flowing again and things will get back to normal.
But Detroit looks too good to be beaten three games in a row and despite winning 24 games in record fashion, the Blackhawks seem unlikely to win one single game let alone three in a row against a red hot Detroit team.