Talk About a Potential Bracket Buster. The Chicago Blackhawks Have Been Shut Out of the Playoffs Thus Far in Two Big Shut Out Losses to their Wild Card Matchup, the Nashville Predators. Will the Hawks Choke?
The Chicago Blackhawks have been a Stanley Cup favorite for as long as anyone could remember, especially as the season came to a close. While the Washington Capitals have become an Eastern Conference Cup favorite, the support for Washington didn’t come nearly as close as for Chicago.
Chicago finished the season leading the Western Conference and would go on to face the Conference’s second wild card, the Nashville Predators. Now, the Hawks come into the series expecting a challenging yet successful round one but have been halted thus far.
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Preds Shut Out Hawks..Twice
Game One. The Preds take the ice in Chicago and after a tough battled game, Nashville takes the victory by a single goal which results in a home team shut out. The Blackhawks were disappointed but vowed to get back in the game for game 2, at home, hoping to even out the score before heading to Nashville.
The problem is, the Hawks got back out there for game 2 and just dropped the ball. This time, the Preds didn’t top the Hawks by a single goal, or even two, but left the game with a huge 5-0 shutout victory.
So, what happens here? Did the Chicago Blackhawks underestimate their competition and drop the ball or will the team overcome the setback?
The Hawks have a disadvantage now as they travel out to Nashville for games 3 and 4 with a 2-0 deficit. If the Predators keep winning they might sweep the Hawks, which would be a huge victory for the wild card on home ice. Chicago really needs to focus if they want to change the momentum of the series.
I think it is entirely possible that the Hawks underestimated their opponents and once they were shut out, they completely got into their own heads. If Chicago gets the reoccurring thought that they can’t score on Pekka Rinne, they might psych themselves out. They can’t get in their own heads, not in a time like this.
We’ve seen teams overcome this kind of deficit before, in fact, we’ve seen teams overcome 3-0 deficits before so this isn’t the concern. The biggest concern is the risk the Blackhawks face of getting in their own heads and psyching themselves out.
If the Hawks find a way to beat the Predators, it will boost their confidence but it won’t get rid of the hum in the back of their minds. It isn’t that this team isn’t capable, it is that they underestimated and got in their own heads.
They need to break this. This round one is a good testament to their Stanley Cup potential. If this team can’t overcome the setbacks and fall, they wouldn’t have gone all the way, but if they show they have that determination the possibilities are endless.
What Do You Think?
Do you think the Blackhawks will fall and be this season’s biggest upset? Or will the Hawks show that they have the determination and resilience to get it together?
Personally, I think the Blackhawks have it in them to overcome the setback but it won’t be easy. If Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews can step up as leaders and show this team that they can succeed, they stand a very good chance of getting control of the series. But, if these leaders fail to raise the confidence of their team and lead, they will be in trouble.