A few weeks ago, I posted that Game 4 of the Hawks-Wild series was a test of the Blackhawks playoff potential. Anything less than a win on the Wild’s home ice, after dropping Game 3 there, could be seen as a sign that the Hawks really aren’t constructed for playoff hockey.
The Hawks passed that test against an inexperienced and severely outmanned foe. Tonight, another Game 4 test awaits the boyz in the Indian Crest at Joe Louis Arena, against a much tougher foe, physically and mentally… the hated Detroit Red Wings (Scum). And make no mistake, the Hawks playoff life depends on winning this game.
The Blackhawks can recall both positive and negative memories of this very situation in past recent playoff runs. During their 2010 Stanley Cup march, the Blackhawks faced a 2-1 deficit in their opening round series against the Nashville Predators. Facing a hostile crowd in Game 4 at the Bridgestone Arena in the "Music City", the Mighty Blackhawks responded with a 3-0 victory and eventually went on to win that series in six games. However, last spring during their opening round playoff series versus the Phoenix Coyotes, the Blackhawks fell 3-2 to the Coyotes in overtime of Game 4 at the Madhouse and eventually fell in six games to Phoenix.
The extra day of practice and rest has allowed both clubs to soak in the significance of Game 4. Word out of the Blackhawks camp over the past two days has continued to focus on disrupting Jimmy Howard's ability to clearly see pucks. Coach Q will shuffle his lines by moving Sharpie up to play alongside Captain Scoreless and Big Hoss, in an attempt to spark the struggling Captain, who has a meager 3 assists through his first 8 playoff games this spring. The time is now for the Captain to step up! Additionally the entire team need to step up! one more point I'd like to make hey Sea Biscuit get into the game dammit!
Lastly, if Shaw hadn’t been acting like a reckless, irresponsible a-hole throughout this whole series, the tying goal would have stood and the ref wouldn’t have waived it off. I’m fully convinced that Shaw’s out-of-control antics to that point combined with how close he was to Howard had the ref calling a close play against Shaw rather than looking at it with an open mind. I mean, did you see how quickly the ref waived that goal off?! That was a call against Shaw, plain and simple. No excuse! It was assumed Shaw screwed with Howard because he’s been skating around the ice at 10,000 mph trying to decapitate people. Shaw has 18 penalty minutes through the first three games and has officially gone from an annoying virus that you want on your team to a detriment. Q needs to put at stop to this **** now, and fast. It’s the playoffs. Get some control.
Now to tonight's Blackhawks lineup:
Sharpie - Tazer - Big Hoss
Kaner - Bollie - Saad
Bicks - Shawzie - Stalberg
Frolik - Krugs - Zus
Duncs & Hammer
Sea Biscuit & Ledpipe O-do-ya
Rozsival & O-do-ya
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