The Chicago Blackhawks quickly found out Sunday that they’re not in Vancouver anymore, and Calgary is a long way back in the rear-view mirror. When you’re trying to defeat the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, deficits seem twice as large, road wins become harder to accumulate.
So heading into tonight’s Game 2 of the Western Conference finals at Joe Louis Arena down 1-0 in the series, the ‘Hawks are trying to regroup and get back to playing the game that helped them win two rounds of playoffs. Of course, a lot of that regrouping requires Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to show up to play at a high level for the ‘Hawks, rather than their dud of a series-opener.
The Hawks claim that the Detroit mystique isn’t affecting them, but that obviously has to factor in — especially early in Chicago’s first conference final series since 1995. Oh, and then there’s the little matter of superstar defenseman Niklas Lidstrom aiding in the shutdown of the Hawks’ stars with machine-like proficiency.
We’ll find out tonight if the magnitude of the situation is getting to the young ‘Hawks or if Game 1 was just a one-game blip.