The Blackhawks have usually been the cool customers in past postseasons. They’ve done the right things, said the right things and won.
But right now the opposite is happening. They’re making costly mistakes at terrible times and it appears they’re also saying things that could get them into trouble beyond how this series is going.
Let’s just get to everything. Here are the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
1. Andrew Shaw loses his temper. Shaw was called for roughing with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. At the time, the Blackhawks were down by just one goal. While in the penalty box, video captured Shaw apparently uttering a homophobic slur. Asked about it afterward Shaw said, “emotions are high. I don’t know what’s said. Like I said, I was obviously upset with the call, being that late in the game. It doesn’t give us a chance to tie it up.” It looked like the slur was said, and it’s uncalled for regardless of emotions. And it’s very possible Shaw could face discipline for it.
2. There are more crazy calls. Corey Crawford got ticked and went after Robby Fabbri, who was pushed into Crawford by Jonathan Toews. Other melees ensued. Somehow, the Blackhawks got a power play out of the whole mess. It made no sense but the Blackhawks took advantage of the chance, with Duncan Keith scoring the go-ahead goal. There have been a head-scratching moment or two in this series. This takes No. 1. But…
3. The Blues respond the right way. This is where the Blues are becoming like the Blackhawks: mental toughness is more in place this postseason. The Blues could’ve lost their cool after that Keith goal but they stayed calm. And at the end of the second period, when they went on their power play, they tied the game.
4. The penalty kill disappears. The Blackhawks’ kill was starting to find its footing at the end of the regular season and start of the playoffs, but then it started stumbling again. The Blackhawks gave up four power-play goals, including two on Tuesday night. Those goals gave the Blues life and a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
5. Can the Blackhawks regroup? The Blackhawks don’t have the same swagger that they’ve had in years past. The team went through several line changes throughout the game because they’re struggling to find offense. Their discipline is disappearing. So is their chance to win this series. Yes, the Blackhawks have come back from 3-1 deficits before but there’s a lot that has to change for that to happen this time.