Andrew Shaw summed up the Blackhawks’ feelings after Game 3, a contest they led heading into the third period before the St. Louis Blues had other ideas about the outcome.
“Yeah, you look at all the chances we had last night, Corey [Crawford] gave us the opportunity to win and last night’s game leaves a bitter taste in your mouth,” he said. “It pisses you off and you use that to fuel the fire as well.”
The Blackhawks have a lot of fuel heading into Game 4 of their first-round series with the Blues. They’re trailing 2-1, a position they’ve been in more often than you’d think these past few postseasons (they’re 3-9 in Game 3s dating back to the 2012-13 playoffs).
But they’re entering that time of a series when they usually find more success. And they’re entering that time of this series where they must find more success.
Under coach Joel Quenneville the Blackhawks are 43-14 in Games 4 through 7 of a playoff series. They’ll look to add to the win column of that stat when they host the Blues in Game 4 on Tuesday night at the United Center.
This is the seventh time since the 2012-13 playoffs the Blackhawks have entered Game 4 of a series trailing 2-1. Of the six previous times they’ve faced that deficit, they’ve come back to win the series five times. So in trying to move forward, the Blackhawks will look back.
“You always want to draw on that experience that we’ve had in the past, where we’ve been in situations before when we’ve been trailing and we’ve been able to find a way,” Duncan Keith said. “Anytime you can draw on that experience I think it’s a good thing and we’re going to try to do that again in this series. It’s all about executing in the moment and now.”
There haven’t been many differences between the Blues and Blackhawks in this series; both have given up some quality scoring chances yet both haven’t scored much. And all three games have been decided by one goal. But this has been the time in a series when the Blackhawks have turned it on, pulled ahead and, usually, advanced.
“Yeah, you look back at what we’ve done and how we’ve been successful in the past, coming back in the series, I think it’s the character in the room from the coaching staff to all the players,” Shaw said. “We feed off each other and we always stick together through thick and thin and we always seem to come out on top.”
What correlation does the Blackhawks’ history in Games 4 through 7 have on this matchup with the Blues? Eh, possibly nothing. Just because it’s happened before doesn’t mean the Blackhawks will have the comeback in them again this year. But they’ve done well in the past, and they’ll draw on those experiences to try and move forward in the present.
“We feel we have to get better every game and we ought to get better as the series progresses,” Quenneville said. “I think we have a pretty good feeling of who you’re playing against and who you’re seeing regularly on the ice. There [are] adjustments you try to look at and try to enhance. But at the end of the day you have to outwork and outplay the guy you’re seeing 50-100 percent of the time out there. We know the more important the games, you gotta rise to that challenge.”