Evidently being the best team in hockey all season long hasn’t prepared the Chicago Blackhawks for the playoffs to the liking of captain Jonathan Toews.
“You look at some teams that just battled their way into the playoffs in the last 10, 15 regular-season games or so, they come right into it,” Toews said via Sports Illustrated. “You see the pace. You see the physicality in a lot of those other series. We’re getting better one game at a time, but we need to start bringing that now.”
So apparently shutting out the Minnesota Wild in their house and knocking backup goalie Josh Harding out of the game just isn’t good enough.
That’s got to be a terribly unsettling thought for Minnesota coach Mike Yeo.
Perhaps he can take his guys on the road, down 3-1, to the “Madhouse on Madison” –where the Hawks haven’t clinched a series since 2010 when they swept the San Jose Sharks in the Conference Finals—and figure out a way to keep up with the most complete team in the league? With his third-string goalie?
I suppose it’s possible.
Seven teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the series in the last ten years. Minnesota’s done it twice, in fact. Unfortunately for them, the Hawks have so much more talent, depth, speed, offense, defense, goaltending, and coaching that the odds of the Wild winning this series are about the same as the beat-up Chicago Bulls figuring out how to beat the Miami Heat in what is now a best of five series.
In other words, it’s just not gonna happen.