One year ago today, Chicago was in the process of coming back from an identical deficit in a series against the Detroit Red Wings. As has occurred this season versus Los Angeles, the Blackhawks won Game 1 and went on to drop the next three. The question, then, becomes whether or not Chicago can dig its way out of the hole.
The answer is an unequivocal “yes.” For all the nonsense that will be spewed about a lack of effort, being dominated, or other such drivel, the Blackhawks have been in every game of the series thus far. People in hockey circles don’t like to admit how much of the game boils down to luck, especially when two teams are evenly matched; a few lucky bounces one way or the other can turn a fairly evenly played game into a blowout on the scoreboard.
This was the case in Game 4, which saw the Blackhawks losing 3-0 before the first period had even ended. The common narrative will be that the team was vastly outplayed, but this is nothing more than a retroactive label based on goal numbers. As the numbers crowd often professes, goals are relatively random events; in a small sample (one game, for instance), they don’t necessarily reflect relative performance.
Ultimately, Chicago is a supremely talented team that oozes experience at every corner and they have met their match in the form of the Kings. The odds are decidedly in Los Angeles’ favor, but there is no reason the Blackhawks can’t win three games in a row; the Kings just got done doing it themselves.
No series is over until a team has four wins. The Blackhawks won’t give up until that is the case, and neither should their fans.