If you've been paying attention, since the abysmal Game 3 against Nashville, the Chicago Blackhawks have developed a basic pattern: They play 3 outstanding games, then completely shit the bed in the fourth game before righting the ship.

Game 3 vs. Nashville. Game 1 vs. Vancouver. Game 5 vs. Vancouver. Friday night is the due date on the next one.

What happens? The Blackhawks, believe it or not, are the only team of the four remaing who have been to the Conference Finals in the last couple years (most recent for any other team is the Flyers in 2008), but they're still a young team.

Each time this has happened, there's been a basic pattern: Everyone gets too cute. Too much trying to stickhandle through traffic instead of chipping the puck. Shooting on net from 30 feet out instead of dumping and chasing (although, with 3 goals in two games from the outskirts, who could blame them for continuing to go to this particular well?)

They've gotten careless and they've paid. Of course, having a 2-0 advantage in games would make it slightly less unbearable, but it would also give the Sharks life, and in a game where wierd stuff could happen, one sloppy game could send the series back to San Jose tied.

If a meathead with a website, such as this humble blogger, can spot this trend, I'm fairly certain QStache and his staff have also spotted it. I'm also certain the players are aware of it as well.

Tomorrow night in the United Center, they should keep it simple, and stick to what's worked so far. Exploit the speed advantage, use the high cycle and get Byfuglien, Brouwer, or whichever large-assed forward is on the ice into the slot. Keep hitting and winning board battles.

They can play a perfect game and still lose - hockey is a strange game. I also think it would be blindly optimistic to expect them to run the table from here on out - A 9-game winning streak to the Cup is unrealistic.

But they can't stop working. They're too damn close now.

QUICK NOTE: Last night we were on The Third Man In Radio with Chris Block and the Superstar. In case one long-assed podcast a week isn't enough for you. Enjoy.


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  • 5/20/2010 4:31 PM ChiBlackhawks wrote:
    That's probably why the Hawks are checking into a hotel after morning skate tomorrow. Kinda hilarious if you think about it, but if it works I'm not going to complain.
    Reply to this
  • 5/20/2010 5:15 PM vito wrote:
    it would be super hard to win 3 straight against the sharks but who knows.
    Reply to this
    1. 5/20/2010 5:28 PM Dave Morris wrote:
      I hope today's column is not indicative of budding feelings of DOOOOOOOM! being felt by the otherwise stawart souls who make HockeeNight! the gathering place for elite Hawkdom.

      Kill the Sharks.


      Reply to this
      1. 5/20/2010 6:35 PM Dave Morris wrote:
        And "Due For A Stinker"?

        Like hell.

        Just win, baby.
        Reply to this
        1. 5/20/2010 9:06 PM Fork wrote:
          I said they're due, then said how they can avoid it.

          I'm hardly a DOOOOOOOOMsayer Dave. You know me better than that.
          Reply to this
          1. 5/20/2010 9:14 PM Dave Morris wrote:
            That's the Lord Fork we know and love.

            Ready to smash the enemy.

            To terminate them with extreme prejudice.

            Reply to this
  • 5/20/2010 6:59 PM Bartl wrote:
    While your self-proclaimed "meathead" status is correct, I'm fairly certain you've spotted more trends that need to be cured than QStache. Since there's been a stinker -- not playing well and getting beat, but playing like dog shit -- some of this has to fall on the coaching staff. As I wrote ealier this week, let's just grip the Sharks' throats and start twisting, then put this damn team behind us.

    PS -- I'm dying for another PUCKCAST to talk about Camel Clutches.
    Reply to this
  • 5/20/2010 7:06 PM ArlingtonRob wrote:
    Enjoyed the podcast. I'm now convinced that Chris Block will always be upset about something. If the Hawks are fortunate enough to win it all, he'll almost certainly bitch about technique, matchups, or style the day after.
    Reply to this
    1. 5/20/2010 10:01 PM CT wrote:
      That's the Chris Block we all know and love.
      Reply to this
      1. 5/21/2010 6:12 AM Fork wrote:
        But will he "mingle with the people" at the Stanley Cup parade?

        6 wins until ToCB...
        Reply to this
  • 5/21/2010 7:58 AM Dave B wrote:
    I don't know about anyone else, but I kinda have a stange anticipation for tonight's game, unlike any other so far in the playoffs. I turned down an opportunity to have a ringside seat for midget wrestling (excuse me, "Micro Wrestling") tonight to watch the Hawks instead. I have a want-ad on Craigslist to try to get a decent-priced seat to the game (and I'd make the 4 1/2-hour drive tonight in a heartbeat), but I'm not holding out much hope on that.

    Nice to see Montreal come back and get a game. It would be good if that series went six or seven games to avoid a team over there getting some rest.
    Reply to this
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