Chicago Blackhawks Still in Contention After OT Loss

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With three games remaining, the Hawks barely hang on to 8th in the Western Conference, only two points ahead of 9th place Calgary.

Thirty-seven seconds into OT, Hawks’ Captain, Jonathon Toews, gets called for a tripping penalty on rookie defenseman, Subban, and the Canadiens went on a 4-on-3 advantage. Incidentally, 33 seconds later, Subban scores the game winning power play OT goal to help the Canadiens clinch their playoff spot.

The Hawks may still be in contention but are skating on very thin ice.

By Harrini Krishnan

When do refs ever blow their whistle in overtime? Was this call really necessary? You might at least stand a chance when its 5-on-4 but a 4-on-3 advantage is a tough break.

“I was just trying to lift his stick,” Toews said. “It’s disappointing when you’ve tried so damn hard.”

There are three games lefts. After tomorrow night’s contest against the Blues, they go head to head with the Red Wings, the Division leaders, twice, ending with a grand home ice finale at the United Center.

Assuming for a minute the Hawks decide to turn their game around and hustle through the next three games, racking up enough points to move into the postseason. What in their current work ethic could indicate they’d even make it past the first round?

They have been shut out in two of their last three games, and even the win they managed to snake in against the Blue Jackets, they played with the hustle of a drugged sloth, and this was against the team that had lost five of their last six games. What would the 2010 Stanley Cup champs say after witnessing the downward spiral that this season has been?

“Every single game is important, and it’s not even about points,” Toews said. “We keep saying we want to prepare ourselves to be a team that goes beyond the first round regardless of who we play or whether we get home-ice. Once you get to the playoffs anything can happen, but you have to be prepared for it.”

With Sharp out for what could be his eighth straight game on Wednesday, due to the knee injury, the Hawks are so—for a lack of a better term—screwed. He has been having his best offensive season and we were hoping to have him back by now. In fact, according to the Sun Times, with Sharp the Hawks “have seen their offensive production drop to two goals per game in the six games without him, down from 3.25 goals per game.” There may be no ‘I’ in team, but without Sharp, it seems like there might as well not be a team. It’s actually really sad considering the amount of raw potential talent this team has in store. So, again I ask: where is the hustle?

Coach Quenneville told reporters tonight, however, that he was coming around so nicely that he might even be back by Wednesday night’s game.  Let’s just hope he’ll be back to face the point-hungry Red Wings, who are lusting to grab the No. 2 seed in the conference from the Sharks, because they’re going to need all the help they can get.

I don’t know what’s more practical: trusting the returning Stanley Cup champs will swoop in and take back a few more wins, or hoping for Dallas and Calgary to keep failing.

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