Blackhawks can still rebound from 3-1 series deficit

Photo Credit: Chase Agnello-Dean/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Chase Agnello-Dean/Getty Images

It’s been a rough four games for the defending Stanley Cup champions, as they trail the St. Louis Blues 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs.

But don’t give up on them just yet.

Chicago has been in this position before, as a matter of fact, back in 2013 they were down 3-1 in the Western Conference Semifinals to the Detroit Red Wings.

Many fans were agitated that series, including myself, watching the Blackhawks trail the Red Wings in the series and on the brink of elimination.

However, watching the Blackhawks play Game 5, Game 6 and Game 7, with the chance of going home in each game if they ended up losing, not once did they panic. They knew what they had to do in each game – play their own game, not Detroit’s game, and win.

They had their backs against the wall, fought through adversity and overcame a 3-1 series deficit to their former Central Division rivals.

So why can’t they do that this year?

Yes, it’s going to be a difficult task in Game 5 for the Blackhawks because of the recent one-game suspension that was issued to Andrew Shaw, who screamed an anti-gay slur when he was issued a penalty late in the third period in Game 4.

But the Blackhawks have already dealt with a suspension earlier in this series. Back in Game 1, defenseman Duncan Keith was unable to play because of a suspension he had to finish, dating back to the last week of the season when he swung his stick at Charlie Coyle of the Minnesota Wild.

Chicago played exceptionally well, considering their top defenseman was unavailable, and took the Blues into overtime. Unfortunately, St. Louis won on a deflection off of Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk. If it was not for the defection off their own guy, Chicago still had the opportunity to steal Game 1 away from the Blues at their home.

Then in Game 2, Chicago came out, played their game of hockey and stole home-ice away from the Blues after winning 3-2.

If Chicago would have lost both games at St. Louis and won one game at home, I would be nervous watching Game 5 knowing they have yet to win at their place. But that is not the case. Chicago has showed everyone that they can win on the road in a hostile environment at the Scottrade Center.

It’s not going to be an easy task to win three games in a row. If Chicago was a young and upcoming team with little playoff experience, I would say there’s no way they can overcome a 3-1 series deficit. But this team has veteran players who have been in this spot before. Players like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Corey Crawford, have all been in this spot back in 2013.

But in order to beat St. Louis, they need their star players to step up and perform. Kane, Toews, Hossa and Andrew Ladd have all yet to score a goal this postseason, and the Blackhawks absolutely need these guys to start scoring. In order to beat good teams, the star players have to play at the elite level they can, and we have yet to see that from a lot of the players.

St. Louis is a different team this year, and they have shown everybody that by having the third best record this year. But with the Blackhawks experience, they absolutely can overcome this 3-1 series deficit.

They have done it before, so don’t give up on this team just yet.

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