Four straight playoff games and four straight overtimes. But that’s not where the similarities end, the last two games have ended in the exact same way, Mikkel Boedker walking in on Corey Crawford to win it 3-2 in overtime. The Blackhawks now trail the series 3-1.
It seems to be the theme of the series for the Blackhawks, tie the game late and then fall in overtime. However, some of those games you could say that the Blackhawks didn’t deserve to even make it that far. Tonight, the Coyotes forecheck put heavy pressure the Blackhawks all night, a big reason they were able to take a 2-0 lead. A lead that looked like it would hold up with the consistently pressing forecheck.
The Blackhawks did manage a rally on a goal from Brendan Morrison and a goal with just over a minute to go by Michael Frolik to tie the game. A turnover and a seemingly stoppable puck though managed to again get by Crawford off the stick of Boedker to put the Blackhawks in a 3-1 deficit in the series.
Now the Blackhawks face elimination in Game 5 in Phoenix after dropping both playoff games at home… in overtime.
It would be easy to blame the faltering of the defense of Nick Leddy and Sean O’Donnell or Corey Crawford for letting in the last goal for the loss, but the blame doesn’t solely lie on their shoulders.
For a majority of the third period the Coyotes simply played like they wanted it more, every time the Blackhawks were back in their defensive zone there was a Coyote there hounding them and the Blackhawks didn’t match their effort.
It seems a bit symbolic the Blackhawks rallying to tie the game only to lose in overtime, a majority of the season the Blackhawks appeared on paper a better team than they way they played on the ice, this series is proving no different.
Do the Blackhawks have the ability to string together three straight wins to take the series? They do. There is enough talent and experience in the Blackhawks locker room to do it.
If they don’t find that urgency and hunger in their game now, they’ll be hitting the links early once again.
It’s going to take every single Blackhawk playing better to get out of this massive hole they’ve dug for themselves.