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Category: Chicago-Blackhawks

Morning Line- Stan Bowman

via Mark Lazerus tweets,

"I'm completely disappointed. It's unacceptable to be where we are today. I'm frustrated, I'm angry. ... Complete failure."

 "We did not even come close to reaching the standard we have set. And that’s unacceptable. ... Not close to good enough."

"That starts with me. I need to be better. There's no doubt about it. I can promise you I will be better."

"Joel is our head coach. He will continue to be our head coach. And Joel and I will work together to make sure this never happens again"

added below at 10:54am, One more tweet from Lazerus....

added below at 11:09am, video of Stan Bowman statement,

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Change Needed In Chicago

from David Hough of the Chicago Tribune,

Had the Hawks been eliminated in Game 7, the immediate impact on the organization would be less jarring. Going down meekly in four straight games represented a mandate for change and rattled the Hawks enough to reassess everything. The powers-that-be can't be tone-deaf to what happened in the Music City.

Stop clinging to the Hawks winning 50 games and earning 109 points. Listen to coach Joel Quenneville, who acknowledged his team's postseason failure nullified its regular-season success. The Hawks "One Goal" isn't being the best team from October to April. It's beating four playoff opponents and hoisting the Stanley Cup in June, something the current roster was ill-equipped to do....

Finding a silver lining in the 2016-17 season contradicts everything the Hawks always have espoused. Where was the championship pedigree? Their quest ended abruptly, as Quenneville put it, because the Hawks couldn't find "the all-out button.'' Translation: The Preds showed more heart. Depending on the shift, the Predators alternately made the Hawks look old and slow or young and lost. The pushback everybody expected never came, the response muted by a more relentless bunch. Something was missing from the Hawks and that indicted everybody on the bloated payroll.

Oversimplifying it, the Hawks always appeared too comfortable. What we interpreted as confidence, in retrospect, could have been complacency that often is the residue of continuity. Kane hinted as much in postgame comments to reporters.

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Sweet Sweep In Nashville

from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,

“SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP!” the Predators fans chanted in the final stages of a 4-1 win in Game 4 Thursday at Bridgestone Arena. And that’s what they got, thanks to that Sissons goal, two from Roman Josi, an Arvidsson empty netter for emphasis and yet another masterpiece from goaltender Pekka Rinne – and despite an appropriately desperate performance from the Stanley Cup favorite Blackhawks.

“It’s a great feeling, 2010 and 2015 we lost to these guys in the first round; we had a chance to kind of redeem ourselves, a little payback,” Rinne said of the Blackhawks. “But it’s a great feeling, and I think organization-wise too, it goes pretty high up there.”

Now it’s on the Predators to capitalize on this achievement, their No. 1 to date, and knock it down the list before the spring ends. It’s on these players to shake more hands of people who are gritting their teeth in disappointment while the Predators say nice things and temporarily contain their exuberance.

“We’ve been in this situation, and in my career too I’ve been in this situation (three times) now,” Rinne said of first-round wins in 2011, 2012 and 2016. “It really is nothing. It’s a great feeling and it’s really hard to get to the second round, but at the same time, you’ve got to keep your foot on the gas. Stay focused, stay hungry. We haven’t done anything yet.”

more

Below, watch Peter Laviolette post-game...

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The Chicago Blackhawks Were Swept Out Of The Playoffs

from Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Welcome to the new reality, Blackhawks.

After years in a different realm as the gold standard of NHL excellence in the salary-cap era, the Hawks’ stunning demise against the eighth-seeded Predators — a four-game sweep after a 4-1 loss Thursday at Bridgestone Arena — likely signaled the end of an era as Stanley Cup favorites.

The Hawks still will be contenders in future postseasons — though the demise of the once-mighty Kings remains a cautionary tale — but the days of “flipping the switch,” forcing good teams to play poorly and willing their way to victory appear to be over. Against the Predators, the Hawks were just another playoff team at the mercy of NHL parity and the hockey gods. Neither was kind to the Hawks this postseason.

“It was a major disappointment across the board,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “They raised their level of play in the playoffs, and I don’t think we got to where we had to be.”

continued

Game highlights and handshakes are below...

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One More Win For Nashville Or Just A Win For Chicago

from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,

Nashville’s 3-0 lead is a shocker in the hockey world, at the expense of a Chicago team favored by Las Vegas oddsmakers to win the Stanley Cup and picked by just about everyone else to win this first-round series. If the Predators can get one more win, it will be the most significant achievement in their 19-year history – beating an elite team that has won three of the past seven Stanley Cups, and setting themselves up to make a serious run at one of their own.

That’s why Lower Broadway is wilder than normal these days, and why this team’s TV ratings are surging, and why Monday night in Bridgestone was one of the best scenes at a sporting event you’re going to find anywhere. From Carrie Underwood’s surprise, soaring national anthem to the euphoric celebration after Predators forward Kevin Fiala scored the winning goal in overtime, it was epic.

“Awesome,” Laviolette said. “The rink was unbelievable, the fans were absolutely incredible. … From an organizational standpoint it’s huge, to watch the growth of it. It’s hard not to mention or acknowledge the impact they had on the game (Monday).”

more

from Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times,

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Can The Blackhawks Flip The Switch One More Time?

from Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times,

For years, the Hawks seemed to have a Patriots-like knack for making an opponent play stupid or tighten its own noose as a series turned in the Hawks’ favor. One moment you’re playing fast and free on the ice and joking around in the off-day press conference with a series lead. The next thing you know, your goalie is running into your best defenseman to set up the Hawks for the key goal in the series.

Forcing a good team to play poorly and scared is the Hawks’ only hope at this point. But they seem to have lost that touch.

“It’s not easy,” Toews said. “[The Predators] are a good team and they want it. They’re pushing themselves to the limit. But we have no choice. We’ve got to find a way to put pressure on them. We’ve got to make them realize that winning that fourth game is the toughest for any team in any series.

“We can be that team to try and frustrate them and put pressure on them, especially in their own building. You never know what can happen. So we’ll just focus on winning the next one.”

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Rocking In Nashville

from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,

Nashville has never held a 3-0 lead in a playoff series. And Nashville has never looked more like a Stanley Cup contender than it does now. If the Blackhawks can’t win four straight games to become the fifth team in NHL history to overcome a 3-0 deficit, the Western Conference is an attainable prize for the Predators.

“It’s a good position to be up right now, up 3-0, but I think we still have to treat this next game like we treated Game 3,” Rinne said. “Nothing should change.”

For much of Monday, it looked like the Blackhawks were going to change things up and make this a series. After it looked like the Predators would squander that stirring start.

The club has been criticized for ticket policies designed to keep out opposing fans, but it worked out OK for them in Game 3. There might have been 100 red jerseys in the crowd.

This is still a small fan base compared to most, in a place where kids playing hockey on a frozen pond is not a thing, and these people follow a 19-year-old franchise that has never been past the second round of the playoffs. But the place was sold out and legitimately rocking for all 41 regular-season games. Monday was another level entirely.

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The Chicago Blackhawks Are Now Facing Elimination

from Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago,

The Blackhawks had finally broken through Pekka Rinne. Twice. They had their first goals of the series. They had their first lead of the series.

But after taking the initiative in the second period the Blackhawks went more into a defensive mode again. Against the Nashville Predators, who have shown they’ll take advantage of any chance, hop or bounce they get, it was an opportunity.

Now the Blackhawks are on the brink of elimination.

Patrick Kane scored his 50th career postseason goal but the Predators came back, with Kevin Fiala getting the overtime winner to beat the Blackhawks 3-2 on Monday night. The Predators take a commanding 3-0 series lead; they’ll have their first chance to eliminate the Blackhawks in Game 4 on Thursday night.

The Blackhawks were subdued after this one. Save a period or so, the Predators have outplayed the Blackhawks in these three games. Now the desperation is at an all-time high.

“Yeah, it’s not easy. It’s not easy. It’s a good team and they want it. They’re pushing themselves to the limit. But we have no choice. We’ve got to find a way to put pressure on them,” Jonathan Toews said. “We’ve got to make them realize that winning that fourth game is the toughest for any team in any series. We can be that team to try and frustrate them and put pressure on them, especially in their own building in the next game. You never know what can happen, so we’ll just focus on winning the next one.”

continued

Watch the game highlights below...

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Enough Of The Blackhawks Fans

from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,

For lack of a better word that would be appropriate in this forum, let’s go with “doofuses” to describe these Chicago Blackhawks fans.

Not all of them. Just the ones who think the NHL was founded in the 21st century. I know them well because I have family, friends and many life memories in the great city of Chicago.

I’ve mixed with them in their favorite spots in the neighborhoods north of downtown, where we drank cans of a popular 1970s beer called Pabst Blue Ribbon because — like the Blackhawks — it became chic again in the 21st century. In Doofus-ese, we called it PBR....

But it’s much more than that. I got a chance to visit my favorite Chicagoans last week and posed a very subtle question to them: Is there any doubt that the Chicago Blackhawks fan base is largely made up of the biggest bunch of front-running, bandwagon-jumping posers in sports?

Here are some of the responses. And keep in mind that some of these people are, in fact, Blackhawks fans:

“All day.”

“There’s not a close second.”

“The (minor league) Chicago Wolves were more popular 10 years ago.”

“Every dude from Schaumburg suddenly has a Blackhawks frame around his license plate.”

read on

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The Chicago Blackhawks Are In A 0-2 Hole

from Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago,

Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.

The Blackhawks didn't get anything in Game 1 against Nashville, but that game was at least palatable. They didn't do a lot, but they didn't give up a lot, either. But in Game 2, with the Predators upping their game, the Blackhawks didn't match. They didn't even come close. And now they're facing one hell of a first-round series hole.

Ryan Ellis scored what would be the game-winning goal in the first period and Pekka Rinne got his second shutout in as many games with 30 stops as the Predators beat the Blackhawks 5-0 on Saturday night. The Predators, who looked as strong as the Blackhawks looked frustrated, take a 2-0 lead back to Nashville for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Thursday, respectively.

The Blackhawks could take positives out of Game 1. This one? Not so much. It's the second time in franchise history the Blackhawks were shut out in their first two postseason games. The last time it happened was back in 1935.

"That was frustration to a different level. That wasn't fun to watch. Across the board, not too many positives came out of tonight's game," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Everybody was responsible, from the coaches down to every single player. We need to get out of this mess and hole. We can play much better than that in all areas, in all aspects. We're a better hockey team than we showed tonight."

continued

Game highlights are below along with a frustrating reaction from Ryan Hartman of the Blackhawks...

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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