The Vancouver Canucks dismantled Chicago tonight and that much is not lost on the Blackhawks. Still, it is just one game and coach Joel Quenneville thinks that their experience in last year’s playoffs will help them fight the urge to panic.
“We had a lot of uncertainly last year,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “Going into the playoffs we liked our group. We liked the togetherness and the camaraderie they had. They answered some of those questions as we evolved in the first couple of rounds of the playoffs.
“That experience can help in a lot of ways.”
Not everyone was so positive, however. Craig Custance quoted Norris Trophy candidate Duncan Keith on Twitter.
Duncan Keith: “Put it this way, it can’t get any worse.”
Patrick Kane gave a disheveled post-game interview as well, which admittedly was kind of amusing to watch since he’s still sporting his trashy playoff mullet. Kane surmised that perhaps his team was rusty from a slight layoff or assumed that the game would be easy because of the Canucks’ “run and gun” style.
Quenneville indicated that Antti Niemi will probably start in Game 2. The Hawks coach was eager to remove blame from the Finnish goalie. He also pointed out that the Canucks two first period goals threw off the team off and they never recovered.
The Canucks can take a stranglehold on the series if they win both of the matches in Chicago’s barn. It’s good to see that the Blackhawks aren’t pointing fingers, making excuses or panicking. They need to come with a better effort in Game 2, but I have little doubt that this series is far from over.