After the Chicago Blackhawks lost to the Detroit Red Wings in game 4 on Thursday to put the team on the brink of elimination, the ceiling that was created from the Blackhawks’ successful regular season caved in.
The Blackhawks now face a 3-1 series deficit in the Western Conference semi-finals and are on the verge of being eliminated prematurely in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the third time in as many years.
In both the 2011 and 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Blackhawks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs after successful regular seasons. Though the sting that would come from the Blackhawks being eliminated from the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs would be far worse than anything the team felt in 2011 or 2012.
The Blackhawks were the best team in the NHL during the 2013 regular season. While the President’s Cup trophy certainly does not ensure playoff success, there was a sense of Stanley Cup or bust for the Blackhawks this season.
Facing a predicament where the team must win three consecutive games to move on in the Stanley Cup playoffs, it is looking more and more likely that the Blackhawks’ 2013 season will be nothing but a bust.
Meaning the Blackhawks now have disappointed in each of the past three Stanley Cup playoffs. That fact has led to many Blackhawks fans to begin to look for changes. Changes that some suggest include the firing of head coach Joel Quenneville.
The firing of Quenneville by the Blackhawks is not a feasible option. Quenneville is not the one to blame for the Blackhawks’ futility in the playoffs in each of the past three seasons. Though, that is the life that the head coach of any professional sports team lives.
Upon the conclusion of the 2013 regular season, Quenneville was praised by many as the result of Blackhawks’ incredible play. The praise was the result of the impressive play by the Blackhawks’ core players. Those are the same core players that have gone missing during the playoffs.
The likes of Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews have essentially been non-existent during the Blackhawks’ second round series against the Detroit Red Wings. Yet, despite the fact that the Blackhawks’ core players have not played well against the Red Wings this series, many are taking the convenient approach by pinning Quenneville as the scapegoat.
There is no scapegoat for the Blackhawks. The disappointment lies with the disappointing play of the team. Firing Quenneville certainly will not dissolve any of the disappointment from the Blackhawks’ season.