A couple of ‘F’ words best describe the Chicago Blackhawks’ season, which ended with Monday’s 3-2 Game Seven loss at St. Louis in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Failure. It’s the word being thrown around the Windy City as the Blackhawks failed in their quest to become the first team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups since Detroit (1997 and 1998). For a team that entered the playoffs having won three Cups since 2010, they did fail as they did not live up to their lofty standard. The team accustomed to delivering in the moment, failed.
Fatigue. It’s the other ‘F’ word I feel contributed most to the Hawks’ failure and earliest playoff exit since 2012. The Blackhawks have played 295 games since winning the Cup in 2013. They lost in Game Seven of the conference finals in 2014. Count their run to the Cup in 2013 and Chicago is 10 games shy of having played roughly an additional full season of hockey. That’s more than anyone else.
At least the Blackhawks went down swinging. They went out like a champion. One has to respect that.