Students react to Blackhawks being swept


The Blackhawks in the midst of a competitive game. Photo courtesy of Evan Ostrowski

Chicago is used to massive success in sports, especially from one team in particular , the Blackhawks. This past 2016-2017 NHL season, fans expected no less from the Blackhawks. They even finished 50-23-8 with a total of 109 points, placing them first in the Central Division.

Going into the playoffs, the Blackhawks were heavy favorites over the Nashville Predators, who clinched the playoffs as a second wild card spot. Surprisingly, they were swept, taking them until game three to score a goal.

Red Devils were surprised about the Blackhawks postseason play.

“It was so surprising that they lost because they’re typically a team to make a playoff run and they were the top team in the Western Conference,” said Jack Lane, junior. “Additionally, the Blackhawks beat the predators 4 out of the 5 times they played them during the regular season.

Some point to the team’s defense as the reason why they lost.

“They lost because their defense is old. It is a very experienced, but very old blue line and after 8 straight years of deep playoff runs, it has taken its toll on their defense men. Keith looked gassed, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson looked normal, and Oduya and Campbell had circles skated around them,” said Evan Ostrowski, fan and junior. “What has allowed the Hawks to be so successful is their defensemen’s ability to posses the puck and make stretch passes into the offensive zone, but the younger predators skated circles around our defense, causing them to not posses and not make those breakout passes like they usually can. That along with a very hot Pekka Rinne led to their sweep.”

While the team still did lose in the first round, some fans still believe in the Blackhawks potential.

“[The Blackhawks] played really well during the season and looked to have a great combination of a veteran hall of fame core, and young talent like Hartman and Kero,” Ostrowski said. “They also have been the past couple years a very tough out, especially after losing in the first round the prior year”

But, it is still easy to blame the Blackhawks little effort during the series.

“They stopped playing competitively during the last week of the season since they had clinched 1 seed and were resting their most valuable players. They lost every game the last week of the season and were playing lousy hockey that carried over into the playoffs, said Nishant Vyas, junior. “They’re normally able to “flip the switch” and play playoff hockey but a lot of the older guys that are normally dominant this time of year were simply outplayed by the predator players and their old age was evident. The hawks weren’t able to win a lot of one vs one battles or generate a whole lot in the offensive zone. Finally faceoffs were also a major problem, as the preds dominated all series at the dot.”

The Blackhawks will look to make the playoffs again next season and will hopefully bring the Stanley Cup back to Chicago.