Game 7’s are always a blast, no matter if it’s baseball, basketball or hockey. There’s nothing like a 60-minute single elimination end-of-series game to decide whether or not a beloved team advances or not.
Tomorrow night it’s happening in the Madhouse on Madison. The place is ready to erupt with volcanic joy if the Blackhawks continue on their promise to bring the Cup back to Chicago.
Jonathan Toews will not be denied, and Detroit’s defensive lapses in Game 6 will turn out to have caused a two game swing. The Blackhawks are advancing to the conference finals and that’s a certainty.
Truth be told, Jimmy Howard was not totally at fault for Game 6. The penalty shot call was questionable, but the fourth goal proved decisive. The Blackhawks were fortunate to have had a man advantage so often, but fair play to them for capitalizing on the opportunity.
While I grant these Red Wings their props for having had a brutal travel schedule to engage the Hawks, their success in away-game situations has come to an end. The Hawks have won consecutive games and they’re returning home to their raucous fans. The United Center will be rocking and the fans will be expecting a win. Jimmy Howard’s play has been good (he has outplayed Corey Crawford) but the momentum won’t be on his side and no matter what he does his team will be facing a tremendous uphill task.
Four different Blackhawks scored on Monday and they’re getting contributions from up and down the lineup.
After enjoying the fruits of their home-ice advantage, the Blackhawks will be able to rest for a couple of days before starting their next series. The Blackhawks need to get more out of their big stars. Chicago has game changers who brought them their ridiculous record. These players need to show up in the next two series or there won’t be the parade and confetti that the Hawks so richly deserve after their record-setting regular season and after banishing their Original-Six nemesis to the Eastern Conference.