That was the one Chicago. That was the absolute worst kind of loss that this team could have had. Sure it wasn't much better watching them fall victim to the Preds neutral zone trap in game one, or sleepwalking through their worst home playoff loss since 2009 in game 2, but even after all that I know that I wasn't the only one who woke up yesterday feeling pretty good that this team would find a way to get it done on the road and get right back in the series.
Pekka Rinne saved what would have been a disastrous goal in the first by diving back from behind the net to stop a puck that took a weird bounce off the boards on a Chicago clearance, and for awhile it looked like it would be the same story for the Hawks as the first two games. But then the goals from Rasmussen and Kane in the 2nd to put them up 2-0 at the intermission really had it feeling like this team had finally woken up and given us a reason to get excited about them again. Then disaster struck. Viktor Arvidsson fired a shot high and off the glass behind the net early in the 3rd that deflected back and hit Corey Crawford in the back or leg area, resulting in a lucky tip in goal for Filip Forsberg. Ten minutes later Arvidsson again assisted a Forsberg goal, but not in a way that would show up on the stat sheet. Right after Crawford had made an initial save, Arvidsson came crashing into him and Forsberg fired a shot passed Crawford's glove side. I still haven't heard a decent explanation of how that wasn't goalie interference, especially since they reviewed it, but the either way after that goal it just felt like it wasn't the Hawks series. Crawford played out of his mind in overtime, but it was dominated by Nashville and just under 17 minutes in, an awful Marian Hossa turnover set up Kevin Fiala to beat Crawford and push the Hawks to the brink of elimination Thursday night.
I'm really trying to see a way for this team to get back in it, but after watching that collapse last night I really can't even convince myself. If they somehow can avoid getting swept Thursday, they come back to Chicago for game 5 and could have momentum taking the series back to Nashville for a game 6. That's the optimistic fan way to look at it but after getting shut out twice at home and blowing a 2 goal lead in the 3rd, my gut tells me their season ends Thursday night. My Twitter feed last night was filled with fans pointing fingers and who we should blame for being down 0-3, but to me it honestly just feels like an epic team wide choke job with everyone underachieving, also not helping that Nashville is playing really well especially Rinne. Here's to hoping that my next Hawks post won't be the last until October.