Hawks using confidence gained from rally vs. Wings
|Bill Smith / Chicago Blackhawks|
BOSTON -- The Chicago Blackhawks haven't scored a goal in more than 120 minutes of game time and have lost two straight to trail the Boston Bruins 2-1 in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Final.
Most teams would be struggling with their confidence after a pair of humbling losses to a streaking Boston team that has won 11 of their last 13 games. But the Blackhawks are not most teams.
Most teams don't open the season with a 21-0-3 streak that was among the best starts to a season in NHL history. Most teams don't come back from a 3-1 series deficit against a Detroit Red Wings team poised to upset the top-seeded, Presidents' Trophy-winning Blackhawks in the Western Conference Semifinals. These Blackhawks have won big games before, and they have all the confidence in the world that they can do it again.
"It kind of gives you confidence. But to be honest with you, what happened in the regular season is a long time ago," forward Patrick Sharp said. "We certainly feel proud of what we accomplished, we feel like we deserve to be where we are and we can draw on past experience."
Sharp is among a number of Blackhawks players who captured the Stanley Cup in 2010. But some of this team's swagger in the face of adversity may have been galvanized in the opening round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was in that series that the Blackhawks fell behind 3-0 to the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks, only to outscore their opponent 16-5 in the next three games before falling in overtime of the series-deciding Game 7.
The great start to this season made Chicago the talk of the hockey world and helped harden the team's will. But it was the comeback against Detroit that convinced this team it could win any game and take any series.
"That great start was huge, but coming back from Detroit down 3-1? That's a huge deficit to come back from," forward Dave Bolland said. "They're a good team. It's not easy coming all the way back from that."
The Blackhawks' play these past two games has been almost unprecedented for a team that ran away with the League's best record. Still, it's that incredible regular season run, followed by a streak in which they won eight of nine games before losing two straight to Boston, that has the Blackhawks believing.
"We started the season really well. Just from there, we knew we had something special," Bolland said. "We've been in positions during the season where we've been down 4-1 and we came back. We know what we have. There's nothing to worry about or get ahead of ourselves. They're up 2-1, that's the way it goes, it's hockey."