The Hawks have no one to blame but themselves.
They’re the ones who put themselves in a situation where the fourth to last game of the season was as ‘must win’ as they come. So when Carey Price morphed into the love-child of Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, and Tony Esposito (wouldn’t you like to see that conception) or when a referee takes an extra two seconds to make a crucial penalty call in overtime, we can thank all those horrendous third periods from the first few months of the season for it. Or we can thank the general manager for putting his team behind it (before the puck was even dropped) at least two times this year by fielding a less than adequate team. Or we can thank the slow start from the big guns. Or we can thank the lack of scoring from the secondary players. Or we can thank Niklas Hjalmarsson for his massive regression.
I think you get the point.
It’s much easier to chalk up a loss as a tip of the cap to the opposition’s goalie or whatever else when points are not at a premium. Sadly, that’s not the case for the Hawks so this loss will sting even longer than it should.
And sting it will even more when the sun comes up tomorrow and Troy Brouwer is likely out for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. Then when John Scott plays 3 minutes a game for the remainder of the season, we get to hear about how he wasn’t the difference between the Hawks losing or winning. Nevermind that playing with only 11 forwards is essentially spitting in your team’s face. Nevermind that this great farm system the Hawks tell everyone they have can’t produce a role-playing forward to play 8 to 11 minutes for these final three games. Nevermind all of it.