Western Conference Finals vs. Anaheim: Game 3

  At this point, the beard comb is your best friend. If it’s itchy, comb it. This is also a good time to use conditioner on it as well (thanks, babe!). That’s how I keep my beard looking handsome and manageable at the same time.

Do you hear that sound? It is the sound of the Chicken Littles, fresh from burying the Bulls for their playoff disappointment to cast their doom and gloom on the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford isn’t good enough. Anyone could have won with the stacked rosters Q had in 2010 and 2013. The depth of the Hawks’ defense is their Achilles’ Heel.  Every year, a new meme gets dead-horsed until it’s proven untrue. Yet here come the Chicken Little Chicago fans, hanging on every one of Mike Millbury’s words about how the Hawks can’t do it this year. Have a little faith, people. This is mostly the same team that has been there, twice, and was a bounce away from likely doing it again last year. Have a little perspective and let it play out.

Why do I have faith? Why aren’t I worried? Because the four defensemen that Q is leaning on aren’t shmoes in their 2nd or 3rd season. They are all medal-winning Olympians. Some of the best hockey players at their position in the world. Three of them already have two Stanley Cup chamionships on their resumes. Also, the Hawks won Game 2. But you wouldn’t think that listening to the sounds of thousands of panicking, meatball Chicago fans and sportswriters.

Lost in the preordained collapse of these four world-class players is the fact that Anaheim has 3 defensemen, none as good as what the Hawks possess, that have played just as many minutes in the first two games of this series. But those poor souls will supposedly wilt under the pressure of the Anaheim forecheck. I’ll take what the Blackhawks have on the back end over what Anaheim has any day.

I thought Kyle Cumiskey played ok for a 5-6 defenseman in Game 2, so he probably will earn a few more minutes going forward. Kimmo Timonen, well, I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about him right now. He’s not shying away from contact, but he has no capacity to avoid the checks that he is taking. But if Q thinks he’s still #betterthanRundblad, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and hope Timonen can give the Blackhawks 7-8 good minutes a night.

With home ice advantage, Q should be able to get the matchups he wants and get Patrick Kane loose. It’s almost as if Anaheim has decided that Kane isn’t going to beat them, so it’s up to someone else to come through. Maybe that 3rd line of Patrick Sharp-Antoine Vermette-Teuvo Teravainen finally breaks through. They’ve looked good all series. Maybe Q turns on the line blender (I’m thinking a light puree would do the trick) and finds the formula. Either way, some more offense would be nice. Especially if the defense is going to be pounded into dust as the hockey experts on NBC have predicted and the meatballs have parroted.

With the change in venue, we also get a change in announcers. For the next couple of games, we don’t have to listen to Kenny Albert and his huge forehead. That might also mean the slurpfest over Corey Perry and his “leadership” (goonery) might subside for a few nights as well. But Eddie Olczyk usually goes out of his way to not sound like a homer on national broadcasts and Pierre… well, nevermind. I guarantee he stole Perry’s jock and chewed the crotch out of it. Good thing I’ll be at a bar so I don’t have to pay much attention to the announcers.

Early start tonight. Hopefully that means they’ll be only 6 wins away sometime before midnight. Who needs sleep anyway? Not champions. LET’S GO HAWKS!!!

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