How could I not post something from the Chicago Daily Herald when it has such an ironic title like "This was a NIGHTMARE for Hawks" (they obviously didn't capitalize the whole word)?
Do you want to know what a couple key Blackhawks had to say about Detroit? Do you?
"They're still the team to beat in the West. They play playoff hockey all the time."--Andrew Ladd
You might have thought that with their success (so far) this season, that Chicago would have an absolute mental edge in this match-up. But let me throw this idea out there for you, because I can almost guarantee that the true Blackhawks fan feel this way 100%: Lose to Detroit in the play-offs, and this season meant absolutely nothing. That's quite a lot of pressure to be putting on these kids.
You have Chicago, a group of very talented, very young (some stupid) and mostly very inexperienced kids versus the older, more experienced, ice water veined veterans of Detroit...who wins the mental battles? 15+ points clear of us in the standings, and they STILL can't get out of our shadow...their fans won't let them.
Should Chicago be more worried about San Jose beating them out of the #1 spot in the West? Yes. Are they? No. Because they just lost to Detroit. Both times that Detroit was running on almost a full roster? Yeah Detroit took both of those games and it absolutely eating away at Chicago.
"They're always a good team. They play the same way, the right way."--Jonathan Toews
I think the writer, Mr. Mike Imrem sums up the sentiment that I was hinting at perfectly in one simple and to the point sentence...
Oh, heck, maybe the Hawks just better not play the Wings in the playoffs.
The Chicago faithful will not want to admit it. But they're fearful of seeing the Winged Wheel in the post-season...especially in the first round. To have such a great regular season and then risk bowing out in the first round? The bandwagon would crash and burn so hard and fast we might be able to see the flames all the way across Lake Michigan.
Let's not forget all that Chicago has riding on this season. They've got a lot of Gary's Cap issues on the horizon during the off-season. They went for broke this year. It's all or nothing for them. A crushing defeat at the hands of their bitterest rival? Yeah, it has them worried in the Windy City.
You may think the target is on Chicago's back. But even from 1st place in the West, they'll be looking over their shoulder, looking towards Detroit.
A first round match-up would be epic.