A Game 7 in the Stanley Cup playoffs may be the most exciting Game 7 in all of professional sports. Unlike in the NBA, the “Best Team” doesn’t always win a Best-of-7 series in Hockey. Upsets happen (the 8th seeded Los Angeles Kings won it all last year) – so in this 1 vs 7 match up, there are no guarantees.
The Hawks breezed through the regular season and the first round of the playoffs. When the Red Wings eliminated the Ducks, the one team who gave the Blackhawks fits during the regular season, fans in Chicago gave a sigh of relief – we’d gotten the Red Wings, who we easily handled during the season, and whose reign in the NHL was passed, or so we thought. But for three straight games, the Blackhawks did not look like the Blackhawks we have come to know this year. Struggling to score, losing their composure, being out-coached. Our normally level-headed captain falling apart when we needed him the most. But the last two games the Blackhawks have looked again like the team that enjoyed a record-setting regular season. Winning two straight, one of which in the self-proclaimed “Hockey-Town”, to force a Game 7 back in Chicago. This is the game that will define the Blackhawks’ season. A loss, and winning streaks no longer matter. This becomes one of the greatest choke jobs in Chicago sports history – Steve Bartman might as well reach down and grab a puck away from Duncan Keith. But a win, and this historic team will have come back from down 3-1 and advance to the Western Finals, in what has been one of, if not the most, memorable seasons in Blackhawks history.
The city will be watching. The UC will be bumpin’. The Blackhawks have never come back from down 3-1 in a Best-of-7 series. Will history continue, or will this become a season to forget?