Blackhawks forced to play waiting game

 

The Chicago Blackhawks were in grave danger of joining the list of five teams who have suffered the embarrasement of going from Stanley Cup Champions, to not qualifying for the play-offs. On Sunday afternoon, at United Center, the Blackhawks controlled their own destiny as they entered play with 97 points and needed just a single point against the –Detroit Red Wings to clinch the eighth play-off  spot. Chicago got off to a strong start as forward, Michael Frolik, scored the opening goal, but it wasn’t enough as the Red Wings skated off with a crushing 4-3 win. Now the Hawks had to play the waiting game as the Dallas Stars, who are two points behind Chicago, have a date with the  Minnesota Wild. “I can’t even believe we’re here right now, “said Hawks’ captain, Jonathan Toews, who had 32 goals and 76 points this year. “It’s so frustrating that it has to come down to this. I’m pretty much speechless.” A Dallas Stars’ victory would link the Hawks with the Carolina Hurricanes (2007), Toronto Maple Leafs (1968), Montreal Canadiens (1970), New Jersey Devils (1996), as the teams to miss post season a year after winning the Stanley Cup. “We had too many games that we let slip away and we’ve got to find a way to get those games into overtime, especially at home,” Coach Joel Quenneville said. “There were too many games that looked like we should get something and we got nothing.” Well … as fate or fortune would have it … the Minnesota Wild saved the day by defeating the Dallas Stars 5-3 in their final game. So the Blackhawks missed the curse of winning the Stanley Cup, only to fail to make the play-offs the next season. The Hawks will face Vancouver in the opening round of the play-offs.

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