Heartless, dirty and stupid will get you beat.
Just ask the Blackhawks.
It’s as if the Hawks were begging to blow Game 2 of the playoff series against the Blues, and St. Louis accommodated.
The Hawks were heartless early, and they were dirty and stupid late, choking away another third-period lead and losing another game in overtime.
Frankly, they deserved it. They deserved to lose a game in which they looked like amateurs a majority of the time.
It was enough to make you grab your crotch in disgust.
The Hawks came out reluctant to go to the tough areas and they weren’t wild about defending those spots, either. If they didn’t lose every battle for loose pucks, then they were losing the important ones.
This was how a defending champion responds to a triple-overtime loss?
The Hawks gave up the first goal again, and this time they allowed the Blues to score late in the first period for a 2-0 lead.
Uninspired. Unmotivated. Lazy. Inept. Just dumb. However you want to characterize the Hawks’ start, it was embarrassing the way they gave away the first 30 minutes Saturday afternoon.
Their power play became such a joke that two Olympians collided at the St. Louis blue line to create a shorthanded breakaway.
The Hawks drew enough lazy and stupid penalties in the second period that a rout wasn’t far off. But at least the Hawks’ penalty killers were engaged. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to leave the Hawks just one shot away from making it a game.
And Duncan Keith launched that shot late in the second period, firing a puck past Ryan Miller after it deflected off one of Miller’s teammates.
Note the formula: Slap shot by a Hawks defenseman, deflection off a Blues skater, puck in the back of the net.
Unbelievably, that worked two more times. Brent Seabrook tied the game that way early in the third period, and a couple minutes later, Michal Rozsival put the Hawks ahead.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville demanded traffic in front of the Blues net to beat Miller, and thankfully the Blues accommodated.
And so, after three lucky bounces, the Hawks tried to protect another third-period lead. They failed to do it in Game 1. They failed in Game 2, only this time, they added a special brand of dirty and stupid.
Bryan Bickell stuck out his left leg and blatantly nailed Vladimir Sobotka’s knee. That’s not just dirty and stupid, that's Canuck dirty and stupid.
The Blues went on the power play with less than five minutes to go in a one-goal game, and before the Hawks could kill it and get out of trouble and get out of St. Louis with a split, Seabrook launched himself into Blues captain David Backes and likely launched himself into a suspension.
Seabrook lined up Backes behind the Hawks’ net and drove his right shoulder into Backes’ face, drawing blood and a major penalty.
Again, Canuck-caliber dirty and stupid.
You cannot target the head. You cannot make the head the principal point of contact. And you’re an idiot to risk what happened while trying to kill a penalty and protect a late lead in a playoff game in a series you already trail by a game.
And so, of course the Blues scored the tying goal. They did it excruciatingly late --- 6.4 seconds remained --- and forced a second straight overtime affair because the Hawks blew a second straight lead in the dying minutes.
If you believe in cheater’s proof, you shouldn’t be surprised that Barrett Jackman scored 5:50 into overtime to give the Blues the victory and a two-games-to-none series lead.
If you don’t believe in hockey karma, then go with this: Is that any way to win a Stanley Cup?Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun