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 » All things PLAYOFFS! » GAME DAY: SCP '09, WEDNESDAY MAY 27, WEST CONFERENCE FINAL--CHICAGO AT DETROIT, 730PM ET

GAME DAY: SCP '09, WEDNESDAY MAY 27, WEST CONFERENCE FINAL--CHICAGO AT DETROIT, 730PM ET

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davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
GAME DAY: SCP '09, WEDNESDAY MAY 27, WEST CONFERENCE FINAL--CHICAGO AT DETROIT, 730PM ET ChiChicago at GAME DAY: SCP '09, WEDNESDAY MAY 27, WEST CONFERENCE FINAL--CHICAGO AT DETROIT, 730PM ET DetDetroit

GAME FIVE, 2009 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS WEST FINAL
RED WINGS LEAD SERIES 3-1

7:30 PM ET, May 27, 2009
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

CBC/RDS/Versus

Blackhawks-Red Wings Preview

Taking their chances: Step-at-a-time approach is Blackhawks' only way to beat Wings, odds

Step-at-a-time approach is Hawks' only way to beat Wings, odds

CHICAGO SUN TIMES/Herb Gould, May 27, 2009

Some of the Blackhawks seemed a little testy after their United Center workout Tuesday. Maybe it had something to do with going to Detroit. Or maybe they were tired of answering questions about the mighty Red Wings.

Kris Versteeg, who was whistled for three penalties in their crushing 6-1 loss Sunday, bristled at the suggestion that the Hawks were riled up in Game 4 because of the hit that left Martin Havlat woozy in Game 3 on Friday night.

By the numbers

2.14 Goals-against average of Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood, second-best in the playoffs. He has allowed more than two goals once in the finals.
+4 Team-leading plus-minus rating in the playoffs for Blackhawks Adam Burish and Andrew Ladd. Patrick Kane is a team-worst minus-10.
275 Blackhawks penalty minutes in the playoffs, a league high. Their 17.4-minute average per game ranks fourth.

''[The penalties] had nothing to do with prior games,'' the rookie winger said.
''People can say what they want. We could really give two [expletives]. Put it that way.''

What might be gnawing at them is that in a brief stretch at the end of the first period and the start of the second, they went from down 1-0 and lurking to down 4-1 and gasping. It wasn't just a game -- their season is on the brink.

''If the game goes like that, you're going to see guys get riled up,'' Versteeg said. ''You're going to see the testosterone hopping and see the things you did.''

A soft goal here, the worst penalty call in the history of sports there -- and any chance the Hawks had of evening the series at 2-2 evaporated.

They know their chances of winning this series are now a long shot. They know everyone thinks they're running on fumes and expects a loss that would bring a loud silence to what has been an exciting and rewarding season in Chicago.

The only thing left for the Hawks is the 9 percent solution. And even that is on the back burner.

In NHL history, teams have trailed 3-1 in a best-of-seven series 233 times. Only 21 of those teams have come back to win the series. That's 9 percent. It's not an encouraging number.

''It's low, but teams have done it,'' Jonathan Toews said. ''It's not a thing we're thinking about. We're thinking about [tonight]. If we can find a way to frustrate them and get back to playing our game and controlling the puck ... let them go to the [penalty] box a little bit.''

Toews also pointed to the Hawks' competitiveness in the first two games in Detroit.

''We know we were close in those games going down to the third period,'' he said. ''Even though we didn't pull one off, we're confident we can find a way to win in that building.''

In a strange kind of way, the Hawks can play looser tonight than they did Sunday at the UC. In Game 4, they were intent on using their home ice to even the series at 2-2. Having failed, they can go out and play like there's no tomorrow. Because there isn't one.

''Maybe the pressure's on them a little bit,'' Toews said. ''They don't want to go beyond tomorrow night. We can just come out flying and have fun, try and make things happen and put the pressure on them. If we do that, we have a lot of guys who can make big plays in big games like this. We're just going to keep kicking and have fun with it.''

With goalie Nikolai Khabibulin unlikely to play and star winger Martin Havlat unlikely to be himself, the Hawks have fewer hands to paddle out of the muck. All they're thinking about, though, is stealing a game.

''Everyone's counting us out,'' Patrick Kane said. ''The only thing we can do is worry about [tonight's] game. If you win that, then worry about the next one. At 3-1, you're not really in a good position. If we could have made it 2-2, it would have been a whole different series. But you can't look back. You have to look forward. You never know what can happen. It hasn't happened too many times where teams have come back from down 3-1. But we have a really good group. Maybe we can put something special together.''

That's what they have to say. That's what they have to believe. But 9 percent is not a number to hang your playoff hopes on.

IT CAN BE DONE | The 21 teams that rallied to win playoff series after facing a 3-1 deficit
2000 CF New Jersey Philadelphia
2003 CQF Minnesota Colorado
2003 CQF Vancouver St. Louis
2003 CSF Minnesota Vancouver
2004 CQF Montreal Boston
2009 CQF Washington N.Y. Rangers

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
The Blackhawks may be singing this song today...



...and who knows...so may the Red Wings.

Everything is on the line tonight.

For the Hawks.

For the Wings.

Love it.

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
It ends tonight.

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
Hall of Famer
davetherave wrote:The Blackhawks may be singing this song today...
I believe they'll be singing this one...