Humble in Hockeytown

The young Chicago Blackhawks may have bitten off more than they can chew against the veteran Detroit Red Wings.

Down 3-1 in the series following a 6-1 defeat, the 'Hawks will be hard pressed to come back in the series, especially since they would have to win two more games in Detroit.

While failing to advance to the Stanley Cup Final after coming so close would be a disappointment to the Blackhawks and their fans, it should not be viewed as a setback, rather a key learning opportunity.

Chicago has not been completely outplayed in the series. In fact, despite the recent 6-1 loss to the Red Wings, Chicago has had a chance in every loss. In Game 1, Chicago played well through two periods before allowing 3 goals in the third period. In Game 2, they were narrowly defeated 3-2 in overtime.

What has been evident in the Hawks struggles is their inexperience. In Game 3, for example, Chicago was leading by 3 goals before allowing three goals back to Detroit in quick succession. While they were leading, Adam Burish started mocking Nicklas Lidstrom, who promptly scored soon after and started Detroit's comeback. Though Chicago did manage to win the game in overtime, it is just an example of how the Blackhawks' inexperience has hurt them.

As mentioned before, the Blackhawks will be hard-pressed to come back against Detroit, but they are a young team with a lot of promise. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane headline a group of talented forwards and the blue line should be solid for years to come with players like Brian Campbell and Brent Seabrook.

Chicago also has a very aggressive offense, much similar to that of the Detroit Red Wings. In fact, while watching the Western Conference Finals, it almost seems like the Blackhawks are like a young version of the Detroit Red Wings. They attack opposing defenses relentlessly and are willing to take chances. Chicago is loaded with talent and if they can hold on to these players, they should continue to play at a high level for years to come.

Chicago may not be able to beat the Red Wings now, but in a few years, the Blackhawks may become one of the elite teams in the NHL.

Keeping in mind that Chicago has been viewed as an underdog in each series, and it is amazing the Blackhawks have even made it this far. Against the Red Wings, however, they may have met their match. They are playing a team that is just as aggressive as they are, and this is perhaps teaching Chicago that it sometimes takes more than being aggressive to win.

So, win or lose, the "baptism under fire" Chicago has received in this series will bode well for them in the future.

I think it's safe to say we haven't seen that last of the Blackhawks yet.

Jonathan Hamelin contributes articles on the NBA, NFL and NHL. Being an avid fan of the Canadian Football League, Jonathan writes two columns on the CFL, Rider Report Card and CFL Buzz.

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