The Blackhawks' Game 4 loss in the Western Conference Final on Monday night put them in a 3-1 hole in their series with the Los Angeles Kings.
Standing on the brink of elimination, it's understandable for Hawks fans to look back to last year's playoffs, when the Hawks overcame a 3-1 deficit in their second-round series against the Detroit Red Wings. But, as Hawks announcer Eddie Olczyk told the Kap & Haugh Show on 87 7 The Game on Tuesday morning, things are different this time around.
"You can reach for what you've been through, you can look back to what happened to last year's (second-round series vs. Detroit) — which was a much different animal, the L.A. Kings from the Detroit Red Wings of last year," he said. "But this team has been able to handle adversity. This is the biggest adversity they've faced in a long, long time and an opportunity tomorrow night to extend the series."
Olcyzk drew comparisons to the Hawks' previous two playoff series this season, when the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild gave the Hawks fits at times. But, he said, those teams didn't have the goal-scoring capabilities the Kings have, which has been the difference thus far in the Western Conference Final.
"The thing that separates the Blackhawks from most teams in this league is the offensive difference-makers. You go back to the series against St. Louis, you go back to the series against the Minnesota Wild. We saw periods in those series, in those rounds that we saw in Game 2 (of Western Conference Final) in period three, we saw in period three in Game 3 in L.A. We saw those type of periods where the Blackhawks really struggled and had a tough time. The difference is the offensive difference-makers on L.A. They're a good team," Olczyk said. "Sometimes you've got to acknowledge and tip your helmet. These guys are big, they've got guys that can score. ... That to me is the difference in this series to this point is that when the Hawks have struggled, the Kings have capitalized, and there's something to that. They've been to the conference final three years in a row. There's something for that."