Ok, that is hyperbole, because a 4-3 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators - who have hemorrhaged players thanks to poor ownership, poor management, and a lack of any empathy for their fanbase - is not exactly a sign that last year’s season is a thing of the past. The Blackhawks finished six games under .500 and last place in the Central Division, victims of the salary cap at last.
The Blues, on the other hand, were victims of their own lack of scoring. This trend was still on display Thursday night, where the Blues fired off over 40 shots on net and only had a goal to show for it.
Last season, the Hawks were 1-2-1 against the Blues; playing in front of Cam Ward instead of Corey Crawford isn’t going to fix that. What could fix that is increased production from the foursome that netted the goals for Chicago in their first game: Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Alex DeBrincat. One game is a small sample size to make any conclusions about the future of either team, but in their opening game, one of the two teams scored and one barely did.
Maybe the pressure is off of the Blues because they’re not playing a team favored to win the division. Maybe the pressure is on because they’re playing their biggest rival at home. Maybe it doesn’t matter because the pressure comes from within the team and the Bad Place is just the friends that you made along the way.
The Blues have an opportunity tonight. Seizing it is up to them.