Before I go any further, let me get this statement out of the way:
If you suggest, even half-jokingly, that the Hawks should dress John Scott in Game 2, you should be barred from talking or thinking about hockey ever again. In fact you should be barred from talking or thinking. Period. Good, now I feel better, and I'm sure you do too.
Anyway, I would have thought that after two extended playoff runs (I think people forget that we were a conference finalist the year before) that one loss wouldn't send the city's fans and writes into delirium right around where Lucy was in the sky with her diamonds. As The Feather said, the Hawks didn't go 16-0 last year. In fact, they were crap a few times. Off the top of my head, Game 3 against Nashville, Games 1 and 5 against Vancouver, and I don't think many books will be written solely about Game 4 against Philly.
Secondly, while it was hard to watch, I can't fathom how the 1st period last night was so jarring to people. There's a reason that the Canucks were cantering toward a President's Trophy this year. Every scenario we've laid out that the Hawks pulling the upset involved some aspect of the Canucks game misfiring. Did anyone think if the Canucks played to their top level the Hawks would still get them? Raise your hands. I'll wait.
Ok, yeah, no one. In fact, I could count on one hand after a serious table saw accident how many teams in the league could have hung with that effort in the 1st period. The Flyers of the first half maybe, but not this bunch right now. And....yeah, that's it. The Sharks? Doubt it. Scum? Unlikely, the Canucks have done pretty well against them this season. That was a full out laying it on the table for everyone to see. If they do that for three whole more games (and they didn't do it for a whole game), we'll be writing our end of season grades. And no one will be surprised.
And while I'm on the subject of things that chap my ass, it's pulling out the old "Hawks are soft, look at these hit stats!". I'm not arguing that the Hawks were the most physical team last night, far from it. But as far as hit stats, they are wonky, to put it mildly, and are kept by the home arena official scorer or something. I don't think I've even seen an official definition of what counts as a hit and what doesn't. There's a reason that Cal Clutterbuck always leads the league in this category even though only about 10 of his hits per year are before someone passes the puck.
Look, I get it. The Hawks are small. They can look to be pushed around. They just don't have a lot of guys, or even a few, that can make the boards rattle. At times it can be hard to watch, especially when you're the hockey version of a Ditka-phile. It doesn't look good. But then for some writers in this city to wail about the Hawks not hitting anyone is shouting at the rain. This team wouldn't be served well by abandoning attempts at what it does well (using its speed, moving the puck quickly) to then weakly attempt to do something it can't possibly do well (running around to finish checks and losing structure). Sure, the Hawks could work a little harder on the boards and to get to the crease, I agree with that. But I get the feeling that some will not be satisfied at all until Patrick Kane railroads someone at the red line and then beats him with his dick in Real Ultimate Power fashion. It's just not what the Hawks do.
And if it is something these people want to get upset about, then the anger should be directed at those who built this team without that factor. Because getting angry at Bickell for not being swift enough to hit and crash, Kopecky not being strong enough, Dowell not being...too Dowell, and everyone else for being who they are is misguided. You can't build a team without jam, or be forced into one due to finances, and then be angry for that non-jam not having any jam.