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Hawks go back in time: Game 5 looks a lot like Game 1
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff

The Blackhawks' Brian Campbell is checked by Vancouver Canucks' Ryan Kesler.


Associated Press

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Published: 5/9/2010 10:49 PM

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Physicist Stephen Hawking recently came up with a few different theories as to how mankind might someday be able to time travel.

No need hear all the science talk, Mr. Hawking - the Blackhawks accomplished the feat on their own Sunday night, turning back the clock to May 1, the date they opened the Western Conference semifinals series with an absolute thud, dropping a 5-1 decision to Vancouver at the United Center.

"We played a very bad Game 1," Hawks captain Jonathan Toews admitted later. "We gave them credit and realized they deserved to win, but at the same time realized there were so many things we didn't do as a team."

Well, it was almost an instant replay Sunday night in a 4-1 loss to the Canucks.

After all the usual pregame hoopla at the UC, the Hawks came out flat, fell behind early (59 seconds in) and ended the first period trailing 2-0. And after that, they never seemed to have much of a chance to get back in the game.

"It wasn't the start we were looking for, down 1-zip right off the bat," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.

"We weren't initiating like we usually do," veteran forward John Madden said. "We were kind of waiting to see what kind of game they were going to play and what kind of changes they were going to make and before we knew it we were down 2-0."

So what's the deal with the poor starts and poor play at home lately?

"I wish I had an answer," defenseman Brian Campbell said. "We were a step behind all night. Once we got the puck we didn't move our feet, and once we let go of the puck we didn't move our feet."

"We made mistakes early and gave them some chances," Toews added. "We can't do that again."

Maybe it all has something to do with the United Center and the pressure to perform?

Or maybe the more pertinent question is whatever happened to home-ice advantage in the playoffs where road teams are now 35-34?

Courtesy of their loss to Vancouver on Sunday, the Hawks are now 3-3 at home in the postseason and 4-1 on the road, and it all seems to come right down to the way they start games; they've fallen behind in all three home games against the Canucks.

"I think we came out with the right attitude, maybe we were just a half-step behind," forward Kris Versteeg said. "Giving up 2 goals at the start again isn't what we wanted to do.

"We know we can do better. We have to go into Game 6 and really have a good start."

Otherwise time might start ticking away.