Hawks Need To Beat Injuries First, Wings Second

Do the Blackhawks have a chance?

The Blackhawks are back in Detroit. Any other time, this would be cause for despair, but after a 6-1 drubbing in the United Center on Sunday, maybe it's not so bad after all. Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe the Blackhawks just need to get away.

After all, the Blackhawks did play some of their best hockey of the series in Detroit, what with a 4-2 loss -- which in retrospect feels like a close game -- and a 3-2 overtime loss that just as easily could have tied the series up at 1-1 in their last two games in Detroit.

Then again, those games were with top goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and winger Martin Havlat in the mix. When healthy and locked in, Khabibulin proved himself still one of the most able goalies in the NHL; Havlat is perhaps the Hawks' best playmaker, with a keen sense of the ice, the speed needed to utilize it, and a feathery soft touch on the stick. These are the Hawks' best players. They are likely out for Game 5 Wednesday night.

Fortunately for the Hawks, Detroit is missing two of its best players: Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidström. Unfortunately for the Hawks, those two players were missing Sunday, and the score was, lest we need to remind you again, 6-1. So Chicago will be fighting two battles: the battle of maintaining their composure and nerve -- especially replacement goalie Cristobal Huet, who was dreadful Sunday -- and the battle of actually, you know, beating the Red Wings on their home ice in a clinching game.

Can they do it? Who knows. But if there's one good thing about Sunday's massacre, it's the proof it provided that in this series, anything can happen.

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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