It was a tough Sunday. Nikolai Khabibulin -- the man who singlehandedly kept the Blackhawks in Games 1 and 2 -- was struggling with a "lower-body injury," the same affliction that forced him to miss several games early in the year.
The Blackhawks were not at their best from the opening whistle. The Red Wings jumped out to an early lead thanks to some sloppy Hawks play, including allowing a two-on-one break and a shorthanded goal to Red Wings that got the scoring festivities (the Hawks were pummeled 6-1 before it was over, including three more power play goals) started.
So, yeah, like we said: tough Sunday.
At one point, whether with their tongues in their cheeks or not, the Hawks public address crew blared U2's seminal "Sunday Bloody Sunday" through the United Center loudspeaker. We can only hope the song choice was incidental.
Hawks fans enraged by the outcome can at least take solace in this: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was just as mad, and now he's paying for it in the form of a $10,000 check to the NHL.
After the game, in regards to Andrew Walker's phantom roughing call in the second period, he said he thought he "witnessed probably the worst call in the history of sports there. Nothing play." The call sent Walker to the box after a scrum -- the sort of thing that happens all the time in hockey, and which rarely involves penalty minutes -- giving the Red Wings a powerplay and their third goal of the day, making the game 3-0.
Quenneville said the call "ruined a good hockey game and absolutely destroyed what was going on on the ice. Never seen anything like it." Quenneville was fined the $10k by the league for the remarks.
Coach Q has since tried to separate himself from the comments, and there's even an inference that Quenneville was trying to put the onus on the referees and not his young team. Whatever the purpose behind the rant, Quenneville is still $10,000 -- and the Hawks are still three games -- in the hole. One is much easier to climb from than the other.
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.