The Blackhawks lost 3-2 in overtime Thursday in Game 4 of their best-of-seven Western Conference series against the Phoenix Coyotes. They now trail three games to one heading back to Phoenix for Game 5 Saturday night.
For the third time in the series, the Hawks scored a late goal to tie things up -- this one off the stick of Michael Frolik, a forgotten man for most of the season.
Alas, it was all for naught as a bad pinch by Nick Leddy led to a goal from Mikkel Boedker at 2:15 of the extra session. Once again, it was a shot that Hawks goalie Corey Crawford should have stopped. Instead, he did his best Roberto Luongo impersonation and let it sneak through his pads. Now, the Hawks are facing elimination.
It is now a distinct possibility the United Center has hosted its last hockey game of the season. The top players on the Hawks aren't getting it done. No offense to tonight's goal scorers, Frolik and Brendan Morrison, but any production these secondary players provide is nothing more than a nice bonus.
The Hawks need their star players to start playing like stars. We all know Marian Hossa is out now, but the remaining big three of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp have been mostly silent in this series. Toews scored in Game 1, but has looked rusty after missing the last 22 regular season games with a concussion. Sharp scored the game-tying goal with five seconds left in regulation in Game 2, but wasn't heard from at all in the two games at the United Center. Kane has no goals in this series, likely because he never shoots. He's dingle-dangling himself right into an early summer vacation, trying to make fancy moves against a Phoenix team that plays a solid containment style of defense.
And, of course, the Hawks were 0-for-3 on the power play again Thursday. That makes them 1-for-13 in the series.
If the Hawks don't get some production from their power play and their top players, the season is over Saturday. You can't be counting on Michael Frolik to bail your ass out of the fire. It's not a good sign when Frolik has as many goals in this series as Toews, Sharp, Kane and Hossa combined.