Joel Quenneville is a boob … Jonathan Toews is overrated … Marian Hossa is soft …
What else can be said after the Blackhawks lost two straight games to fall behind 2-1 to the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final?
Of course if the Hawks' fortunes reverse Wednesday night in Boston, so will those opinions.
Quenneville will be a genius … Toews will be contributing despite not scoring … Hossa will be a warrior for playing hurt …
Playoff evaluations are fluid. Personally, I can switch from positive to negative and back again at the drop of a puck.
Which means that I'm failing Bill Sarto's test. The Carpentersville reader took our sports staff to task in a "Your views" letter on our June 1 "Opinion" page.
"Nothing but the negative sports spin," the headline read.
In the first of three paragraphs, Mr. Sarto referred to us as "the biggest bunch of gloomy Guses I've ever had the misfortune to encounter -- they can find the negative in any story."
OK, sir, so what's your point?
"When the Hawks struggled in the playoffs (against Detroit), the DH sports writers couldn't pound out enough negative news fast enough," Mr. Sarto wrote. "I sure hope the Hawks can go on to win the Stanley Cup. And if they do, your writers will be right there as if they had never lost faith. Go Hawks!"
No, I will never profess to never losing faith in a Chicago sports team. I am losing faith in the Hawks as we speak.
Blame it on momentum. Going from "mo" to "no" is heart-wrenching. Going from "no" to "mo" is heartwarming.
As Bruins' coach Claude Julien put it Tuesday, "I think emotions are a part of the Stanley Cup Final."
So, Mr. Sarto, I commend you on being able to remain even-keeled regardless of how a game and a series transpire. But a good guess is that a lot of fans are just the opposite -- optimistic during the good times and pessimistic during the bad times.
That's playoff hockey. Actually it's the playoffs in every sport, including the Bulls' recent postseason if you'll recall.
For many locals, when a Chicago team wins a playoff game the feeling is that it'll never lose again. When it loses a playoff game it'll never win again.
Everything is magnified and exaggerated during the Hawks' quest for the Cup, from game to game if not period to period if not shift to shift.
A couple great saves and Corey Crawford is an elite NHL goalie. A couple bad goals and Quenneville should be replaced if he doesn't replace Crawford with Ray Emery.
Maybe those are overreactions but aren't overreactions what sports are supposed to inspire in a fan?
These games are something to be irrational about because -- as you have read me saying many times -- they are something to care about that don't matter.
If fans' emotions are stable over sports, maybe they should move to San Diego to experience 72 and sunny every day of the year.
Sports are designed to swing moods so we can save our sensibilities for serious challenges like health problems, stock market dips and backed-up toilets.
Mr. Sarto, as much as you should be commended for your approach, I relate more to fans and media members who freak out over a two-game losing streak during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Right now, the Hawks losing home-ice advantage is the sports version of the Great Depression and if Jonathan Toews scores the winning goal to regain it Wednesday night, it'll be like an economic recovery.