Did The Blackhawks Deserve To Be Booed Off The Ice During Game 2 Meltdown?

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Anybody who stepped into the United Center Saturday night hoping for a more energized, more entertaining and more competitive showing from the Chicago Blackhawks were sorely disappointed.

The Blackhawks stepped on the ice, showed an aggressive spurt for the first few minutes. But Chicago couldn’t translate a hot start into a goal and a Ryan Ellis (fluke) goal that snuck past a screened Corey Crawford (cough cough, wake up Duncan Keith, cough cough) pretty much put the UC crowd into a continued lull.

Then, embarrassment ensued. The usually poised and composed Blackhawks looked completely lost at times and flustered throughout. They went down 3-0 entering the second intermission and that brought out the boo birds from the faithful.

But should the Hawks, who have won three Stanley Cups since 2010, been booed off the ice by their own fans? Sports Mockery’s Marc-Louis Paprzyca and Matt Barbato have differing opinions.

Marc-Louis Paprzyca:  After the second period of game 2, I tweeted about Blackhawks’ fans booing in a negative manner. It received likes, retweets but some comments with differing opinions. You can read what I tweeted below and form your own opinion. Then, read my reasoning behind my tweet.

Sports get emotional for the players and the fans. Everyone is entitled to their own emotions but that doesn’t mean you need to let them be known.

For example, you love your grandma and you visit her often. Then, she gets you a terrible birthday gift. You certainly don’t boo grandma, even though you love her and put all that time and effort into her.

If that didn’t work for all the blowhards who want to tell you how much they spent on their Blackhawks playoff tickets. Here’s another one for you.

Every parent of a kid who plays sports knows how much it costs. Equipment, league fees, don’t forget gas money and time. So your kid’s team is awful. You don’t go out there and boo the kids even though you paid for it.

So I know the argument that’s coming, “These aren’t old people or kids we’re talking about.” I know. They’re professionals who have a way better sense about what is going on in their profession than you do. They have each other and countless coaches they have to look in the face.

Worst of all, we Blackhawks fans are just acting like entitled punks. We have all heard about the “Wussification of America” and this is exactly it. We have been so blessed with great Blackhawks teams of late that we can’t accept anything less than greatness. So we bitch about it. Or in this case, boo.

The United Center has been dead since the puck drop during game 1. There should be cheering and positive emotion for more than goals. The loudest sounds of the series have been boos.

Athlete’s feed on emotion. Piling on to what they know is wrong doesn’t help that. In a sense, they can be fragile like an old person or child.

Nobody is asking you to coddle them or tell them is everything is going to be ok, but a simple clap is a lot more useful. I’m not asking you to be blind to the Blackhawks’ lackluster play but stand by your team and support them. That is if you’re really behind them.

Matt Barbato: I totally hear Marc’s argument. It’s valid. The Hawks have given us plenty more to cheer about than boo or curse about the past seven years. But let’s stick to the present. When you stink, you stink and the Blackhawks played poorly not once, but twice in front of their home fans.

It’s not as if the Hawks didn’t come into the postseason with expectations, either. They were favored (along with Washington) to win the whole thing. To not only drop your first two games, but to do so in ugly fashion merits the boo birds, as crazy as that might seem.

Nashville is a very good team that should be credited with smothering the Hawks into rushed decisions and errant passes. But the Hawks made the routine impossible. They couldn’t connect on the tape-to-tape passes they’ve hit with regularity all season. They were blanked by a goaltender who’s notorious for struggling in the postseason. Heck, they barely even pressured him. Rinne barely had to sweat in either game.

I have absolutely no problem with fans booing the Hawks off the ice. That’s not to say I’m ignoring what they’ve done in the past. Bad is bad no matter the circumstances.

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Matt is a sports journalist from Chicago who has covered the NFL, NHL and college sports during his sport writing career.