At 10:10 p.m. CDT Sunday night, Chicago shook its fist at fate, cursed the Kings and slowly started to face reality that will take all summer to sink in.
No way the Chicago Blackhawks wanted to end the season like this, humbled at home and dethroned by the would-be Kings in front of friends and relatives.
For what seemed like an eternity Monday night in an awful 5-2 loss to the Kings, Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook just stood there, helpless, stuck in hockey no-man's land.
Hockey isn't basketball or badminton or golf but perhaps the ultimate team sport in which everybody dressed for games typically contributes as the coach rolls four offensive lines and rotates three defensive pairs.
In one stunning 5-minute 50-second span Wednesday night at the United Center, confidence quickly became a concern for the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Kings assumed command of the Western Conference finals.
Upon further review, the clearest statement Sunday at the United Center came from the Chicago Blackhawks in a 3-1 victory over the Kings that left no ambiguity they are as strong mentally as physically.
In the Chicago Blackhawks dressing room Tuesday night, minutes after they won the series against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center, cameras caught Joel Quenneville succinctly expressing his pride as only Coach Q can.