Nearly a year later, the Blackhawks are surging towards another Stanley Cup finals berth with new additions of Brad Richards in the off-season, a needed 2nd line center, and in-season trade acquisitions of Andrew Desjardins, Antoine Vermette, and Kimmo Timonen. The 3 seeded Hawks started with a physical and competitive series against the Nashville Predators eventually leading to a 4-2 elimination. With a few days rest, and a game plan, the Blackhawks made a clean sweep of the Minnesota Wild in 4 short games. After this very successful start to the postseason, the Hawks are fighting to stay alive after a crushing loss to the Anaheim Ducks 45 seconds in overtime after Jonathan Toews’ miraculous 2 goal run in 1 minute and 12 seconds to send it to OT. The Blackhawks are now down 3-2 in the series but, fans should stay positive, the Blackhawks have only lost 1 home game this postseason which came at the hands of the Ducks. It should be comforting that the Hawks are coming home to play game 6.
The Blackhawks need to slow down their game and make high percentage passes to keep the pesky Ducks from scoring with a defensive minded, fast paced offense. In fact, 3 of their 5 goals came as a result of a takeaway including the game winner. Being smart with the puck is where the Hawks should start when drawing up the plays. Coach Q may need to shuffle the lines a little bit and presto. Game 6 in Chicago I could say almost without a doubt is a W but game 7 in Anaheim is a question mark.
Blackhawks postseason points leader, Jonathan Toews and goals leader Patrick Kane, made the classic dynamic duo producing 2 of the 4 points last night. With up and comer Teuvo Teravainen, producing 2 points also, it would be a great skill line to pair the 3 of them for special team purposes. Players to keep an eye on are obviously Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry, and not so obviously Andrew Cogliano. If we can cut the head off of the snake by removing Kesler and Perry from the game plan the Hawks will do just fine and hopefully vault themselves to a Stanley Cup Final.