After showing the hockey world what they were made of, and what miracles they were capable of pulling off, the Blackhawks weren’t out of the forest of proving themselves, quite yet. The Blackhawks were set to face the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, in the Western Conference Finals. The winner of this series would advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, to compete for a chance to go home with the cup itself.
Hawks Nation was feeling as confident as ever, after the miracle against Detroit, and they were also firm, confident believers in the goaltending talents of Corey Crawford. Not even the looming presence of arguably the world’s finest goaltender, in the previous year’s Conn Smythe winner, L.A Kings goaltender, Jonathan Quick.
Game one took place in Chicago, and although it was a very hardly fought, and tightly contested match, the Hawks came out on top 2-1, over the Kings. The Hawks took a 1-0 series lead, which would prove to be of the utmost importance, as Game two was to be played the very next night, also in Chicago.
Game two saw the Hawks do yet another unthinkable, as their offensive onslaught was enough to get all-world goaltender, Jonathan Quick pulled from the game, midway through the 2nd period. The Hawks kept the petal to the metal as they defeated the defending champs 4-2. The confidence and feelings of the Hawks being super-human had never been more present, as the Hawks took a 2-0 series lead over the Kings, as the series was headed to L.A, for the next two games. That super-human feeling would prove to be much needed.
Heading into Game three, the Kings had won an unbelievable 14 consecutive games, on their home-ice. For some reason, the Kings’ opponents proved to be all but hopeless, on the Staples Center ice.
Even the apparently super-powered Blackhawks would appear to be mortal, in Game three, as the Kings defeated the Hawks by a score of 3-1, to make it 15 consecutive wins at home. A bit of worry set into Hawks nation, but nothing compared to the dire straits of the Detroit series. The worry was that the Kings truly were invincible at home, and that the Hawks would have to achieve nearly the impossible, to beat them.
With Game four to also be played in L.A, the Kings were feeling confident, after stealing some momentum form the Hawks, the Kings felt and seemed ready and able to tie the series 2-2. The Kings were especially confident, as Hawks’ star defenseman, Duncan Keith, was serving a 1-game suspension. A Kings’ win could totally change the course of the series, as well as take away the super-human feelings surrounding the Hawks since the series against the Red Wings. The Kings took an early lead, but the Hawks, against all of the odds that you can possibly imagine, were able to (once again) come back to stun the Kings on in front of their own fans. The Kings 15 game home winning streak was over, and it was ended without the help of Duncan Keith. With another miraculous victory, with the odds stacked against them, the Hawks took a 3-1 lead in the series. Confidence was exploding across Hawks Nation, with the thought of the men in red sweaters being able to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, with a victory over the Kings, at the United Center, in Game five.
Patrick Kane had a game to remember. Two goals, that helped the Hawks lead with just seconds remaining, but…the Kings used some Blackhawks-eque magic to tie the game off a face-off, with just 9 seconds remaining, which eventually sent the game to overtime. The Hawks and their fans were left absolutely stunned, going into intermission before the overtime period.
This game would need more than one overtime to be decided, as the first overtime period wasn’t even to reach a decision in the game. A win for the Kings could possibly be enough to swing some momentum their way to come back in the series. Fortunately, Patrick Kane would complete his hat-trick in one dramatic action that would send the Hawks to the Stanley Cup Finals, after
Since the recurring theme of miraculous or dominant performance has been going on all year, with the streak, the comeback in Detroit, getting Jonathan Quick pulled from a game, and defeating the Kings in L.A, would a Stanley Cup Finals appearance be really that unthinkable? Not at all, but that didn’t make the Game five any less special.