April 12, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; The NHL playoff logo is painted under the ice at Jobing.com Arena prior to game one of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Chicago Blackhawks. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
It appears that the Chicago Blackhawks will be opening on the road in the playoffs when they kick off later month. The Blackhawks have been a very good road team ever since the Toews and Kane era began. Most Blackhawks fanes believe it doesn’t matter where and when the Hawks play that they can defeat their opponent no matter the home team. One reason for this belief is that the Blackhawks have clinched both of their Stanley Cups on the road away from the United Center, but there should be some concern about the Hawks starting series on the road.
In the Joel Quenneville era the Blackhawks have won 2 Stanley Cups, but in their last 3 playoff series that have opened on the road well let’s say it hasn’t ended well for the men wearing an Indian Head on their sweater. In 2009 the Hawks did defeat the Vancouver Canucks without home ice advantage, but they marched on to Joe Louis Arena and they lost 4-1 in the Western Conference Finals.
In 2011 the Blackhawks opened up their Stanley Cup defense on the road against the Vancouver Canucks and after falling down 3-0 and tying the series back up at three with an overtime goal by Ben Smith, the Hawks lost in overtime on the road in Game #7 in Vancouver. In 2012 the Hawks lost Game #1 in overtime at Phoenix and never could really solve Mike Smith and were ushered out of the playoffs at the U.C. in 6 games.
So flash forward to today it looks as if the Hawks will be opening at Colorado and all Hawks fans are expecting a victory, but with the Hawks recent history should fans be more concerned than confident that the Hawks will advance. The other thing to remember is if the seeds all hold (except for the Hawks) that the Hawks would open every series that they advance in on the road. Will the Hawks be able to become road warriors for the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs? Will recent history be able to change itself and the Hawks win series after series with one less home game? I’m rooting for the Blackhawks to become road warriors and I’m sure 99% of eveyone reading this will be too but let’s not get too over confident as all I’m saying.
What do you think is the road no worries?
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