Jan 29, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks forwardJonathan Toews
(19) and defensemanJohnny Oduya
(27) and forwardPatrick Kane
(88) congratulate forwardPatrick Sharp
(10) after scoring against Vancouver Canucks goaltenderRoberto Luongo
(1) (not pictured) during the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
#2 – Hawks Hot, Blues Not
Both the Hawks and the Blues have been pretty ho-hum after the Olympic break. However, in the final month of the regular season, the Hawks were able to string together four consecutive wins and win two of those contests in last second come-from-behind fashion. While the Hawks were flashing some vintage 2013, the Blues clunked and cluttered through a 0-6 skid, losing the Central Division title that they had all but locked up during the entire season. I’ve stressed before the importance of building momentum heading into the playoffs because it’s essential for a team to establish a mentality for sustained success. The fact that the Hawks experienced a quick surge of consecutive victories will go miles for them in the post season. The Blues on the other hand lost what was rightfully theirs and are heading into the playoffs with people questioning their ability to get the job done. This is not the state of mind you want to be bringing against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
#1 – Blackhawks Have Blues’ Blueprint
We all know the Hawks went 2-1-2 against the Blues this season, which on paper is a losing record. However, as always, I like to look past the numbers. Each of the games the Blues beat the Hawks, it was only by one goal, hardly a blowout. Each time the Hawks beat the Blues however, it was far more decisive. The Hawks crushed the Blues in one outing this season 4-0, sending the much touted Ryan Miller to the bench in shame. They would follow up that victory with a definitive 4-2 W, this one without Kaner and Tazer. Suffice it to say, the Hawks know how to beat the Blues, and that’s the biggest piece of mind our boys in red, white, and black will be taking to the ice with them in Game 1. It’s the classic advantage of knowing thy enemy.
Despite all the aforementioned advantages, the St. Louis Blues are a very dangerous team. The Hawks will need to capitalize on all of the listed advantages and discover several more in order to advance to the next round. Here’s hoping the Blackhawks’ desire to add another chapter to their legacy is stronger than the Blues desire to add their first ever Stanley Cup.
FOR THE DAGGER!