Apr 19, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; NHL referee Kelly Sutherland (11) trips over St. Louis Blues center Maxim Lapierre (40) during the second period against the Chicago Blackhawks in game two of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
#4: The Blues Are Black And Blue
Coming into the series it was no secret that these two teams weren’t going to play nice, and they have not dissapointed, with one of the most physical series’ in recent memory. The Blackhawks, seen as the smaller, weaker team, have done well for themselves, taxing the Blues with some of their own medicine. T.J. Oshie took several knocks against the head in Game Two, and thanks to an illegal check by defenseman Brent Seabrook, it seems that David Backes could be out of the lineup for a while. With some of the top Blues out of their lineup, or playing limited roles, the Blackhawks can easily exploit them with their deep lineup.
#3: The Blackhawks’ Arrogance Is Gone
The Chicago Blackhawks have turned into one of the NHL’s marquee teams in the past several years, and they know it. However, the Blackhawks have never seemed “arrogant” until this first-round series. Two blown leads later, and an 0-2 deficit is enough to shock the ‘Hawks back into proper form. Players like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp have no need to change their game, but when all 23 players get on the same page as their Captain and some of the teams’ biggest weapons, the Blackhawks will turn into a nearly unstoppable machine that they were back in 2010, and 2013.