Playoff Preview: Chicago Blackhawks Look to Lock-Up Series Against St. Louis Blues


Apr 25, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Jordan Leopold (33) defends against Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp (10) during the third period in game five of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

One win, and the Chicago Blackhawks will have defeated the St. Louis Blues, in the first round, of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  One win, and the Blackhawks will be on their way to the 2nd round.

Just one more win.

Here’s how both teams have matched up, throughout this series.

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As you can see, the this is an extremely close series, although the Hawks hold the slightest of edges, in every category.  Any game could have gone either way.  The Blues could have easily swept the Hawks, by now.  The Hawks could have easily swept the Blues, by now.  However, the series stands at 3-2, in favor of the Hawks, which is seemingly most appropriate, since the fact the Hawks have the slightest of edges in this series, statistically.

The Blues need a miracle, to take this series to a Game 7.  After taking a 2-0 lead, to start the series, the Blues lost 2 in a row, in Chicago, to let the Hawks tie the series, at 2-2.  Then, on Friday, the unthinkable happened.  The Blues lost, in St. Louis, and now they are on the brink of elimination, with today’s game, in Chicago.  It does not look good, but this has been a crazy series, that will go down as a classic.

David Backes made his return to the lineup, on Friday, and looks to have a better performance, today, in Game 6.  T.J. Oshie finally found the back of the net, in Game 5.  Perhaps Oshie’s acrobatic goal will spark something in him, for Game 6.  Alex Pietrangelo also finally found the back of the net, although he has made his presence felt, whenever he’s been on the ice, this series.  Defenseman, Kevin Shattenkirk leads the Blues in points, this series, while Vladimir Tarasenko leads all forwards, in points.

Ryan Miller will be in net, for the Blues.  Miller has had a good series, against the Hawks.  He has made many clutch saves, when needed, other than the soft goal given up, early in Game 3.

The Blackhawks need to focus and keep the momentum on their side.  Wrapping the series up, today, in Chicago is very important.   Giving the Blues some possible spark or momentum could be costly enough, but combine that with the fact that a potential Game 7 will be played in St. Louis, and you have a Hawks team that is in big trouble.  This game is as much of a must win, as an elimination game, for the Hawks.

Marian Hossa finally found the back of the net, to break his scoring drought, since the regular season ended.  One would think that Patrick Sharp will soon be next to break out of his post-season scoring slump, and what better day than today?  Patrick Kane appears to have adjusted to life with a knee-brace, as he is moving the puck, in the offensive zone, with his expected authority.  Jonathan Toews can make it a hat trick, of game-winning goals, in this series, with one more tonight, as he has been the definition of clutch, this series.  Brent Seabrookwho has a knack for clutch or game winning playoff goals, in the playoffs, makes his return today, as he has finished his 3 game suspension. The Hawks will need to make sure they don’t get careless, stupid or look too far ahead, as this series has a lot of hockey left in it, but hopefully not too much more, for the Hawks’ sake.

Corey Crawford will be back between the piped, for the Hawks.  Crawford has been excellent, this series, as he absolutely stole Game 3, with his shutout.  Questions of Crawford’s health have sprung up, recently, as he appeared to have injured himself, making a save, in Game 5.  We’ll keep our fingers crossed, for Crow.

It’s either win now, in front of the comforts of home and Hawks’ fans, or lose now and try again later, in St. Louis.  The Hawks know what the wisest option is, they just need to make sure they execute it correctly.  Let’s finish this thing, tonight!

Go Hawks!