The Chicago Blackhawks are moving on.
After a goal from Duncan Keith with 3 minutes left in Game Six to give the home side a 4-3 win and a 4-2 series victory against the Nashville Predators on Saturday, the Blackhawks advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the fifth time in the past seven seasons.
While they await their opponent to be decided (between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild), let’s take a look back at the series that was, and figure out just how the Blackhawks got the job done in Round One.
#3: True Home-Ice Advantage
The Blackhawks won’t be gifted with home-ice advantage at all in these 2015 Playoffs, and if the first round is any indication, that will be quite alright. The Blackhawks won all three games they played at the United Center in the series, including the most lopsided victory of the series in Game Three. The Blackhawks’ faithful was a force to be reckoned with in each of the three games, and the Predators’ performance in the opening minutes of Game Three, in their first trip to the United Center in the playoffs in 5 years, showed just how effective a roaring crowd of 20,000+ can be.
Even with the Blackhawks’ three wins at home, they would have to ‘steal’ one on the road. That Game One win in double-overtime truly fulfilled the meaning of the word ‘steal’, and the Blackhawks did exactly what they needed to do to win this series, and move on to the next round. If the Blackhawks want to get any closer to the Stanley Cup, they will have to do this all over again in the Semi-Finals, so cheer loud, Blackhawks’ fans!