Chicago Blackhawks Morning Links: Game Day at Long Last!

By Ericka McFee

The wait is (almost) over! In just another few hours, our beloved Chicago Blackhawks will take on their hosts, the Anaheim Ducks, in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Although many people figured that the Hawks would face its biggest challenge in the last round against the Minnesota Wild, they took pretty much everyone by surprise (although I’d be very interested to hear from those of you who actually had the correct prediction on your brackets!) by sweeping the series.

Another sweep is highly unlikely: the longer the series wear on, the higher the stakes become, and the tougher it becomes to win. However, the prevailing view seems to be that the Hawks will take care of business in about 5, maybe 6 games. You can find the predictions of yours truly and my fellow Blackhawk Up staffers here. (You’ll see that one rogue writer thinks they will sweep, but as he says, don’t get him started.)

In the meantime, while you’re looking for that jersey you lost track of over the past week-plus, and getting ready to head out to grab beers or join fellow fans for a game watch, here is some light reading to get your day started.

CM Punk – the ultimate Blackhawks fan boy (Sports Illustrated)

Duncan Keith – The Very Huge Engine That Could (Puck Daddy)

Make-or-break factors for the Hawks and the Ducks (Puck Daddy)

Five match-ups to Watch (Madhouse Enforcer)

Anaheim power play vs. Blackhawks penalty kill – which will win out? (CSN Chicago)

Eddie O predicts a long series (CSN Chicago)

On Duncan Keith’s versatility, Corey Perry’s convalescence, and Quenneville’s preparations over the long wait (Chicago Tribune)

It’s not just about having Aces, but how you play them (Chicago Tribune)

Deadline acquisition Andrew Desjardins a key part of the Hawks’ fourth line (Chicago Tribune)

Last year’s WCF Game 7 might have been a heartbreaking loss, but not quite as bad as this blast from the past (Chicago Tribune)

Blackhawks are aware of the challenge they face when Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are on ice together (Chicago Sun-Times)

Some teams thrive on young talent, but the Hawks excel due to their veterans’ experience, tenacity, and leadership (Chicago Sun-Times)

Bad ice likely for the series opener. Thanks, Kanye. (South Bend Tribune)

Anaheim players who must step up to test the Chicago Blackhawks (Pucks of a Feather)

Ryan Getzlaf’s honeybadger-esque response to pundits’ predictions (Los Angeles Daily News)

Hawks vs. Ducks – Five Burning Questions (Los Angeles Daily News)

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