The Chicago Blackhawks aren’t in deep trouble just yet, but with a loss tonight to the Anaheim Ducks in Game Two of the Western Conference Final, that could soon change.
The Blackhawks dropped Game One of the series, 1-4, to the Ducks at the Honda Center on Sunday afternoon. It is the first time the Blackhawks have trailed in a series in these 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs; for the Ducks, it is nothing new.
In fact, the Ducks have only lost one game to this point, in the last round to the Calgary Flames. If the Blackhawks want to advance to their third Stanley Cup Final in six years, they’re going to have to beat the Ducks four times in the next six games. A steep test, for sure.
To do so, the Blackhawks will need some more offense from their best players. With only one goal (and a pretty lucky one at that) in Game One coming off the stick of Brad Richards, they will need to crack Frederik Andersen in Game Two if they want to match that of their Anaheim counterparts.
If the Blackhawks are going to make Game Two a closer affair, or steal their one road win necessary to advance on Tuesday night, here are the top three players that need to bring their A-game.
#3: Andrew Desjardins
Usually when the Blackhawks are searching for offense, all eyes don’t exactly point to Andrew Desjardins. However, in both 2010 and 2013, when the Blackhawks took home their two most recent Stanley Cups, they got unexpected and timely production from their fourth-line players.
Through the first half of the playoffs, the Blackhawks’ fourth unit has done just that, including a huge goal by Desjardins himself in the first game of their first-round series against Nashville.
Though Desjardins didn’t have a terrible game by any means in Game One (2 SOG and an even +/- rating in 12:00 of Time On Ice), if the Blackhawks want to match the offense of the Ducks, Desjardins and his fourth-line unit will have to make themselves heard at some point in the series.]