May 25, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) controls the puck against Anaheim Ducks left wing Matt Beleskey (39) during the third period in game five of the Western Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Here we go again. For the second straight season, the Chicago Blackhawks will be in Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals against a team from California. This time, it’s the Anaheim Ducks who the Hawks will be wrapping up an epic series with. Win or go home!
Tonight’s game will be played in Anaheim. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM Central Time. The game can be seen on NBC and can be heard on WGN 720 AM.
The Ducks will look to continue their physical ways. Has it worked? Hard to say. If they were hoping to wear the Hawks down, they’ve failed. However, in a given play it never hurts to knock an opponent off the puck.
Ryan Kesler will likely be on the ice against Jonathan Toews’ line again since the Ducks will have more ability to control the matchups. Other than game’s four and five, Kesler has gone pointless in the series.
Corey Perry will likely take at least one trip to the penalty box, but the Ducks have all the confidence in the world in their Penalty Kill. Perry was a minus 3 in Game Six, so he will be looking to rebound.
Ryan Getzlaf even said he played a bad game in Game Six. Look for him and Perry to look to rebound quickly tonight and get the home crowd into the game.
Anaheim’s best skater in this series has been the underrated Jakob Silfverberg. Silfverberg has 4 points in the last 3 games.
Goaltender Frederik Andersen has been the Ducks’ best player in this series, but he has struggled in the last three games. In Games Four, Five and Six, Andersen has a dismal .855 Save Percentage.
The Hawks are propelled by Duncan Keith. He doesn’t wear down thanks to his super-human lung capacity. So much for the Hawks blueline wearing down thanks to Anaheim’s physical style.
With a goal and an assist in Game Six, Patrick Kane recorded his first multi-point night in the series. Favorable matchups or not, if he gets a chance to put the moves on opponents, there’s really no stopping him.
It’s crazy to think that there was any worry about Teuvo Teravainen’s lack of experience making him less effective in the playoffs. This kid has looked fantastic in this series. His maturity is beyond his year and it has really shown.
Andrew Shaw is making up for a down regular season with a very nice series. He may have had a better regular season if he was able to play wing instead of center for the majority of it.
The extra day of rest should help veteran Marian Hossa. Look for a big night from him.
Game Six wasn’t his best game, but that can hardly be blamed entirely on him. Other than that, Corey Crawford has had an excellent series.
Forget the nerves, forget the anxiousness and just enjoy this. I realize that the former two likely won’t be done by any Hawks fans, but for real, enjoy this. This is the Golden Age of the Hawks and no matter what happens, we might be the most spoiled fanbase in the NHL.
Having said that…beat the damn Ducks!