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Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Reasons They Clipped The Ducks

By Colin Likas
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During the Stanley Cup playoffs, fans go through a range of emotions, especially when their team eliminates an opponent. So, when the Chicago Blackhawks ousted the Nashville Predators in this year’s first round, the reaction was, “Good riddance, and take your fear of cheering fans with you.” When they did away with the Minnesota Wild in the second round, it was, “That’s it? Okay, we’re moving on!”

But after the ’Hawks dispatched the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference finals, the first thought that came to mind was, “See you later, you annoying (fill in the blank).” Indeed, the Ducks gave the ’Hawks a run for their money, to the surprise of some on this site. But the ’Hawks prevailed, despite the hits and grit and garbage thrown around by Anaheim both on the ice and off.

Let’s take a look at five reasons the ’Hawks will be playing for a Stanley Cup:

The Ducks didn’t want it enough. This isn’t a real reason. It’s just a chance to revisit Anaheim center Ryan Kesler’s idiotic comments before Game 7. Enjoy the golf course, you irritating hack.

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  • Frederik Andersen got worse as the series went on. Goaltending is one of the major keys to any successful Stanley Cup run. And while Andersen backstopped well for the Ducks in the first three games of this series, the wheels started coming loose in Game 4. By the time Game 7 had concluded, those wheels were rolling down the tunnel and out the Honda Center door. Andersen’s save percentages in Games 4-7 looked like this: .875, .857, .818, .808. That’s not going to get it done unless the team in front of you is scoring eight goals a game. And against Chicago, even that might not have been enough.

    The ’Hawks simply started to find holes as the series went on. It’s not as if Andersen was consistently and woefully out of position all the time. He gave up just enough rebounds and missed just enough shots to turn the tide of the series in the ’Hawks’ favor. On the same note, Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford posted save percentages above .920 in three of the last four games, maxing out at .938 in Game 6. Crow made some big stops when necessary and kept the ’Hawks in multiple games against Anaheim. His opponent Andersen could not do the same as the series extended.