To the Cup

By Brian Kasnicka

Last night the Hawks finished off the Ducks and advanced to their second Stanley Cup final in three years.  Their backs were against the wall and they played their best game of the series.  They looked defensively sound and their offense was firing on all cylinders.  Who doesn’t like that Saad, Toews, and Kane line?  The Tampa Bay Lightning now await the Hawks in what should be an excellent Stanley Cup match up and one that I predicted at the beginning of the season.

The Lightning are a team that prides themselves on speed like the Hawks.  They also have no shortage of offensive power, also like the Hawks.  With the so called “triplets” leading the way for the Lightning it makes them quite the dangerous team.  When Steven Stamkos is in their second tier of scoring during the playoffs you’ve got to be a little worried, but the Hawks have been here before and have won before.  Yes, Tampa Bay has won a Stanley Cup, but out of the guys on the current roster, not too many of them have cup experience.  Where as in Chicago, we’ve got quite a bit of experience.

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The one thing that would concern me is the fact that the Hawks  essentially went with four defensemen the entire series against the Ducks.  They sure proved that a few extra minutes a night wasn’t really a big deal, especially for Duncan “I’m only half robot’ Keith.  As this series goes on it could get a little interesting to see if that many minutes a night takes a toll on Chicago’s big four.  Tampa Bay has a tremendously deep blue line.  With the acquisition of Brayden Coburn at the deadline Tampa Bay really bolstered the blue line and proved that they were in to win it.

This is also Ben Bishop’s first Stanley Cup final.  Bishop has proved that he is a more than capable goalie and can stick with the best of them.  Bishop’s trek to the cup saw him conquer Petr Marazek, Carey Price, and King Henrik.  Corey Crawford is a Stanley Cup champion and is a playoff tested veteran.  It should be an excellent match up seeing if Ben Bishop can stop this Hawks offense.  A task that many goalies have tried and many goalies have failed.

Enjoy your day Hawks fans and bask in the glory of yet another Stanley Cup final berth, but remember a conference championship is not the ultimate goal.  Four more wins and we reach the ultimate goal and the greatest trophy in all of sports.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  Go Hawks!

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