Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: Best and Worst Case Playoff Scenarios

By Tim Lively
Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) and head coach Joel Quenneville watch their team take on the Dallas Stars during the third period at American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Blackhawks 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) and head coach Joel Quenneville watch their team take on the Dallas Stars during the third period at American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Blackhawks 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Third Round

Worst Case Scenario: Los Angeles Kings

So given how poorly things are going for the Blackhawks right now, it might be very presumptuous to suggest they’ll make it to the Western Conference Finals. But there’s little denying the resiliency the ’Hawks have shown in the past when facing this kind of adversity, so don’t dismiss these speculations as pure fantasy just yet.

That being said, for the same reason it would behoove the ’Hawks to avoid the Kings in the first round of the playoffs, it would be best for the Blackhawks to cross their fingers the Kings don’t make it to the third round. Again, the Kings are a well-rested team after their postseason hiatus last year, and Los Angeles has proven time and again it is a team that’s built for the playoffs.

While the ’Hawks have beaten the Kings on the Western Conference Finals stage before, the Kings have done the same to the ’Hawks. On paper, this potential matchup would appear to be a toss-up, but home ice and extra energy reserves give the Kings the edge over the ’Hawks in this scenario.

Best Case Scenario: Anaheim Ducks or San Jose Sharks

Should the Blackhawks make it this far, they best chance they’ll have at advancing to the Stanley Cup Final is drawing an opponent that either has questionable longevity or experience. Enter the Ducks and the Sharks.

We saw last year how easily the Ducks can implode the longer they remain in the playoffs and/or a playoff series given their style of play. There’s little reason to think the same wouldn’t be true this year. Not to mention the ’Hawks have a potential mental edge over the Ducks, having beaten them in the same setting in 2015.

Like the Blues, the Sharks do not have a solid playoff performance history. They even missed the postseason for the first time in a while last year. In other words, should the Sharks make it this far, it’ll be very unfamiliar territory, and here again is where the Blackhawks’ experience would provide them with a psychological benefit.

Again, it’s hard to remember, even if it was only nine years ago, when it was the norm for the Blackhawks to be out of the playoffs. So regardless of what develops this postseason, let’s stand by our Hawks every step of the way!

FOR THE DAGGER!

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