With the St. Louis Blues losing to the Washington Capitals on Saturday, the Dallas Stars were able to secure the top spot in the Central Division. That means that the Blues and Chicago Blackhawks will meet in the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. These playoffs are my favorite because playoff hockey is exhilarating and it feels as if any of the 16 teams have a chance to raise ol’ Stanley in June. Nothing is guaranteed this time of year. The hockey gods do not care if you are the Presidents’ Trophy winner, the defending champs or scorching hot. Any team can lose in any series, and that is why this is the best time of year.
With all this uncertainty, ‘Hawks fans need some reassurance. So, I have compiled nine reasons why the Chicago Blackhawks will beat their division rival in the first round.
Reason 9: The Blackhawks’ offense is on fire
The Blackhawks’ offensive philosophy this season has pretty much been “fine, we will do it ourselves.” With the defense being as bad as it has been, the offense has certainly pulled its weight and then some. Since the stretch of March games in which the ’Hawks lost a little more frequently, the ‘Hawks scored 37 goals in 11 games to close out the regular season. Patrick Kane has 16 points in that stretch, and Artemi Panarin has 15 points. The ‘Hawks’ offense gave us a scare earlier, but it is clear it is firing on all cylinders right now.
While the Blues do have a very good defense, it is clear the unit will have its hands full. In their five regular-season matchups, the Blackhawks scored 16 goals against the Blues. That is amazing considering that the Blues are fourth in the league in the goals-against category.
Next: Reasons 8 And 7