Chicago Blackhawks A Mixed Bag In Game 7s
The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues are heading to a Game 7 matchup in St. Louis tonight. That is the case after the Blackhawks were able to come back from an early 3-1 deficit in Game 6 to eventually win 6-3, and force the seventh and decisive game in the series.
Is the 3-1 comeback win in Game 6 a predecessor for another 3-1 comeback for the Blackhawks, who faced that issue in the series heading into Game 5? That’s still to be worked out, but the Blackhawks have shown tremendous confidence as they try to fight back from being down two games in the series against the Blues and win a Game 7 on the road. Let’s take a look back at how the Blackhawks have fared in Game 7 situations during the Joel Quenneville era (2008-present).
2011: Defending Champion Blackhawks Eliminated By Canucks
In 2010, the Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup in 49 years by beating the Philadelphia Flyers. Then the roster was dismantled due to salary-cap restrictions. The quest to defend the Stanley Cup would be an uphill battle for the young Blackhawks team as it nearly missed the chance to defend said Cup. It took until the final day of the regular season, and some help from the Minnesota Wild, for the Blackhawks to squeak in as the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
It would be the third time in as many seasons the Canucks and Blackhawks would meet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with Chicago winning the previous two series in 2009 and 2010. Vancouver was on a mission to avoid a third straight series loss to the Blackhawks, evidenced by winning the first three games of the series.
Chicago wouldn’t go down easily though, as it came back to win Games 4, 5, and 6 to force a Game 7 in Vancouver. It marked the seventh time in NHL history that a team forced a seventh game after trailing 3–0 in a playoff series. However, Vancouver won the Game 7 in overtime to avoid becoming the fourth team in NHL history to lose a series after taking a 3–0 series lead.
2013: Blackhawks Eliminate Red Wings, Complete 3-1 Series Comeback
After back-to-back first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs exits for the Blackhawks, 2013 would have to be a special season or more changes may have been on their way to the Windy City. 2013 was that special season. First, the NHL lockout forced the league to miss half of the season and begin play in January.
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The Blackhawks then went on a historic 24-game point streak, going 21-0-3 to begin the season, an NHL record. Backed by stellar goaltending from both
, the Blackhawks would go on to win the Presidents’ Trophy in the lockout-shortened season.
After dispatching of the Minnesota Wild in the first round, the Blackhawks would come up against their bitter rivals, the Detroit Red Wings. It would mark the final time the Blackhawks and Red Wings would meet in the Western Conference portion of the playoffs before Detroit moved to the Eastern Conference in the NHL’s realignment plan ahead of the 2013-14 season. After taking Game 1 in convincing fashion, the Blackhawks lost their next three in a row to go down 3-1 in the series, with Game 5 back in Chicago. The Blackhawks controlled Game 5 en route to a 4-1 win, and took Game 6 back in Detroit to force a Game 7 in Chicago with a spot in the Western Conference finals on the line.
The Blackhawks would get “two game-winners.” The game was tied 1-1 late in the third period when Niklas Hjalmarsson scored a goal with less than two minutes to play. It was waved off, however, because of coincidental minor penalties being called before the goal. The game would head to overtime, when Brent Seabrook beat Jimmy Howard with a wrist shot to complete the series comeback and send Chicago to the next round, and eventually the Stanley Cup.
Next: The Next Two Game 7s