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Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues Series Recap

mikbre88
Apr 25, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks teammates line up to shake hands after St. Louis Blues defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in game seven of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks teammates line up to shake hands after St. Louis Blues defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in game seven of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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After a day to calm down and shave my playoff beard (stubble), I am ready to sit down and reflect on this series. This series will be remembered as one of the best series in recent memory for the Chicago Blackhawks. From start to finish, these seven games had fans on the edge of their seats, and had the United Center up for grabs. The series had everything from goals missing by inches, a suspension and a team finally putting away the monster that is the Blackhawks in the playoffs. Let’s take a look back at this series.

The biggest thing that came back and killed the ‘Hawks was their lack of defensive depth. When you are running with only three solid defensemen, you are not going to go very far. The only reason a team like that would go far would be because their offense played out of their mind. The ‘Hawks were not able to do that. Trevor van Riemsdyk was able to kind of be a competent defenseman, but too late in the series. The 24-year-old was able to figure it out towards the end game five. From game 5 on, he had one goal and a plus/minus rating of +2. This was too little too late after he was the worst player on the ice for this first four or so games.

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Duncan Keith was the Blackhawks’ best blue liner in the series. When he came back in game two, it was clear that Keith was back and ready to make an impact. He posted five points and a plus/minus of +3. He posted unbelievable ice time for the ‘Hawks, which was one of the reasons why the blue liners had some very good games. In the end though, the defensemen weren’t there to clear Troy Brouwer from the crease, and the lack of depth really showed.

On the front end for the ‘Hawks, they were just not able to pick up the slack. Jonathon Toews and Patrick Kane had one goal between the two of them, and that is just not going to cut it. Ken Hitchcock’s strategy of shutting down Toews and Kane really worked out and it cracked the ‘Hawks. The one thing that worked later in the series was the line of Andrew Ladd, Marian Hossa and Marcus Kruger. This trio was the best the ‘Hawks had in games six and seven. The only sad part about this is the fact that Ladd will most likely be gone now.

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I am a big Teuvo Teravainen guy, but he had a terrible series. This 21-year-old posted 10 points in 16 games last postseason and one assist in seven games this season. I don’t want to throw Teravainen to the wolves just yet, but this guy really could not find a groove this season. He has the talent to be a top forward for the ‘Hawks, but that potential is nowhere near being realized. One of the best forwards for the ‘Hawks this series was Richard Panik. This guy could barely crack the lineup on the Toronto Maple Leafs, and he was one of the best forwards for the ‘Hawks this series. He posted three assists in the last three games, and was making great plays that just do not show up on the scoresheet. He is a restricted free agent now, and I am all in on the ‘Hawks resigning him and developing him further.

Who knew that a team could hit double posts TWICE in a series. Absolutely unreal, and the shots just left me reciting Happy Gilmore.

The shot also made me realize that I could see this meme on just about anything and I will chuckle.

In net, Corey Crawford played absolutely out of his mind. The patented Crawford softie goal was nowhere to be found this series, and he bailed out the defense on more than one occasion. He had some highlight reel plays and he was the best player the ‘Hawks had all series. The only reason the ‘Hawks made it to game seven was because of Crow.

All in all, this was a really fun series. The ‘Hawks just ran into the perfect storm. I fully believed that if the ‘Hawks won game 7, they would’ve won the cup. But alas, the defensive minded Blues were able to figure out the ‘Hawks and knock them out. Even though game seven did not go the ‘Hawks way, that was one of the best hockey games I have ever watched. What hurts the most is the fact that Stan Bowman really sold out to win this year, and they lost in the first round.

Now it is baseball season, which is nice considering that it is going to be a fun summer in Chicago for baseball. In the next month and a half, ‘Hawks fans get to do something they have not been able to do in four years: watch the best playoffs in sports with no emotional attachment. For me it will be a nice change of pace, but of course it is nowhere near as sweet as lifting the cup in June. Anyways it has been my pleasure bringing all of you game previews and articles all season long. I cannot wait to continue in the 2016-17 season.

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