Question 1: The Blackhawks losing to a team that’s four wins from the Stanley Cup doesn’t do a whole lot for me, emotions-wise. The West was pretty weak this year, so any team that got hot at the right time could’ve done exactly what the Predators are doing.
In hindsight, though, I think the Preds were unintentionally playing possum heading into the postseason. They had such a bad regular season after so many expected them to contend for a conference title. And they they just pushed through to the championship series.
I’m certainly not rooting against the Preds in this series against Pittsburgh. Nor am I rooting against the Pens, necessarily. I just want to see some good hockey. But as far as if the Preds making the Final makes me feel better about them beating the Blackhawks … a little, I guess. But it doesn’t move the needle much.
Question 2: I’m sure Niklas Hjalmarsson would make a fine IndyCar driver. The guy is absolutely fearless on the ice and is generally comfortable making split-second decisions. And he’s not afraid to handle or dish out a little punishment, a good trait to have as a race car driver.
Hjalmarsson would probably ask if he could go without a helmet during one of the races, just to see how he fares. I’m sure if NHL rules wouldn’t prohibit it, he probably would’ve played a hockey game without a helmet by now.