The Blackhawks Versus the Avalanche (3-2)
Just as the season was starting, I mentioned that Jared Bednar would need to keep the wins up to reach the playoffs again. Well, he did it. It was ugly but the Colorado Avalanche are back in the playoffs for the second year in a row.
The Blackhawks took the season series three games to two. You may be surprised to find that the Blackhawks finished this season winning most of the series’ within the Central Division.
The Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks were separated by only six points. The Blackhawks scored 12 goals but allowed 13 from the Avalanche. The Central Division continues to grow tougher and the Avalanche have quite a ways to go. In addition, they are now considered a consistent playoff presence.
I do not have the Avalanche making it out of the first round. Colorado’s powerplay (22% in the regular season) is the only edge they have. They’re out in six games.
Their series kicks off against the Calgary Flames Thursday night on NBC Sports Network.
The Blackhawks Versus the Stars (3-1)
I truly believed that the Dallas Stars would struggle this season. Either the Stars or the Wild would be my basement team. I was wrong and the Stars made it out of the regular season with 93 points and the number one wild card spot.
However, the Blackhawks won three of the four matchups between the two. With 16 goals for and eight against, it wasn’t even close! Even though Ben Bishop finished the regular season with the best save percentage in the league, the Blackhawks found a way to break that.
The Stars will fall to the Predators in the first round. The series will go five games despite the favorable statistics the Stars hold over the Predators (goals against, better PK and PP).
This series began Wednesday and the Stars took game one 3-2.