Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks: 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Re-Imagined

By Ryan Fedrau
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 13: Alex DeBrincat #12 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates his goal against the St. Louis Blues during the third period at the United Center on October 13, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 13: Alex DeBrincat #12 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates his goal against the St. Louis Blues during the third period at the United Center on October 13, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks
CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 03: St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen (34) blocks a penalty shot from Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) in a shoot-out during a game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues on April 3, 2019 at the United Center, in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Blackhawks vs. Blues Playoffs History

Now that we have that out of the way, the last time these two teams matched up in the Stanley Cup Playoffs was in 2016, St. Louis won the series 4-3. That was the first of 2 straight first-round exits for the Chicago Blackhawks.

St. Louis started the series up 3-1 and Chicago battled back to try to bring back the series and win it, as they did in 2013 against Detroit while being down 3-1 in that series.

Sadly, they ended up losing the game with Troy Brouwer getting the game-winner during the 3rd period.

The time before that, these two teams matched up during the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, where St. Louis started the series up 2-0 from back-to-back 1-goal wins.

Chicago would take the next 4 games and go all the way to the Western Conference finals to lose in Game 7 against the LA Kings in overtime.

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Just because Chicago won the season series against St. Louis doesn’t mean they would have beaten them in the playoffs. However, with how hot Chicago finished the season, it could have been a good series.

The 4 wins Chicago had against St. Louis were all by 1-goal and that proves that they could win the close nitty-gritty games, which means a lot more since playoff hockey is a lot different.

In my opinion, the only way Chicago could have knocked them off would have been in the first round, when both teams were fresh and St. Louis wasn’t all on the same page.

Once they hit the second round, the Blues started to gel as a unit. Everyone was on the same page and proved why they deserved to be there.

More from Blackhawk Up

Even though Chicago had a relatively younger roster with little experience, they still had their stars in Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, both of which had career-best seasons in 2018-19.

Chicago sneaking into the playoffs would have been more motivational for the guys and could have elevated everyone’s game for the first-round series.

They also would have had the upper hand considering they just beat St. Louis a few games ago and needed to prove it wasn’t a fluke.

I am not saying the series would have been 4-1 just like the regular-season series was, but Chicago would have won it in 6 games.

The Blackhawks could probably have stolen Game 2 on the road and won both home games (3 and 4) in Chicago putting them up 3-1 in the series.

That gives Chicago 3 chances to close out the series. Game 5, St. Louis would bounce back and win on home ice and Chicago would have taken it on home ice in Game 6.

Final Thoughts

This is all just speculation and my insight on the situation. Chicago fans will say the Blackhawks would win the series and St. Louis fans would say their Blues would have won the series.

The truth is, we will never know. Chicago matched up better with St. Louis than any of the other teams did.

The Blues got a lucky break with the teams they ended up playing in the playoffs, avoiding Nashville in the second round, but still needing 7 games to beat Dallas.

They punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals against a beat-up San Jose Sharks team that had no business being there.

Would Chicago have made it that far in the playoffs? I don’t know. They did win the season series against Dallas as well and really beat-up on them.

Chicago might have pulled that Dallas series out, but they struggled against San Jose during the regular season. Since we are going by regular-season stats here, so the nod would have to go to San Jose in this theoretical situation.

These questions could have been answered if Chicago didn’t struggle and end up losing 7 of their last 11 games. Still, chances are they wouldn’t have gone that far, but it is fun to speculate.

My bold prediction is Chicago will be a top 3 team in the Western Conference Central Division this season. The “experts” are saying the division is too tough for Chicago, but that’s why they play the games, right?

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