Sweep or Split: What if the Blackhawks were playing Carolina
If the Chicago Blackhawks just finished the season playing almost 500 hockey, they would have had a good chance at making the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If they did, what would have been their result in the first round against a team like the Carolina Hurricanes?
The St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers have both been swept out of the first round. More and more teams are going to follow up and end their season, but what would have been the result against the Hurricanes for the Blackhawks?
The Chicago Blackhawks and Carolina Hurricanes would have been a fun first-round matchup.
If the Hawks did sneak in they would have had their work cut out for them against the highly skilled Hurricanes. For starters since the beginning of the 2017-18 season, the Blackhawk have only beaten the Hurricanes four times throughout 14 meetings. Also, they have only given up less than three goals twice.
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The Hurricanes have had the Blackhawks number for a while, and considering how well they have been in the postseason I do not think they would be tied 2-2 right now. I have to hand it to the Nashville Predators who are really holding their own against the high-flying Hurricanes. Having two home games really helped the Preds, and if the Blackhawks were in their position I do think they would have snuck away with one home win.
Anything can happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as shown by one of the best teams in hockey getting swept in the first round. Should the Blackhawks have snuck in I guess anything could have happened, but I still think they would have lost their first-round series in five games.
Carolina is a team that constantly was putting up shot totals in the mid 30s and low 40s against Chicago. None of the netminders would have been able to withstand that in the Hawks crease. I think Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat would have struggled in the playoffs with the opponents playing their top guys against them, and I do not think they would have scored more than a goal or two all series.
Personally, while I do think it is fun to imagine where Chicago would be in a series right now if they did make the postseason, it is hard to take that seriously when these games are going into double or triple OT. The Hawks are not built for playoff hockey like that.