SIX PACKS ON ICE, NHL BLOG: Chicago Blackhawks to Win Cup? Michela Says Not Likely
As the first NHL team to clinch a playoff spot, and the most talked about team this season, the Chicago Blackhawks seem unstoppable.
This past weekend the Blackhawks defeated the Predators for the second time in two days and improved to 13-0-1 against Central Division teams.
“It’s a good feeling, being the first team (this season) to clinch a playoff spot. But we’ve done a good job of never thinking too far ahead this year and taking it one game at a time,” said Jonathan Toews, whose 19th goal of the season proved to be the game-winner last Sunday night vs. Nashville. “We’ll keep going forward with that mindset that we’re not going to focus on something that doesn’t really matter right now.”
We all know the team has been playing phenomenally this season, with points in every one of their first 24 games — a league record — and amazing regular season stats (30-5-4).
“Obviously, at the start of the year the goal is to make the playoffs, and then we know anything can happen,” said Duncan Keith, who finished plus-3 Sunday night. “We’ve given ourselves a chance now.”
Blackhawks insider Tracey Myers said this week that “What matters, ultimately, is the Blackhawks continuing to play the way they have to get to this point.” Very true. And very possible.
However, I don’t think they can do it.
In talking hockey with my dad this topic arose, and to my question of how he thinks the Blackhawks will perform in the race to the Cup he stated, “They’re gonna pull a Red Wings.” Just what I was thinking too.
Ah yes, the classic occurrence of playing extremely well in regular season and then fizzling out in playoffs. It happens all the time. And lately it’s been the pattern for Detroit.
The Detroit Red Wings are a quality team; always have been and seemingly always will be. They have made the post season consecutively for over 20 plus years and have 11 Stanley Cup wins. In the past couple of years though, something just wasn’t clicking for the Wings during playoffs.
Let’s take a peak at 2010. The Red Wings went seven rounds against the Phoenix Coyotes and won the series 4-3. Now, I’m a huge Coyotes fan, yet I’ll admit that was a closer series than it should have been. In the Western Conference Semifinals the Wings took on the San Jose Sharks and played only five games before letting the Sharks win the series 4-1.
In 2011 the Wings didn’t fare much better; actually they fared the exact same. They entered the post season with a solid 104 points and the title of Central Division Champs. Once again the Wings (third seed) faced the Phoenix Coyotes (sixth seed), this time sweeping the series. But again, Detroit’s second round of playoffs had them facing off against San Jose. And once again, San Jose took the series.
Last year was even worse for the boys from Detroit. In the quarter-finals the Wings lost to Nashville and were eliminated from the playoffs. Although it was a tight series, the Red Wings should be playing better than that.
Now I understand this was a bit of a tangent, but you need to know what I’m speaking of with the Wings so that you have a clear vision of my prediction for the Blackhawks. This has been a stellar regular season, albeit a short one, for Chi-town, and I am not at all saying that I want the Hawks to lose, I’m simply prophesying it to happen.
I could be wrong, the Hawks could pull out an epic start-to-finish journey to hoist the Cup. That would be fantastic for them; they have definitely earned it. We all love those kind of season-dominating stories; maybe in part because it makes us feel better about our team having lost to them, the mentality of “Well, they beat EVERYONE, so we can’t be too upset”. But for whatever reason, those miracle season stories rarely transpire. Fatigue? Running out of luck? Who knows why the post season blues occur. We’ll just have to wait and see if the Chicago Blackhawks can beat them and win another year with Lord Stanley’s Mug.
Follow me on Twitter @MichelaRicci and let me know if you think the Blackhawks can pull off another NHL Championship.
Michela’s Top Pick of the Week
Brought to you by HockeyTube.net, the Top Pick of the Week goes to the effortless coast to coast goal by Dan Boyle. Looks like beer league out there and Boyle was the ringer. I mean, really, where were the Wild on that one?
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