Look To Build Another Streak In Playoffs
The Chicago Blackhawks made the headlines during the regular season for their NHL-record 24-straight games with at least a point to open the year. Now they will look to do something even more impressive in the playoffs. The Blackhawks are the favorites in the Western Conference to go all the way to the Stanley Cup final, and there is no reason to think that they won’t go all the way. Chicago has everything it will take to make an extended postseason run, and they showed that by dismissing the Minnesota Wild with a five-game streak in which they never lost in regulation.
The Blackhawks’ only loss came in a 3-2 overtime loss at Minnesota in game three, after they took an early two-games-to-none series lead. However, Chicago made it easy to forget about that overtime defeat by winning the next two games by a combined 8-1 score in order to clinch the series and advance to the second round. Six different Blackhawks’ players registered at least four points or more, including a team-high six points apiece from Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp. The team that finished second in scoring during the regular season has showcased its balance in round one, and set the tone for the playoffs moving forward.
As impressive as it was that Chicago finished second to only the Pittsburgh Penguins in scoring during the regular season, the statistic becomes that much more significant when you consider they did it while posting the best goals against average. The Blackhawks allowed an average of just two goals per game during the regular season, and have been even better in the playoffs with Corey Crawford posting a 1.32 goals against average and .950 save percentage including one shutout. Crawford has been excellent all year, and Chicago also has a quality backup in Ray Emery. Veteran defenseman Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Johnny Oduya give the Blackhawks one of the deepest and more experienced defensive cores in the NHL, and with the emergence of young defenseman Nick Leddy, Chicago’s defensive core is capable of contributing at both ends of the ice.
The Blackhawks also have the intangibles to make a deep playoff run, as they showed at throughout the year by scoring goals while showing the capability to limit opponent’s chances. This Chicago team has all of the weapons to make a deep playoff run, and if they continue to get contributions from all four lines in addition to quality goaltending, there isn’t a team in the league that will be able to match what they can do. The Blackhawks made headlines with a 24-game point streak to open the year, and it helped them to clinch the best record in the NHL. Now Chicago is working on a new streak, only the potential reward that awaits them at the end of a long playoff run will be that much sweeter For all of the latest NHL news and playoff odds, be sure to check out the best sports betting sites.