Please someone wake me when it’s the conference finals. Who’s gonna stop these Blackhawks, and if someone does they are still the best team in the world. I don’t care what anyone says, this schedule was just brutalized by the Blackhawks and it’s not worth parsing the numbers to expain the Blackhawks’ domination this year because the only thing that matters is the ring and the hoisting of the big cup at the end of it all. I want to see Patrick Kane and Sidney Crosby go head to head in the finals. Well, I’m a Bruins fan so I have some hopes in that regard, but these hopes are not likely to get fulfilled so I’m going for a Kane-Crosby matchup as the answer to all of our hockey dreams.
The Blackhawks won the President’s Trophy in this lockout-shortened season by 5 points. Which means if this were baseball, they would’ve bested the rest of the league by 2.5 games. That’s dominance. While the Blackhawks haven’t played any Eastern Conference teams, that shouldn’t be a deterrent to winning the cup. The Eastern Conference is weak. Like the NBA, the power’s in the West.
But it’s the superpower that is Crosby at the end of it all. He is flanked by Geno and Iginla. Malkin may be the most gifted European player on the planet, so the Penguins’ power play consists of the two best players from their respective continents. But the Blackhawks present Pittsburgh with problems. After all, the Hawks didn’t just beat teams, they beat them up. The goaltending is the one issue to look for in the playoffs, the uncertainty of who the True Number One is kind of still up in the air, but expect Crawford to get most of the work barring something unforeseeable. The Blackhawks are the cream of the crop in their conference. Don’t expect an LA-type run this year; if anything, I expect last year’s champion and the Blackhawks to battle it out – hopefully in the third round – so the series can be as highly publicized as possible. That would also provide for a fascinating matchup between the shooting Hawks and the best goaltender in the league.
It may need to be said that the Hawks might stumble along the way and prematurely exit an historic season. If that’s to be, then it better be against the Kings or Penguins, as any other victor would severely dampen the Hawks’ regular season legacy
Let’s just get past a Wild team that’ll be overwhelmed with the task of stopping this juggernaut.