The Chicago Blackhawks ve. Anaheim Ducks playoff series might be one of the best series I have ever seen. It had everything from huge comebacks to multiple overtime games. The pace of play in this series was ridiculous and I can only hope the Stanley Cup Finals are half as exciting.
Despite the awesome series, last night’s game was kind of a let down if you had no rooting interest. From the get go, the Blackhawks dominated. The line of Brandon Saad, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane was unbelievable. Toews had the first two goals last night, Saad added the third, and Kane had three assists. Joel Quenneville usually only puts Kane with Toews if the team needed a jump and they desperately did.
The game last night was essentially over when Chicago took a 3-0 lead early in the second on a Saad goal which came via a ridiculous feed from Kane. The Ducks were able to make it a bit of a game at times, but in the end, they just could not match the level the Hawks were playing at.
Defensively, Duncan Keith is not human. He is averaging 32 TOI per game this postseason which is unheard of. He also leads all defensemen in the playoffs in all major categories. Aside from Keith, Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya, and Niklas Hjalmarsson have all been solid as well. Even though the Hawks are really only playing four defensemen, they can still shut down opposing teams which is just insane.
This loss for the Ducks is a huge disappointment because they went all in this year. Acquiring Ryan Kesler in the offseason was huge, as was the midseason addition of Simon Despres (I will never understand why the Penguins agreed to this trade). Next year, though, the Ducks should be right back in this position because they should not be losing too many key pieces with their biggest free agent leaving is Matt Beleskey.
The Stanley Cup Final between the Hawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning should be really fun to watch. Both teams can score an obscene amount of goals but both can also be suffocating defensively. The pace in this series should be just as fast as the Western Conference Finals which is awesome for the sport of hockey.