With Pittsburgh beating Ottawa 4 - 1 and Los Angeles beating San Jose 2 - 0 last night, The Checking Line: Isles Edition will take a look into the other two semifinal series. (Photo Credit: Torch Creative)
It's been three long years since the Blackhawks last saw the second round of the playoffs.
A battered and bruised Chicago team took the Canucks to the brink, losing in overtime of game seven on Vancouver ice in 2011. Last season, the Blackhawks took the Coyotes to overtime five consecutive games - and ultimately lost in game six.
The team is better this year: not just talent- and chemistry-wise, but coming off a record, albeit shortened, season. Coach Joel Quenneville has been able to consistently roll four lines without his trademarked "line combination blender"; Corey Crawford and Ray Emery split time in the net so well that they walked away with the William M....
In what has been a truly amazing year the Blackhawks ended their regular season at the United Center in the fashion that they began – winning. The game was really never in doubt from the moment the puck dropped on the Indianhead at center ice.
Like the past couple of games, again the Blackhawks had little to play for except that this group of extraordinary athletes has set a standard for themselves which they have not faltered from all season.
The Hawks jumped on top of the Flames early and often. The score could have been much higher save bounces not going the Hawks way. They completely dominated the Flames in the first period.
The Presidents Trophy winning Chicago Blackhawks (35-6-5) face the Calgary Flames (19-24-4) in their final regular season home game at the United Center tonight.
Calgary, losers in two straight including a 4-1 loss last night to the St. Louis Blues, will look to finish their season on a high note against the Chicago team that they nearly defeated in their first matchup back in early February. In that game, Chicago scored with less than 3 seconds remaining to force overtime and eventually won in a shootout to keep their consecutive points streak alive.
In the second matchup between the two, Chicago throttled the Flames by outshooting them 35-16 and shutting them out 2-0 for the...
Tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks play in Edmonton for the first time this season. Their previous two games were both on United Center ice, and the series is split 1-1.
The last time the Blackhawks saw the Oilers, it was the second game after their record-making season-opening points streak. Chicago will look not only to correct that performance (a 6-5 loss), but to also clinch the Presidents' Trophy. The Blackhawks have 73 points (34-6-5), and if they win in any fashion tonight, it's theirs for the first time since 1991.
Additionally, coming off a poor performance and rough 3-1 loss in Vancouver, the team should be looking to get back into form with the playof...
Both teams playing in Vancouver tonight already had punched their tickets to the playoffs, but the Blackhawks had an eye on the Presidents' Trophy, and the Canucks wanted to ensure they locked up the Pacific division.
But between the two teams, the Blackhawks looked like they were asleep at the wheel, aside from Corey Crawford, who was doing his best to carry the game. Coach Quenneville's random line generator was set to "liquify", and line combinations changed regularly though the game.
The Canucks put a lot of pressure on early, limiting Chicago to mostly one-and-done shots in the first. Niklas Hjalmarsson took a charging penalty for a hit on one ...