Could the Stanley Cup Conference Final round have turned out any better? The NHL could not have dreamed that after the lockout-shortened season that the Final Four would be Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh.
In the West, it comes down to the reigning Stanley Cup champs, the Los Angeles Kings, and this year's Presidents' Trophy winner, the Chicago Blackhawks. The two teams have very distinct personalities, and the series has all the ingredients for an epic series.
Storylines? Check - on both ends of the ice.
Both teams want to prove a point - check. The Kings hope to become the first repeat Cup winners since the Red Wings last did it fift...
After a playoff-shortened season, the NHL gets the kind of finish it can only have dreamed about.
Going into tonight's game between Chicago and Detroit, the last five teams standing are those who have won the Stanley Cup over the past five seasons: Detroit (2008), Pittsburgh (2009), Chicago (2010), Boston (2011), and Los Angeles (2012). Four major, long-time hockey markets, and last year's defending Cup champs.
The only way the league could have scripted it any better is if the Final comes down to the Blackhawks versus the Penguins, the two powerhouses of the NHL and regular-season winners of their respective conferences in a winner-take-all showdown.
Ray Emery: 6-0-0 to Start the Season for the Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks are off to a league record start, taking 16 games without a regulation loss. Praised for its depth and talented roster of skaters, Chicago also rolls deep between the pipes this season. Backup goaltender, Ray Emery, has started his season 6-0-0, contributing in ...
The Chicago Blackhawks can do no wrong these days.
Best record in the NHL. League leader in points standings,etc,etc.
Someone has to be the guy to point out the glaring weakness: The quest for the third man in the shootout period.
One can argue that the third shooter dilemma has been the team’s toughest opponent thus far. It has gotten to the point when fans and even people who claim (I use that term loosely) to know the game can figure out that the team is better off winning a game in regulation.
After Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, it’s been slim pickings for coach Joel Quenneville. Marion Hossa, Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, who needs to start...
The Blackhawks players’ season may have ended on the ice but it appears the Hawks will be keeping us entertained in the off season with more drama off the ice. They say that soap operas are dead now that popular day time dramas All my Children, The Guiding Light and One life to Live are off the air. Well not to worry melodrama fans, the Blackhawks front office will be replacing this programming this season with some speculation, scheming and gossip of their own it appears.
In just one weeks time the Hawks promoted an assistant GM from within the club, fired a beloved assistant coach and had to squelch rumors that its Stanley Cup winning future HOF coach would be l...
Many were immediately calling for the removal of head coach Jack Capuano at the start of the season once the New York Islanders' record began to slip from 3-1 to way below .500. However, there were some, like myself, who argued that it was premature to blame the coaching staff for the poor start due to the fact that the roster from last season hadn't changed much and for the other simple fact - the season was still young. (Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr)
Since then, the Islanders have managed to be a consistent below .500 team for the year. They have come close on a few occasions from jumping over the hurdle but would then find a way to take two steps back after taking one step forward. This past week has been the most disheartening of the year for Isles fans in relation to how the team has continued to perform. Not only have they lost games, but they have done it with such depression that even the U.S. economy cringed.
Three of the last eight games saw the Islanders either blow a three-goal lead or lose the game in the final few minutes of the third period. It started when the Islanders went into the second period against the Washington Capitals with a 2-0 lead on February 28th. The Caps would score two goals in the final three minutes of the game and then go on to have Alexander Ovechkin score the early game winning goal in the extra frame. The Islanders also had a 1-0 lead against the New Jersey Devils just this past Saturday, only to see their opponent score two goals just 14 seconds apart in the final two minutes of the hockey game. And most recently, the Islanders blew a 4-1 lead last night against the Caps to lose 5-4 in the shootout.
The week ahead for the Chicago Blackhawks is going to be a trial-by-fire before they hit the road for their annual "Circus Trip", the two-week road trip that marks every November. It kicks off with the first of two season games against the Florida Panthers (the second will be on United Center ice in late January), followed by a game at Tampa Bay, then it's back home for the first matchup of the season against the Vancouver Canucks.
In light of the trade moves made by Chicago and the free agency signings by Florida this summer, Thurday's Blackhawks-Panthers matchup in Sunrise is a game that many fans on both sides of the ice ...