Home > NHL, Playoffs, Western Conference > Hawks May Be Up 3-0, But Is It Over?

Hawks May Be Up 3-0, But Is It Over?

A lot has gone down in the Western Conference Finals match up between the Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks. After a 4-2 win on the road, the Hawks increased their series lead to 2-0, they finally got a power play or two after not catching a break in game one, and Jonathan Toews has been considered by internet blogs around the world as a strong candidate for the Conn Smythe, providing the Hawks make it to the finals, and in this sport even with a three games to none series lead, that still could be up in the air.

It doesn’t usually happen, a team coming back from a deficit, especially late in the playoffs. But with the way this year’s post season has played out, we have learned to prepare for the unthinkable. In the east, it’s a battle between the bottom seeds. How often do you see a seventh seed with home ice advantage? The defending champs and the President’s Trophy winners are long gone, and Philly came back from trailing 3-0 in the series to beat a team who’s goaltender was one of the hottest rookie’s in the East.

Over in the West, San Jose has yet to choke. The Wings received a some what early exit, so on top of the Pens surprise elimination, a new face will for sure hoist the cup this year. Whistles are being blown for even the most ridiculous calls, guys aren’t getting suspended for things that they should (oh but its the playoffs, you can’t suspend anyone) and bandwagon fans galore are showing up in the Chicago-land Area. Surprise Surprise.

Why is it that the Hawks are up 3-0 and you still can’t count out the Sharks? Because despite the two wins, the Hawks still aren’t playing perfect hockey. There game is improving, but for this young talented team, there is still much more to be seen. Antti Niemi is an incredible goaltender, but he has flaws. Lots of them. The thing about Niemi is that he is the first one would expect to get a shutout in the post season, but also the first to let in five or more. He’s one hell of a net-minder, but inconsistent, which can be blamed on his inexperience, certainly not lack of talent or poor coaching.

In their series against the Wings, San Jose got their behinds handed to them in Game Four falling 7-1 in a what could have potentially gone down as one of the greatest sweeps in the history of hockey. A loss like that proved the Wings weren’t going away quietly, so the number one seed in the West had to step it up a notch. Don’t be surprised to see a blowout in Game Four, and not one that will take the Hawks into the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since the early 90’s.

Honorable Mention:

Only cleared for contact a few short weeks ago, Michael Leighton gave an unforgettable comeback when he took over for the injured Brian Boucher. Finishing off the shutout Boucher began, he continued his hot streak by not letting a single puck past him from the second period of Game Seven against Boston, all the way through Game Two against the Cinderella-esque Canadiens. But wait, Jaroslav Halak is invincible. He is the best goaltender in the playoffs, shouldn’t it be Montreal shutting out Philly, not the other way around?? Just another example of how things are never set in stone in professional hockey. The Habs were able to make a comeback of their own in Game Three with a 5-1 victory, but this one is far from over.

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