The Chicago Blackhawks ran into a brick wall against the Detroit Red Wings but they rebounded in a big bad way against the Los Angeles Kings int he Western Conference Finals. After getting two quick games against the Kings, Chicago entered Game 5 with a 3-1 lead and the momentum in the series.
The theme in Game 5 on both sides was if you have a ‘K’ in your name you were scoring Saturday night. Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith got the Blackhawks on the board with two quick goals to start the game but Dwight Kings and Anze Kopitar fired right back with second and third period goals to tie things up and make the Blackhawks sweat.
The ‘K’ streak was broken by a goal scored by Los Angeles with under ten seconds left in regulation and we needed overtime hockey to see if the Kings could extend their season. They couldn’t and despite getting taken to the wire by Los Angeles in Game 5, Chicago was able to play great defense against some excellent offensive rushes by the Kings to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup.
Like it was in the first two games, Chicago had all the swagger and they play a different style of hockey at home. There’s also the matter of how schizophrenic the Kings have been when it comes to playing at home and on the road. Prior to Game 4 the Kings hadn’t lost at home al postseason long. That home winning streak was something that was keeping the Kings afloat in terms of their confidence but that was dashed by Chicago in Game 4.
Los Angeles got extremely physical in the second half of the game though and they began to get themselves back into the game. Once they got physical, the Kings got two goals and tied the game, which is something that almost allowed them to pull ahead of the Hawks. Looking ahead to the Stanley Cup where the Blackhawks will face a physical Bruins team, losing control of the game when things get rough is something that could be a weakness the Bruins exploit.
But right now all fans in Chicago care about is the fact the Blackhawks are now headed back to their second Stanley cup in four years and they’re coming in as a team more mature and much wiser than the one that beat Philadelphia back in 2010. It’s not going to be an easy series, especially with Tuukka Rask in net for the Bruins, but the Blackhawks stormed past Jonathan Quick and broke his confidence over their knee, and they’ll be looking to do the same to Rask and the Bruins in the Stanley Cup.