Vancouver Canucks (1) v.s. Chicago Blackhawks (8)
The defending Stanley Cup Champions, Chicago Blackhawks barely scrapped into the playoffs, earning the 8th seed in the playoffs. And as many of you know they lost key players in the off season which lead them to struggling all season long.
The most important guy that was lost was goaltender Antti Niemi. Marty Turco was signed in the off season to play as the number one goalie role in Chicago. Well, how quickly that faded away. Now Corey Crawford is the starting goalie going into the playoffs while Turco sits on the bench and watches. I always thought signing Turco was a mistake, and obviously it was.
This Blackhawks team is not the team we saw last season, they still have big guns with players like Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. But these players will have to show up even more than they did last year if they want to knock off the Canucks and possibly win the Cup again.
Now what about their mediocre defense? Their defense needs to tighten up drastically if they want to compete against a team like the Canucks. Now it’s not easy stopping guys like the Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler, but there is always a way to doing things, even if it’s the hard way. And that is exactly what the Hawks will have to do in order to win, doing things the hard way. It will not be an easy walk in the park like last season, especially with teams wanting to prove themselves by knocking off the defending Stanley Cup Champs.
As for the Canucks, they finished the regular season with 117 points. Only three teams in the past 10 years have won the cup after winning the president’s trophy, two of them being the Detroit Red Wings.
The question that is asked every season about the Canucks is, will Roberto Luongo come through? It is a known fact Luongo chokes every single post season, especially to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Canucks have lost to the Hawks the past two years in the playoffs.
But this Canucks team differs from the past two years. Their defense has much improved. Which will lead to Luongo possibly playing better then he has in the past. You’re only as good as the defense in front of you.
If the Canucks defense can stop players like Kane, Hossa, Toews and Sharp then they should have no problem knocking off the Blackhawks and possibly even winning the cup, but I am not saying they will win just yet, let’s see how the quarter finals go first then I will tell you who I think will win the Stanley Cup
Prediction: Vancouver Canucks to win the series in 6
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