I've been told that it's actually a pretty shitty day here in Chicago. I haven't noticed because not only are the Hawks in the playoffs with Game 1 scheduled for right here in Chicago - but they also just beat the most hated team in the league on back to back nights. They also did what I asked and kept Datsyuk off the scoreboard and under 100 points for the year.. sometimes it's the little things.
So lets leave this weekend in the past and focus on Thursday now.
First of all - be sure to check out Matchsticks and Gasoline for the Flames side of everything. It's yet another great SBN site and Kent is one of the best bloggers out there.
Lets put it all out on the table to start, ok? This is the match up we wanted for the first round. You hate to say it because it can come back to bite you in the ass, but for me, this was more about really not wanting to face Vancouver more than really wanting to face Calgary.
The fact that the Hawks swept the regular season series certainly bodes well too. We'll be back looking at more stats, but first - lets look at the games already played this year:
Nov. 9th - Blackhawks 6 - Flames 1: Recap
This was probably the first game that the Hawks really looked like they could utterly dominate an opponent on a good night. There were stories that the Flames had a flu bug going through the locker room that night but that really wouldn't explain how good the Hawks looked. 6 different Hawks scored including 2 on the power play and Toews' first time for the year. The third period deteriorated into a penalty fest (54 minutes in the third alone). Somehow Sharp ends the night -1.
Dec. 19th Blackhawks 3 - Flames 2 (OT) Recap
The closest game of the year between these two. The Hawks come back from being down 1 after the first, give up a tying goal and win it in OT. The biggest story coming out of this game was Captain Marvel making Phaneuf look downright Walker-like in OT, drawing a penalty, getting the shot off and with Keith there to bury the rebound. In a common theme against the Flames, Khabby comes up huge several times late in the second and throughout the third. This game came towards the end of the epic 9-game win streak and the closest the Hawks came to losing in that stretch.
Jan. 4th Blackhawks 5 - Flames 2 Recap
After back-to-back disappointing losses to the Red Wings, the Hawks were able to right the ship against the Flames. They did so without the help of Patrick Kane too who sat out his first ever NHL game with an ankle problem that lingered for a while. Kipper was fairly solid in this game but was still pulled in the 3rd to give his team a spark. Didn't work. VERSTEEG! took advantage of Phaneuf mishandling the puck on the point to grab a shortie. Iginla and Phaneuf were -4 and -3, respectively Keith and Biscuit were both +3.
Feb. 5th Blackhawks 5 - Flames 2 Recap
Deja Vu? Not quite. Of the regular scorers on this team, only Havlat gets a point for an assist. Bolland, Ladd, Burish, Fraser and Brouwer score for the Hawks... even more shocking is that Walker picks up points for 3 assists. Iginla ends up -4 again and finishes the season series against the Hawks at -9. This was also the birth of the D.Ladd.Soul nickname. It may have never really caught on that well but the writers of this site really liked it.