There's a point in the Marvel movies where the threat to humanity becomes so great that not even a single superhero can save the planet. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow and Hulk needed to come together to stop that alien invasion because individually none of them could have pulled it off.
Maybe the Anaheim Ducks aren't as intimidating as millions of Chitauri hurtling down from the sky, but with the Chicago Blackhawks entering Game 7, it's about time the hockey superteam assembled. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane could fight their own battles long enough -- now they're being brought together to take on their greatest challenge yet.
Toews and Kane practiced together Friday, just a couple days after being put on the same line in the middle of a huge Game 6 win at home. The duo seemed to energize a team that's been beat up all series by the Ducks, and Kane ended up breaking out of his slump with two points, including a beautiful goal from the slot.
Having two legitimate superstars has always been the greatest privilege this team had, and the ability to combine them on the same line in times of desperation is often a godsend. That the team has had enough depth to keep them separated so regularly is a testament to management and organizational development, but sometimes, you need the superpowers to combine into something greater.
That's what the team hopes to capture when the alien invasion -- er, puck drop -- starts Saturday night. They're ready to put all their hopes in a basket made of adamantium. Maybe it messes with their balance, maybe the second line stumbles now, but when you're desperate, you turn to those you believe in.
And now they're going to work together to pull off what might be their greatest accomplishment yet. The Ducks are a tough, talented team that's shown it's capable of winning big games, and playing on the road never offers up any favors. Still, with everything coming down to Game 7, there's nobody I'd rather turn to. Assemble the superline.