The Chicago Blackhawks suddenly find themselves in what is essentially a must win situation here today against the Anaheim Ducks. The Blackhawks were a popular pick to win the Stanley Cup, and given what they’ve done in the playoffs recently with the core they still have, it isn’t a far-fetched pick to take the Blackhawks. I think if that is to happen they have to win this game tonight against the Ducks to tie the series up heading back to Anaheim. The Blackhawks have played in series where they’ve come back to win the whole thing, but against the Ducks I just don’t think that is going to be possible if they were to get down 3-1 here. The Ducks are playing great hockey and look to be too good to be able to beat three straight games. Heck the Ducks haven’t even lost three games all playoff long let alone losing three straight. So its an especially critical game for the Blackhawks tonight at home. They need to tie this up before heading back out west to play game 5 in Anaheim. This will definitely be the turning point in this series. Either make a series out of it tonight, or the year may be coming to an end in Chicago.
The Rangers were able to do that last night, tie the series up. A little different circumstance, as the Rangers had to do it on the road, but everything came together for the Rangers last night. Lundqvist finally had a solid game against the Lightning, and the offense was on point for the Rangers as they were able to take home with them a 5-1 win and most importantly a tied series. Now the pressure is really on Tampa as it’ll be tough on them if they lose the next game. Having to go back to Tampa and win then win again in a game 7 in New York sounds like a tough task. Needless to say, these Conference finals feature some good teams with any one of them being worthy of Stanley Cup Champions. It won’t be too long now until we find out who that is, but before we get there, let’s finish out with some more winners.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Chicago Blackhawks
I told you that the Blackhawks were going to be tired after that marathon session in Anaheim. The Hawks still put forth a solid effort in game 3 but it was evident that the Ducks looked like the fresher team as the game worn on. Pure adrenaline is going to have to carry them in this next meeting, as they face a pretty critical juncture in this series. The Ducks were able to make one more play than the Blackhawks in game 3, it wasn’t like it was a blowout by any means. However, the Ducks took advantage of the issues on defense for the Blackhawks.
I like Joel Quennville to be the real winner of game 4. I expect him to come back with some adjustments to give the Blackhawks a good chance to win this game. The Ducks are eventually going to lose a game in regulation, which I happen to see occurring tonight. They have the coaching edge in this game, home ice, and the desperation factor on their side. I like the Ducks to ultimately win this series, but tonight should be the Blackhawks night at home. I see Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews having big outings as the Blackhawks tie the series at two games a piece heading back to California.
PICK: BLACKHAWKS TO WIN -145 5DIMES – BEST ODDS