Before Playoffs, a Blackhawks Status-Check
The Chicago Blackhawks enter the postseason with an impressive regular season resume. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at the impact this 87-year-old franchise had made on the National Hockey League this season.
Longest Point-Streak to Begin an NHL Season
The first half of the season came without a single regulation loss for Chicago – sure, that’s easy to say when a lockout forces a 48-game season instead of an 82-game season, but it’s impressive. The previous record was set by the 2006 – 2007 Anaheim Ducks at 16 games during the regular season.
Both Primary and Backup Goaltenders Cracked Top 5 in NHL
Corey Crawford was expected to perform at a higher level than his less-than-impressive 2011-2012 season, but his backup came out of nowhere. Ray Emery blasted off with a spectacular performance in Calgary in the early days of the season to keep the Hawks win streak alive and never looked back. Emery registered a 17 – 1 – 0 record on the season, including 3 shutouts. Crawford posted fantastic numbers, too, going 19 – 5 – 5 over 29 games. Both, however, contributed to a postseason award.
The William M. Jennings Trophy is awarded to the team that allows the fewest goals each year. Allowing just 93 goals and earning a combined 1.94 GAA and 0.924 save percentage, Crawford and Emery brought home a trophy. But they have their eyes on a bigger prize, to put it lightly.
The Chicago Blackhawks put the league behind them as they soared to 77 points in the regular season, earning them the President’s Trophy as the NHL team with the most points at the end of the season. The nearest contender was Pittsburgh who, despite going 23 – 4 – 0 to finish the season, still missed Chicago by five points at the end of 48 games.
Okay, enough pandering: we have Stanley Cup Playoffs to watch.
Chicago earned home-ice advantage several weeks ago but only found out its opponent on Saturday: the Minnesota Wild. After a tight race the finish the season and earn a playoff berth, Minnesota will take on Chicago at the United Center on Tuesday night. The best-of-seven series will go as follows:
Keep it right here with ChiCitySports.com for all of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals action!
Got a playoff prediction? Tweet me!