The Chicago Blackhawks went down 3-2 in their best-of-seven series against the Anaheim Ducks, but it didn’t matter as the team stormed back and clinched their third berth in the Stanley Cup Final in the last six seasons.
Before we shift our focus to the upcoming series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, we thought it’d be fun to reflect on the Western Conference championship this team just won, and we have picked our five candidates to win MVP honors for the team in the seven-game victory.
Kane has now played in 110 career postseason games, racking up 111 points and putting himself into fourth place on the team’s all-time playoff scoring list.
More impressive than those numbers are these statistics: Kane has picked up three or more points 31 times in the postseason, including six times when the Blackhawks are facing elimination. That’s exactly what he accomplished in Game 7, picking up three assists and helping the Hawks to victory.
With defensive depth still an issue for this team, Keith has proven that it doesn’t matter whether he plays 20 minutes or 50; he’s still going to be fresh as a daisy.
During the Blackhawks’ victory over the Ducks, Keith averaged nearly 33 minutes of ice time per game, and he didn’t let the extra burden wear on him as he racked up eight assists and was instrumental in not only keeping the Hawks’ offense churning, but he limited the Ducks’ chances in a big way too.
The Blackhawks won three of the final four games in this series, and Saad was a big part of the reason why. The winger had three goals and two assists in those games, and his combination with Kane and Jonathan Toews paid dividends as the group helped knock off the vaunted Ducks.
Whether or not he will remain with that duo hasn’t been decided yet as Tampa looms, but Saad proved that he belonged on the same line as two of the best players in the league, and that speaks volumes about his worth.
It has been said that fans rise to their feet every time Kane comes down the ice with the puck, but those fans may as well stay standing when Seabrook pinches in from the point.
To wit, Seabrook scored goals in three of the final four games of this series, and his offensive production has some fans calling for him to be a permanent fixture on the first power play unit for the Blackhawks. With his slap shot and his penchant for finding gaps in between defenders, it wouldn’t be surprising to see his offensive success continue.
The Blackhawks captain made NHL history on Saturday night as his two goals paved the way for the Hawks’ Game 7 victory. Toews also scored the final two goals for the Blackhawks in their Game 5 loss, making him the first player in NHL history to score four consecutive goals on the road in Games 5 and 7 of a postseason series.
Outside of that production, Toews’ series against Ryan Kesler was one long, epic battle. Eventually Joel Quenneville was able to get him out of that matchup, but Toews held his own against one of the toughest two-way centers in the league, and he was a big part of the reason why the Hawks won.