Bring On The Red Wings

The Red Wings will be the Blackhawks' next opponent

Things are just going swimmingly for the NHL this season.  First they got to feature a series between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, with the league's two best players Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin facing off for seven games before the Penguins moved on.  Now the NHL is going to get its dream matchup for the Western Conference Finals.

First our very own Blackhawks advanced to the third round of the playoffs, giving hockey a rebirth in Chicago that will surely do nothing but help boost the league's coffers, and now the NHL has found its dream opponent for the Blackhawks. 

The hated Detroit Red Wings edged the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 to win their series 4-3 and move on to face the Blackhawks.  So not only does the league have two original six teams in a conference final, something that's always good for the league, but they also happen to get one of the biggest rivalries in the game.

Now the longtime foes will get to battle each other for seven possible games for the right to move on to the Stanley Cup Finals.  These are two teams that are never fond of each other, even when the game is being played in October.  Add playoff intensity and a trip to the Finals to the equation, and the NHL could have a classic series on their hands.

As for what this all means for the Hawks, well, it's not exactly good but it isn't bad either.  During the regular season the Hawks went 2-4 against the Wings, but both of those wins came on the last weekend of the season.  So either they've figured out how to beat Detroit, or the Wings weren't going 100% since they had everything wrapped up by then.

Also, while a lot of Hawks fans were rooting for Detroit to win so we could have this series, the Ducks may have been the better opponent for Chicago.  They had a goalie with very little playoff experience, and since they were the 8th seed in the West, the Hawks would have had home-ice advantage.

Instead the Hawks will get the defending champions who will be a lot tougher to dispose of than either the Flames or Canucks.  They're the type of team that can put points on the board in a hurry, though if the Hawks could solve Roberto Luongo, they can solve Detroit's Chris Osgood.

We're not sure which way this series is going to go, but it should be interesting, and you should probably expect to see a lot of 5-4, 6-5 type scores.

Along with writing for, Tom Fornelli can also be found contributing at FanHouse, SPORTSbyBROOKS, and his own Chicago sports blog Foul Balls.

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