Many a Chicago Blackhawks fan was thrilled to see the team rebound from their 6-2 stinker effort in Nashville by decisively taking control at the United Center with a big 4-2 win. The Hawks appeared in control most of the way and it was due in no large part to a big switch at goalie with Scott Darling replacing Corey Crawford. Darling stopped 35 of 37 shots on the net. His talented teammates took care of the rest.
With this win it of course gives control of home ice back to the Blackhawks for the time being, but more than that it opens the door to an intriguing stat line that should give fans a great deal of confidence the rest of the way.
That is the fact that the Hawks are a perfect 6-0 in NHL playoff hockey during the Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane era when the team wins two of the first three games.
- 2009: Quarterfinals vs. Calgary (won games 1 and 2)
- 2010: Semifinals vs. Vancouver (won games 2 and 3)
- 2010: Conference Finals vs. San Jose (won games 1 and 2)
- 2013: Quarterfinals vs. Minnesota (won games 1 and 2)
- 2013: Conference Finals vs. Los Angeles (won games 1 and 2)
- 2014: Semifinals vs. Minnesota (won games 1 and 2)
- 2015: Quarterfinals vs. Nashville (won games 1 and 3)…
Part of being a franchise that has won two of the previous five Stanley Cup titles is understanding how to close out a series when you have control early. Though the Blackhawks have proven an innate ability to come from behind so many times, they are absolutely cold blooded when an opponent gives them a big enough lead.
Yes, things can change from year to year in this sport, but if history is any indication, expect this able and experienced Chicago Blackhawks team to ultimately send the Predators home.