clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Handshake Line: Congrats on Fulfilling the Prophecy

Let's be honest, the narrative of losing game seven's in three consecutive years at home was too great to not be fulfilled.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks are to be congratulated for being the most recent team to crush the Ducks at home in game seven. Not only were they able to shut down the Ducks offensively through the final two games, but they were also able to figure out Andersen (who had been so good though the first few games of the series). There are a few players specifically that deserve a ton of credit for getting through this series:

Johnathan Toews

Johnathan Toews was truly amazing in the final two games of the series (he almost single handedly won game five, also). A quick goal in game seven was all it took to shock the Ducks into some kind of terrible flashback episode and totally throw off their game. Being matched up against Kesler was clearly difficult for Toews, but in the final two games he dominated the faceoff circle and imposed his will on the Ducks' top line.

Patrick Kane

It took a while for Kane to get into this series, but once he finally got on the board, he never looked back. Kane was visible on the ice whenever the Ducks were hemmed in their own zone (especially against the Thompson line ...). His speed away from the puck is incredible to watch and he really helped out his team when Toews wasn't proving the clutch goal. The Hawks power play was a nightmare to play against because of Toews and Kane. And if they weren't the dangerous ones there was always Marian Hossa or Patrick Sharp to be aware of. This was one thing that the Ducks did not have (true top line power play performers).

Duncan Keith

Clearly a human can survive that many hits, Kesler, because Keith took a ton of them in this series. The Ducks were all over him in the first four/five games, but Keith survived and ultimately lead the team to victory. If not Johnathan Toews, then Duncan Keith is definitely the best Conn Smythe candidate for the Hawks after dragging a shattered Hawks defense through the Western Conference.

Marian Hossa

Because he is Marian Hossa, and you are not.

Joel Quenneville

You outcoached Bruce Boudreau in the final two game of the series. Whether this is an accomplishment or not is yet to be seen, but it got your team to the finals nonetheless. Getting Toews out against the Getzlaf line in Game 7 really gave the Hawks an advantage and eventually the game. Doing this on the road when you don't have the last change is a difficult task. Choosing to go with your best defenseman for basically the entire game (regardless of time-on-ice) was another move that payed off for Coach Q.

In the end, the Hawks were a deeper team on the front end, had a true elite number one defenseman in Keith that was lucky or good enough to stay healthy through unbelievable minutes, and had just enough goaltending to get by the Ducks. I'm not saying I'm going to hop on the Hawks bandwagon, but they do deserve to be in the Final and could very well take it in less than seven games.