Blackhawks advance to Stanley Cup Finals
As the final seconds dwindled down in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, chants of “We Want the Cup” could be heard from Blackhawks fans all around the Chicagoland area. In perhaps their most complete game of the series, the Blackhawks came out firing in Game 7. The Hawks took a 4 to 1 advantage into the third period and seemed to have total control of the series-deciding game. However, with both teams blowing three goal leads in the series, no lead was safe. Brent Seabrook’s late third period slapshot goal all but decided the contest, and with it, sent the Hawks to their third Stanley Cup Finals in the last six years.
After failing to get the job done in previous circumstances last season, Jonathan Toews simply willed his team to victory in Game 7. The do-it-all Blackhawks captain tallied two early goals and was constantly buzzing around the ice. It would be impossible to mention the play of the Blackhawks stars without mentioning Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane. Keith, arguably the MVP of the playoffs thus far, virtually never comes off the ice. The veteran defensemen always seems to make the right play and leads the entire playoffs in +/- with a +13. Kane has not missed a beat after returning from a broken collarbone. He is must-watch television every single shift and seems to raise his level of playing during the biggest of games.
Standing in the Hawks’ way of another Stanley Cup are the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning, who had to win a Game 7 of their own to get here, are a team on the rise and feature many talented players. Any sports fan will know the name Steven Stamkos. The Lightning star is one of the best players in the league and should provide the Hawks with plenty to worry about. It has been the Lightning’s Tyler Johnson, however, who has taken the playoffs by storm. The 24-year-old leads the entire playoffs with 12 goals.
This series is sure to be fast-paced and competitive. Home ice advantage goes to the Lightning with the series beginning on Wednesday:
Game 1, Wed., June 3, 7 p.m. CT at Tampa Bay (NBC)
Game 2, Sat., June 6, 6:15 p.m. CT at Tampa Bay (NBC)
Game 3, Mon., June 8, 7 p.m. CT at Chicago (NBCSN)
Game 4, Wed., June 10, 7 p.m. CT at Chicago (NBCSN)
*Game 5, Sat., June 13, 7 p.m. CT at Tampa Bay (NBC)
*Game 6, Mon., June 15, 7 p.m. CT at Chicago (NBC)
*Game 7, Wed., June 17, 7 p.m. CT at Tampa Bay (NBC)
Gold Coast Tickets will be behind the Blackhawks every step of the way!
Photo Source: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill