Chicago Blackhawks (56-30-6) at Anaheim Ducks (59-24-8)
|Date & Time||Sunday May 17, 2015, 3:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Anaheim Ducks -132 / Chicago Blackhawks +118 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Blackhawks and Ducks drop the puck on a highly anticipated series as they meet at the Honda Center on Sunday.
The Chicago Blackhawks head to the road to start their series with the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday and have a chance at qualifying for yet another Stanley Cup finals which would mark their third in the last five seasons and rival the run the LA Kings are currently on. The Hawks are an incredibly talented group but most of the focus in this series will be on the dynamic duos of each team featuring Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane for Chicago and Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry for Anaheim. However, it'll be the bottom six forwards and the goaltending for me that'll determine much of the series and at this point you'd have to favour the Hawks even though the Ducks had the better regular season as Chicago has a much better blue line, a goaltender who has won a Cup, and a third line sniper in Patrick Sharp who could be the x-factor in this series.
The Ducks meanwhile continue to coast through the Western Conference playoffs but with no disrespect to the Jets and Flames the Blackhawks are a completely different team and they will give the Ducks a true test. Anaheim has played just nine playoff games through two series' which is far and away the lowest total of any team but they should be in for the long haul here as the Hawks are an experienced group that is peaking at he right time and has had to go through the Predators and Wild to get here which is a much tougher route. I wasn't high on the Ducks heading into the playoffs but they have proved me and many others wrong, however I don't see them winning this series and quite frankly I think the Hawks can steal home ice right away and get a big win off the top.