You're a Blackhawks fan, act like it

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You're a Blackhawks fan, act like it

Ever since the Blackhawks gained a point in the shootout loss and Detroit lost in regulation Thursday night, all Ive been hearing from Blackhawk fans is that they hope the team loses their season finale. IF they lose, that would leave them in sixth place facing either San Jose, L.A., or Phoenix.

If they win in regulation, they would clinch the fifth seed and face the Predators, with the first two games being played in the music city.

So now the debate begins, who do you want the Blackhawks to face in the first round of the playoffs?
Why fans are afraid of Nashville-
The Preds won the season series 4-1-1, which included back-to-back games before the all-star break and a 6-1 blowout on March 25.

Pekka Rinne saved 90 percent of the shots he faced against the hawks this season while giving up less than three goals per game.

Why fans should want to play Nashville-

The Blackhawks put up five goals on Rinne March 31.

They have also recorded at least a point in 15 of their last 17 games. That means they are playing well, and they have momentum on their side heading into the postseason.

And, its a nice short 90 minute flight to Nashville.

You really want to head West in the first round? Do you think L.A., San Jose or Phoenix are going to lie down for the Hawks?

Goaltender Jonathan Quick of the Kings has played VERY well against the Hawks this season - 3-1 record, giving up LESS than a goal per game with two shutouts.

This is only the second trip to the playoffs for the Kings in the last nine seasons, and you dont think their fans would be hyped up to host the first two games of the series?

And by the way, its a nice four-hour and 20-minute plane ride to L.A. That wont be fun for the Blackhawks if this series goes seven games resulting in three trips out west.
San Jose?
Did you see the Sharks-Kings game on Thursday night? That was intense. Even though the Blackhawks had the Sharks number in 2010, you cant assume the Hawks would skate into the Shark tank again and take the first two games, and Niemi has looked good of late, winning six of his last eight.
Phoenix?

Mike Smith had a 54-save shutout earlier this week, his third straight. So its safe to say hes trending up as the postseason nears.

Against the Coyotes this season, the Blackhawks have one win in four games.

Be careful what you wish for, Blackhawk fans. The bottom line is you should be rooting for your team to win every game.

You want the Blackhawks to reach the 100 point plateau, you want them to beat a rival and make the Red Wings head West for the first round.

It all makes sense, but if you really are cheering for them to lose tomorrow, turn in your Blackhawks fan card and your jersey because there are plenty of people who will be happy to take that from you and jump on board with the real fans.

Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Blackhawks break late tie to best rival Blues

Patrick Kane scored his 24th goal of the season and Artem Anisimov scored the game-winner as the Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday night.

The Blackhawks have won nine of their last 10 and are one point within the Minnesota Wild, whose bye ends on Monday night. Duncan Keith recorded a secondary assist for his 500th career point. Scott Darling, starting for Corey Crawford (illness), stopped 30 of 32 shots.

The Blackhawks got off to a 2-0 start in the first 12 minutes of the game, thanks to Jonathan Toews' 16th goal of the season and Kane's power-play goal. But the Blues kept chipping away and forced a tie game by the end of the second period.

But the second line, which hasn't been quite as productive lately, got in on the act late in the third. Panarin threw a perfect feed to Anisimov, who scored his 22nd of the season with 5:20 remaining in regulation.

Tanner Kero added an empty-net goal with 2.6 seconds remaining.

Preview: Corey Crawford ill, Scott Darling in for Blackhawks vs. Blues

Preview: Corey Crawford ill, Scott Darling in for Blackhawks vs. Blues

The Blackhawks were already without Niklas Hjalmarsson on Sunday night. Now they’re without Corey Crawford as well.

Crawford is ill and Scott Darling will start in his place when the Blackhawks host the St. Louis Blues at the United Center. Crawford was expected to start but did not skate this morning – goaltending coach Jimmy Waite took the other net. Coach Joel Quenneville does not believe Crawford has the mumps – “I haven’t heard the word mumps around here,” he said. The Vancouver Canucks are currently working through an outbreak of the mumps and several teams battled it a few seasons ago.

As for the backup, Quenneville was hoping Lars Johansson could be up in an emergency situation, as long as logistics work out. The Rockford IceHogs are scheduled to play at the Ontario (Calif.) Reign later today.

Marian Hossa did not skate this morning but he is expected to play tonight. As Quenneville said on Saturday, Hjalmarsson is day-to-day with the upper-body injury he sustained on Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes but is out tonight.

The last time the Blackhawks faced the Blues was in their Winter Classic game on Jan. 2. A month later coach Ken Hitchcock was fired and, now under Mike Yeo, the Blues have gone 7-3-0 since then. That includes two losses heading into their bye week, however, which they come out of tonight.

“I think usually teams seem to respond pretty well with coaching changes. Whenever you get something new, something to renew the group, whether it’s systems or different energy in the locker room, teams seem to respond at least in the beginning,” Jonathan Toews said. “We can expect this team to be really hard to play against and obviously pretty eager to, maybe, be better overall than they have been all year, knowing what they’re capable of as a team. We know whether we’re playing St. Louis or Minnesota, teams that are close to us in the points race, the points are always huge.”

BLACKHAWKS VS. ST. LOUIS BLUES

6:30 p.m.

TV: NBCSN

Live stream: NBC Sports app

Radio: WGN 720 AM

Chicago Blackhawks

Forward lines

Nick Schmaltz -Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Tomas Jurco-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa

Ryan Hartman-Tanner Kero-Andrew Desjardins

 

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell-Michal Rozsival

 

Goaltender

Scott Darling

 

INJURIES/ILLNESS: Corey Crawford (ill).

 

St. Louis Blues (via NHL.com)

Forward lines

Alex Steen-Paul Stastny-Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz-Patrik Berglund-David Perron

Dmitrij Jaskin-Jori Lehtera-Magnus Paajarvi

Scottie Upshall-Kyle Brodziak-Ryan Reaves

 

Defensive Pairs

Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson-Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson-Colton Parayko

 

Goaltender

Jake Allen

 

INJURIES/ILLNESS: None.