Chicago Blackhawks Fry Fish, Advance To Stanley Cup Finals

May 23rd, 2010 by Jeff Hicks Leave a reply »
The Chicago Blackhawks are going to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Never thought it would happen so quickly, or so profoundly.

Sunday's victory by the Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals capped a 4-0 series whitewash of the top-seeded San Jose Sharks. Despite the sweep, however, the series played out like a seven-game series grinder. Hits, injuries, and high-paced action were major factors throughout, and so was goaltender play.

Chicago goalie Antti Niemi continued his wizardry, while San Jose netminder Evgeni Nabokov kept eyebrows raised. Some thought-provoking (shark)bites came from the victory.

1. Niemi is just a rookie, albeit at age 26. But when Cam Ward won the Cup as a rookie goaltender in 2006, was he just a few years removed from riding a Zamboni to make extra money?

2. Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith sounds (and truly looks, missing teeth and all) like a hockey player. Chiclets anyone?

3. San Jose raised the intensity every game of the series. The Sharks will still have their doubters around the NHL spectrum, but their physicality and increased tenacity earned them some stripes.

4. The Bi ...

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