Last night, the Chicago Blackhawks showed their resiliency in becoming the first team to win four multiple-overtime games in a single postseason. The Anaheim Ducks seem to believe that they can grind Chicago down, though.
On the subject of wear-and-tear, Ryan Kesler reiterated his plan to NHL.com’s Curtis Zupke.
“No human can withstand that many hits,” Kesler said.
With some help from a stat tweeted out by the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott, it looks as though the Ducks have generated a lopsided hit differential of 220-158 (Game 4 was pretty even, as Anaheim delivered 60 to Chicago’s 50 hits).
Combine the sheer body contact with the fact that the Blackhawks are needing to lean on top players more than the Ducks – one can debate how stark the difference is, as Joel Quenneville certainly has – and one can see where Kesler & Co. are coming from. Especially when you consider how many lengthy playoff runs the Blackhawks have been through in recent years. Perhaps that mileage adds up?
Of course, it’s also true that this isn’t Chicago’s first rodeo. The Blackhawks are accustomed to the challenges of the postseason, so perhaps the Ducks’ aggressiveness doesn’t make the sort of impact that Kesler may believe.
Ultimately, we’ll have to see how this series progresses, as hindsight may tell which side is “correct.”