For years, the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues have produced brilliant regular seasons … with very different playoff results.
While the Blackhawks only authored one recent defeat for the Blues (beating them in six games back in 2013-14), the narratives have been consistent. Chicago goes deep, winning three Stanley Cups in the Patrick Kane – Jonathan Toews era. Meanwhile, St. Louis falls with frustration, whether Ken Hitchcock’s troops fall in round one or two.
So, yes, the Blues nearly won the Central Division and they’ll have home-ice advantage in this series … but they’re probably still the underdogs to many, if not most.
Plenty is on the line for both teams – who knows how much longer Chicago’s window will remain open – but there’s no doubt that the Blues are under big-time pressure.
Even after navigating a minefield of injuries this season, few will give this group the benefit of the doubt if they fall in the first round once again.
If their 2014 series was any indication, it should be a lot of fun, at least for those watching.
(The Blues saw their division title hopes die by getting clobbered by the Washington Capitals, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway since the Dallas Stars edged the Nashville Predators.)
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