Stanley Cup Playoffs 2nd Round Preview: Chicago Blackhawks vs Detroit Red Wings

Sadly, these two legendary organizations may not play each other again in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a while once this series is done. Earlier this year the NHL agreed to realign its franchises into four new divisions. As of next season the Red Wings will play in a new conference with Eastern teams.

This is an interesting series for many reasons. First and foremost, these two Original 6 teams have a long history of meeting in the playoffs, totaling 15 altercations with the Blackhawks winning 8, the Red Wings 7. Although the Hawks have won more all time, the Wings won the most recent edition of Wings vs Hawks in the 2009 Conference Finals. Detroit went on to lose in the finals that year, whereas, the Blackhawks bounced back with a Cup win in 2010.

The Hawks are the Presidents’ Trophy winners, three years removed from winning the Cup. They are definitely the favourites in this series. Chicago were a perfect 4-0 against the Red Wings this season. They were close games though. The Hawks won two in a shootout and one in OT.

Red Wings captain, former Conn Smythe Trophy winner Henrik Zetterberg was outstanding in the 1st round scoring 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points. Hank was outstanding in the Wings 2008 Cup win scoring 27 points in 22 games. He will go head to head with Blackhawks Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Toews who tallied 29 points in 22 games back when the Hawks won the Cup.

Another interesting player matchup in this series involves two of the most exciting and entertaining players in the NHL. Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk and Chicago’s Patrick Kane can both lift crowds to their feet and will do so at times throughout this series.

There are so many great players involved in this series that it would be unwise to single out a few and expect them to be the sole difference makers, but it could very well be that simple in the end. And if it comes down to the four players mentioned up above, this series is going to be very close.

Blackhawks in 5.

Their the puck possession game is too strong. The Wings will have to spend long stretches in their own zone defending without the puck. That’s hard to do for anyone, let alone Detroit who play more of an attacking style like the Wings. Goaltenders are a wash, forwards may even be equal, but the Hawks have an advantage on the back end that will be the difference.