The Chicago Blackhawks are the best team in the National Hockey League at this point, Earlier in my season predictions, I said Chicago would win the West and head all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, where they would eventually lose to an experienced Pittsburgh Penguins team. Looks like that prediction is going well.
Chicago 09-10 reminds me a lot of Ottawa 05 -06. Lots of firepower, speed, a reliable goalie, and steady enough defense. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Marian Hossa headline the blackhawks top three, but down on the bottom you have Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg, and Andrew Ladd. That’s crazy. Ottawa has had problems on defense, even thoguh their forwards may have been the highlights of the year even through scrutiny. Brian Elliott starts tonight, and I feel he may be burned tonight. With Pascal Leclaire due to return on Thursday against the St.Louis blues, maybe it won’t hurt.
The only way I see Ottawa winning this game is to get on Cristobal Huet early and often. Huet is a better version of Martin Gerber essentially. Last season when Chicago beat Ottawa 2-0, Huet got the win and shutout, but Ottawa only registered 16 shots. That says much.
I’ll be a realist here and say 4-2 Hawks tonight. Ladd, Hossa, Sharp, and Kane for Chi-Town. Shannon and Foligno reply for Ottawa.