This was supposed to the be St. Louis' series. Hell, maybe even season. Chicago had other ideas; they are the reigning Cup champs, DAMMIT.
After falling to 0-2, the Blackhawks won four straight, and ended the series with an exclamation point in Game 6 by lighting up the Blues, 5-1. They now have time to heal some wounds as they wait for the winner of Minnesota-Colorado.
Bryan Bickell put the Blackhawks up less than five minutes into the game. American hero T.J. Oshie recorded his second playoff point on a goal he didn't know he scored.
After Oshie's tying goal, there wasn't another goal scored until the beginning of the third period.
On the remaining seconds of a carryover power play, Jonathan Toews sent the puck past Ryan Miller for what would later be the game winning goal.
The Blues started playing a tad loose with the puck when they turned it over to the very wrong person in Patrick Sharp. Sharp scored on a breakaway despite being pulled down to the ice by the Blues defender. It took six games, but Sharp finally found the back of the net for the first time.
Duncan Keith had a monster night assisting on three goals and scoring the fourth himself. Keith sent a rocket from the point that deflected off of Andrew Shaw's stick at the top of the crease and into the net, 4-1 Chicago. The fifth and final goal came from Keith on a 2-on-1 with Shaw. It was almost a little sad to see the Blues defender spin on his tummy knowing he totally misjudged the play.
Nobody puts Captain Serious in the corner. Toews scored the game-winning goal in three of the four games. He leads by example better than a lot of captains in the league.
Chicago is beginning to look like their former-selves, but I'll scream if the 'dynasty' talk starts.
There will be a St. Louis eulogy in the next few days; however, it's hard not to mention what big letdown this is not just for the fans, but for the organization as a whole. A lot of us hockey writers and talking-heads had the Blues making it to the Stanley Cup final, if not winning the whole thing. They went all-in and acquired Ryan Miller (and Steve Ott) at the deadline, expecting Miller to be THE missing piece. Miller will hit the free-agent market unless the Blues are able to negotiate a new deal. It'll be interesting to see how his run with the Blues, regular season and playoffs, impact his next contract.
As for Chicago, now we wait. Will the 'Hawks play the plucky Colorado Avalanche and current hockey-Jesus, Nathan MacKinnon, or the never-say-die-even-if-we-get-screwed-on-calls-and-have-iffy-goaltending Minnesota Wild?
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