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Hockey Fri Mar 22 2013

Blackhawks Saw Themselves in the Anaheim Ducks

Thumbnail image for GB blackhawks icon.pngThe Chicago Blackhawks played some top-notch competition in their last game. Even though fans didn't like the outcome, they had to like how the game was played. Another thing that they should have noticed was that the Anaheim Ducks are a spitting image of the Blackhawks. Even the radio team noticed the various similarities between the two teams. Just like the guys in red who can score multiple goals in seconds, the Ducks did the same in the third period of Wednesday night's game. Most people probably thought the game was in hand up until that point. Remember during the points streak when the Blackhawks pulled out games at the last minute by scoring a flurry of goals to even a game or put a game out of reach against the opposition? It wasn't much to see the tables turned in such as dramatic fashion.

Both teams have a strong core of offensive stars. The Blackhawks have Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. Anaheim has Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin.

Strong goaltending continues to be a plus for both the Blackhawks and the Ducks. Corey Crawford and Ray Emery have been a revelation for the team while Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth have been key part for the Ducks' success.

The Blackhawks have gotten key contributions from young players such as Brandon Saad, Brandon Bollig and Jimmy Hayes. Anaheim counters with right winger Emerson Etem.

The coaches of both of the teams have made good decisions thus far. Joel Quenneville and Bruce Boudreau are both extremely experienced coaches. Coaches like them usually know how to push their players' buttons. Also, both coaches know exactly how to adjust to matchups.

Notably, both teams have had a prolonged winning streak. While the Blackhawks went on a points streak, the Ducks went on a winning streak of their own. When the national media focused on the Blackhawks, the Ducks were building their own resume. Most Blackhawks fans had the game penciled in for quite some time. They wanted to see how the Blackhawks would match up against a team like Anaheim.

The Blackhawks might see the Ducks in the playoffs. One the reasons last Wednesday's game was important was because the Ducks are right behind the Blackhawks in the Western Conference standings.The Blackhawks would love the have any advantage over a team the caliber of the Ducks. After all, the Stanley Cup playoffs have been won in the past by teams who take advantage of matchups. We will soon find out if the Blackhawks can learn something from losing a competitive game in such as way. Everyone knows that the Blackhawks are the number one team in the Western Conference. They have gotten every other team's best game. The other teams in the West won't let up because the points streak ended. The team needs to be ready.

 
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