Blackhawks' energy, confidence oust Canucks; Sharks await
Game 6 of this Western semifinal was a contrast in conviction. From the outset, the Chicago Blackhawks played as if they knew they could win. Conversely, the Vancouver Canucks started the game tentatively -- with a whiff of losing as a possibility.
The Canucks pushed the pace early on, but nothing came of it. Goaltender and captain
The complexion of the game changed in the second period, as the Blackhawks gashed the Canucks for two early goals, one by
The Canucks did score first in the third, but it was of little consequence, as the Blackhawks counted twice more for a 5-1 final.
This sets up a new dynamic out west, as the Blackhawks take on the Sharks this weekend. The Sharks, who ousted perennial favorite Detroit in five games, have been frustratingly vying for this series for years; and now they have it. Only time will tell if this is the Sharks' year to put it all together. One thing is for sure: This WCF matchup promises to be electric. Both teams boast tons of talent, flair and pace to their respective games. They are both deep up front and stout on the back end. This matchup is absolutely the best the Western Conference has to offer.
Byfuglien was the wild-card factor in the Canucks series and might be again against the Sharks. He has a unique blend of size and skill with a galling flair to his game. Can the Sharks defend him at the top of the crease and on the forecheck? That is the question heading into the series. Sure, the Sharks have loads of talent up front with
Who handles the trenches will decide this series, and the Blackhawks are up one Byfuglien to none.