With the Second Round of Stanley Cup Playoffs starting tonight for the Detroit Red Wings, I decided it would be a good idea to get some insight on our enemy, the Chicago Blackhawks.
Keith Schultz (KS) from Blackhawk Up was gracious enough to answer a few question about the Hawks, who will have an impact on the series, and who will be victories.
Does the time off between series help or hurt the Blackhawks ?
KS: It would hurt them at most a period, Hawks had some strong practices in their off time so they should be sharp out the gates.
Me: Too much time off has hurt teams before and practice is not the same as a game, but I expect them to come out ready.
Which player from the Hawks should the Red Wings fear?
KS: Saad could be the surprise thorn in Detroit’s side. He’ll be looking for a bounce back effort against a weaker Detroit blue line.
Me: Our blue line is not as weak as people think, we just gift wrap opponents chances though turnovers.
Which player from the Red Wings should the Hawks fear?
KS: I think Abdelkador will bring some extremely annoying energy to the ice. He’s back from suspension with a short-handed goal under his belt, I think he will be extremely confident with the puck.
Bruce Boudreau talked about how hard it is to match wits with Mike Babcock, will Joel Quenneville be able to hold his own?
KS: Q has had very little to worry about all season long, he has complete faith in all four lines and while Q might do a bit more matching of lines, I don’t see him changing much. Simply put, Babcock just doesn’t have the pieces to play a chess match with Q.
Me: I think you will be surprised at how Babcock moves his players around to match-up against the Hawks.
Will the Hawks underestimate the Wings?
KS: Absoluetly not! These are old rivals and every game but the Easter game went to overtime so it’s not like the Hawks won each game 5-1. They know they are in for a battle with the Wings and will not take them lightly.
Me: Here is for hoping that they will.
What is your prediction on the series?
KS: 4-2 Hawks. Hawks have everything rolling right now, everyone is a scoring threat and everyone is playing defense. If the Wings try to slow the Hawks down the experience with the Wild and the Hawks depth gives the Hawks an advantage. If the Wings try to skate with the Hawks then the Hawks speed and depth will pick the Wings apart.
Me: It will be a tough series, that much I know for sure.
A big thank you to Keith over at Blackhawk Up for answering these questions and letting us into the mind of a Hawk fan, it is not as bad as I thought it would be, but still pretty bad. Be sure to check them out and read the Q&A we did for them.