Come To Think Of It: Chicago Blackhawks Win Series, Next Stop Detroit
It was one stupid penalty by the Hawks, and then another one by the Vancouver Canucks.
But in the end, the good guys prevailed, winning the series and moving on to the Western Conference Finals, probably against the Detroit Red Wings.
A wild third period, marred by several penalties, saw the lead change hands several times.
Dustin Byfuglien was guilty of a really stupid penalty, when he pushed his glove into the face of the Canucks Kyle Wellwood. But the penalty was short lived, as Ryan Kesler committed a dumb one of his own, interfering with Adam Burish, resulting in a temporary 4-on-4 and an eventual man advantage for the Hawks.
While nobody scored, the stage was set for more lunacy, as Troy Brouwer got two minutes for interfering with goaltender Roberto Luongo.
Shane O'Brien finished the third period penalty-fest, earning two minutes for hooking Kris Versteeg.
When the smoke cleared, it was 7-5 Hawks, and they are moving on to the conference finals for the first time since 1995.
The road doesn't get any easier for Chicago. They were the better team in each of their first two series, but now they face the better team in the Red Wings, who are looking to eliminate the Ducks on Tuesday.
The defending champs finished with a 3-6-1 mark in their final 10 games during the regular season, including two losses to Chicago.
But the Wings have largely been together since 2005-06, and have gained invaluable experience over the years at knowing what it takes to win.
Meanwhile, the largely young and talented Blackhawks are new to this pressure, at least as a team.
Yet so far, so good. The kids are alright, as Patrick Kane scored the hat trick, and Jonathan Toews added two goals of his own.
Let's hope it continues, come to think of it.
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