Call it overconfidence, but would I be a fool to say the hardest part is over for the Hawks? After beating a pesky, physical Nashville team, and a high scoring, Roberto Luongo led Vancouver team, both in six game, the Hawks are returning to the Western Conference Finals for the second consecutive year.
Last season, the Blackhawks met a better, more experienced Red Wings team in the West Finals. Couple that with the Hawks' fear of the winged wheel, and the Hawks didn't stand much of a chance.
This year, they are facing the San Jose Sharks. A team they've pretty much owned all season long. Yes, regular season results mean very little in the playoffs, but the Hawks match up so well with the Sharks, that this series might be easier than many expect.
Consider this...the Blackhawks are 5-1 on the road in this years playoffs, and have looked like dog crap on United Center ice, especially early in the round. Many of the Hawks have blamed this phenomenon on trying to put on a show, and be too cute on home ice.
Starting this series in San Jose is the best news the Hawks can ask for. All of the pressure falls on the Sharks in this scenario. The Hawks can relax and play their game. When they do that, there is no better team in hockey. Coming home with at least a series split puts the Hawks in great position.
To be completely honest, my "overconfidence" is concerning me, but I really can't see the Hawks losing this series. I can't believe I'm publishing this, but I'm going go out on a limb and say Hawks in 5.
LET THE RIPPING BEGIN!