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Stanley Cup champs Chicago Blackhawks name Anaheim as stiffest test – SportsUntapped.com
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Added July 21st, 2015 by Ian

Stanley Cup champs Chicago Blackhawks name Anaheim as stiffest test
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Some NHL fans might consider it to be a bit disrespectful to the other teams they faced in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, but the Chicago Blackhawks have come out and said the Anaheim Ducks were their toughest opposition in the 2014/15 postseason. The Stanley Cup winners also faced the Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild in the playoffs before beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games to clinch the Cup at home at the United Center. They beat Nashville in six games and swept Minnesota in four straight.

The Blackhawks faced the Ducks in the Western Conference Final and needed to score 24 goals to eliminate them as the series went all seven games with three of them going into overtime. Chicago finally put the Ducks away in the deciding game on the road in Anaheim. So, perhaps it’s not that surprising at all that the Hawks named Anaheim as their toughest test. Blackhawks forward Andre Desjardins recently told the media that the series against the Ducks was the hardest hockey he’s ever been involved in.

Most of his teammates agreed as the club talked about their season while attending Chicago’s yearly fan convention. The team went on to win their third Stanley Cup in the past half dozen years in what is considered by some as a dynasty in today’s era of the NHL. Jonathan Toews, the Blackhawks captain, added, “Anaheim had so many components of the game. The physicality, the speed, the skill of the top-end players like the Ryan Getzlafs and Corey Perrys we ran up against. They were such a tough team in goaltending and all aspects.”

The Blackhawks were close to elimination as they fell behind three games to two in the best-of-seven series. The Ducks won game one 4-1 while the Hawks took the second game 3-3 in triple overtime. The Ducks took the series lead 2-1 with a 2-1 win in game three. The Hawks evened things at 2-2 with a 5-4 game in double overtime before Anaheim won the fifth game 5-4 in overtime. However, Chicago managed to win the sixth game by a score of 5-2 at home and then beat the Ducks 5-3 in the series finale. They ended up outscoring Anaheim 24-22 over the grueling seven game haul.

Toews went on to say that not only was it the toughest series of this playoff year, but it was the toughest one Chicago has faced over the past several seasons. The Final series against the Lightning was also a close affair as the first five contests were all decided by a single goal. The Hawks then won the series in six with a 2-0 victory. Toews said he doesn’t mean to disrespect Tampa, since they were a lot tougher than the Hawks thought they would be and made life very difficult for them.

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