5 Reasons Why Chicago Blackhawks Will Win the Stanley Cup

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5 Reasons Why Chicago Blackhawks Will Win the Stanley Cup

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Rob Grabowski - USA Today Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks had an amazing season. After opening the year with a record-long points streak, they went on to lead the Western Conference in both goals for and goals allowed on the strike-shortened season.

Entering the playoffs, they are (by far) the favorites to win the Western Conference and are second favorites to win the Stanley Cup. With strong goal scorers, elite goaltending, home ice, and a 2-0 series lead, it's going to be difficult for anyone to defeat the Blackhawks.

While the Pittsburgh Penguins are the favorites (3-1) to win the Stanley Cup, they will face a much tougher path to the Stanley Cup, as three of the four favorites are in the Eastern Conference. Likely with shorter series and a strong home ice advantage, it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which the Blackhawks aren't playing in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Blackhawks went 3-0 on the season against the Western Conference's number 2 seed, San Jose Sharks. Potentially the biggest beneficiary of the Blackhawks' success is the NHL itself. Though many of the elite NHL teams do not come from large markets, they love seasons when teams like the Blackhawks are generating buzz and publicity for the league. If the Blackhawks make an extended run in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, the positive national publicity and attention the NHL could generate will help them to make up for the public-relation-killing lockout.

Without further introduction, here are the five reasons that the Chicago Blackhawks will win the Stanley Cup.

Gabe Isaacson is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @gabeisaacson

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5. Patrick Kane

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Rob Grabowski - USA Today Sports

Patrick Kane, the face of the Blackhawks franchise, had another elite season. In just 47 games, Kane had 23 goals and 32 assists. Extrapolated over a normal 82 game season, Kane would've scored over 95 points. On power plays and in low-scoring games (which tend to run rampant in the NHL playoffs), the Blackhawks have a huge edge with Kane. Having a superstar with Stanley Cup experience and success, the Blackhawks will never struggle to generate strong chances in the offensive zone.

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4. Corey Crawford

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Rob Grabowski - USA Today Sports

Corey Crawford might be the most underrated goaltender in the NHL. Starting 24 regular season games, Crawford went 19-5 with a sub-2 goals against average. After starting and winning two games to start the postseason, Crawford is capable of keeping the Blackhawks in any game even when the goal scoring goes cold. While elite backup option Ray Emery has been dealing with an injury, Crawford is ready and able to take this team the distance.

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3. Season Success

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Rob Grabowski - USA Today Sports

The playoffs, especially in the NHL, are all about getting hot at the right time. Some teams have scattered success throughout the year, but to win the Stanley Cup, you have to sustain a streak of hot play. The Blackhawks, better than any other team, are capable of getting hot. The Blackhawks started the season 21-0-3, not losing a game in regulation until their 25th contest.

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2. Home Ice Advantage

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Rob Grabowski - USA Today Sports

The Blackhawks have the number one seed and home ice throughout the Western Conference playoffs. It is so valuable for teams to earn and maintain home ice advantage, as it allows them to never need to win a road game. They'll be very sizable favorites in every game and series considering that factor.

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1. 2-1 Lead Over Minnesota Wild

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Rob Grabowski - USA Today Sports

The Blackhawks are already off to a running start in the playoffs. After "holding serve" in the first two games at home, they dropped game 3 on the road in Minnesota. Thankfully, their prolific regular season has granted them home ice so they'll just need to continue winning their home games. The Blackhawks are in great shape to win this series, the Western Conference, and potentially the Stanley Cup.

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