Thanks to winning their series in six games, the Chicago Blackhawks had time to rest and relax before their second-round series. Still, fans are chirping about, wondering who their opponent will be. There’s no doubt that they’ll face either the Colorado Avalanche or the Minnesota Wild. With both teams playing a seventh game, Hawks fans are certainly happy about this. But who would be the better match-up?
Certainly fans might be concerned about the Avalanche. The Hawks went 1-3-1, scoring 14 goals while the Avs scored 17 in their season series. The Avs have been getting better as the season rolls on, and were able to secure home-ice after overtaking the St. Louis Blues (who the Hawks recently dispatched).
The Avs are a fast team, just like the Hawks. And there is no doubt that Seymon Varlamov would be the usual thorn in the Blackhawks’ side. This, on top of having home-ice advantage, has Hawks fans preferring their opponents.
As for the Wild, it’s certainly impressive how they’ve been able to skate with the Avalanche. They were only a minute from going up 3-2 on the Avalanche in Game 5 before the Avs tied the game to go to overtime. Still, the Wild only barely made the playoffs. And if they were to face the Hawks, the Hawks would have home-ice advantage. However, the Hawks went 2-3-0 against the Wild in the regular season. That included a near-shutout.
Granted, the Hawks only won their last two against the Blues, but still won their series. Head coach Joel Quenneville doesn’t think that the match-up really matters, but the fans obviously beg to differ. However, because no fan has the same opinion, one fan might tell you they want the Avs. The other might want the Wild, the other wouldn’t give a darn.
For the purpose of opinion, however, the Wild would be a better match-up. With home-ice advantage and a better team, the Hawks would have a definite advantage. Still, the playoffs are unpredictable. It’s possible that a match-up with the Avs might be what the Hawks need.