I haven't written in a long time. That's mostly because I was too busy during school, but since school has ended and the playoffs have started, I've actually kinda been a little superstitious. This is because every time that I've talked mad smack about my team, it's blown up in my face. For instance, when the Packers made it to the NFC Championship against the Giants or the Packers against the Cardinals in the playoffs this year. However, I've reminded myself lately that the universe doesn't revolve around me and that what I do has no bearing on the outcome of games. However, I will still never make predictions, but rather just discuss what's happened so far. That being said, here goes.
What has gone right, so far?
The answer is "a lot". Let's start with Antti Niemi. Going into the playoffs, the biggest question was goaltending. Niemi finished the season strong, but many questioned whether a rookie could withstand the pressure of the playoffs. However, it seems that Niemi has no conception of pressure. He has had a few bad outings in these playoffs, but he's never let it affect the rest of the series. Actually, he's bounced back with some of his best performances after a bad loss. Even after giving up a goal, Niemi does not seem shaken, allowing his team to score and be competitive.
Major players are performing. Kane has scored 7 goals in the playoffs. Toews has scored 7 goals in the playoffs. Hossa hasn't scored that many goals, but he's a +8, which is the highest +/- rating on the team in the playoffs. Toews has tied a franchise record with a 12-game point-scoring streak and is leading the league in post-season points with 25. He's looking like a leader and is getting hot at the right time, similar to this year's Olympics.
Minor players are performing. I hate calling them "minor" players, because they're so important, but Bolland and Byfuglien have been playing at a higher level, at least the last two series. Bolland is shutting down Thornton and had a goal and an assist to lead the Blackhawks to a victory (after taking 3 stupid penalties).
Byfuglien was one of the major contributors in the Blackhawks series win over the Canucks. His physical presence in front of the net not only blinded Luongo, but he also shoveled in rebounds. His pushing and shoving after the whistle also intimidated the Canucks. All of which served to rattle Luongo. This series, Byfuglien has screened Nabokov for a goal or two and scored the game-winner against the Sharks in Games 1 and 3.
I hope the good play continues and we'll see what happens next.