With the Western Conference Final wrapping up Saturday, we have analyzed the matchup and debated three reasons each on why the Blackhawks or Ducks will reach the Stanley cup final.
Three reasons the Ducks will win Game 7:
1. Offence from the defence
While the Blackhawks boast an impressive defensive duo in Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook who have combined for 25 points this postseason, the Ducks provide more offensive depth on their blueline. Anaheim's Sami Vatanen, Cam Fowler, Francois Beauchemin and Hampus Lindholm have combined for 37 points. Chicago has a combined 34 points from it's defencemen overall. Game 7s often feature unsung heroes as the top-notch players are checked so tightly. The Ducks have a variety of puck-moving defencemen who will make a big difference.
2. Bruce Almighty
Since coming into the NHL, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau has had a phenomenal regular season record with the Ducks and with the Washington Capitals previously (363-167-69). Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and the rest of the Ducks will not only play for themselves, but play for their well-deserving bench boss.
3. Due for victory
Anaheim will be out for redemption as both their 2012-13 and 2013-14 playoff campaigns ended at home in Game 7. The Ducks were ousted by the Red Wings in the first round of the 2012-13 playoffs and were blown out in the final game of the second round in 2014 by the Kings, 6-2. The Ducks are a different team this year and have learned from their failures. Ryan Kesler, who has had a spectacular postseason, wasn't a member of the Ducks in those Game 7 losses.
Three reasons the Blackhawks will win Game 7:
1. Championship Pedigree
The Blackhawks have won two of the last five Stanley Cups and have multiple players with more than one ring. Chicago's players have won a combined 19 Stanley Cup rings, compared to just three for the Ducks. Anaheim has also lost its last two Game 7s on home ice, to the Los Angeles Kings in 2014 and the Detroit Red Wings in 2013.
2. Patrick Kane
Since coming back from a clavicle injury, Kane has been on an absolute tear for the Hawks, scoring 17 points in 16 playoff games. In his career, the game-breaking winger has averaged nearly a point-per-game in his playoff career, notching 108 points in 109 contests. If any star is likely to take over in a Game 7, it's Kane.
3. Depth Scoring
Any team that has the likes of Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw, and Antoine Vermette among their bottom-six forwards certainly is not lacking in offensive options.In a Game 7 setting, often depth scoring comes through to be the most important. Chicago has a wide edge in depth scoring over Anaheim.