The Sharks may have had home ice advantage in their first conference finals since 2004, but that didn’t matter to the determined Chicago Blackhawks. The Sharks took the early lead and even went so far as to lead game four 2-0, but the Blackhawks came back to take the only lead that mattered – the one that ended the game. Chicago is the only team that swept a series in the 2010 playoffs and for a third year in a row Marian Hossa will be playing in the Stanley Cup Finals. Is the third time the charm for him? Will he finally be on the happy side of the handshake when the Finals finish, or will he be on the losing end of the Finals for a third year in a row?
San Jose really can’t seem to succeed in the post season. They did better this year than they had in a while, but they can’t ever seem to live up to their regular season drive. The Sharks make the regular season look easy and win the west (and sometimes even the Presidents’ Trophy), but they can’t seem to get to the Stanley Cup Finals. Since their start in 1991, they’ve gotten to the conference finals twice (including this year). However, they can’t seem to make it past that point. This year, they didn’t even win a game of the conference finals, leaving them with a record of 8-2 in the conference finals and sending them home before the Finals again.
The Blackhawks will most likely face the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals, but the Montreal Canadiens want to change that. They’ve come back from a 3-1 deficit in a series twice already in the 2010 playoffs, so they may surprise everyone again. Either way, the Blackhawks were the first to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals and are certainly happy to get back to the Finals for the first time since 1992 when they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins as they won their second Cup in a row. This year, they’ve got a young team excited to be in the Finals for the first time.