The Chicago Blackhawks proved to be too much for the injury-riddled Calgary Flames tonight as they scored 4 times to hand the Flames a 4th straight first-round exit from the playoffs.
Yes, it hurts. A 4th straight “One and Done” playoffs for the Flames… But it doesn’t hurt as much as it would have if I had actually watched the game.
I just returned home from work, where I kept myself up-to-date on the evening’s action (or is it inaction?!) with tsn.com and nhl.com. I have to admit that it was tough to see that we followed the same script as the last couple games: early penalty, early 1-0 defecit. Each time I returned to the computer to refresh the screen I got more bad news.
Whether I agonized while watching the game or not, the result is the same. A 4-2 series loss for the Flames, who fell victim to a young Chicago Blackhawks team that deserved the win. They took advantage of a shaky, injury-reduced roster of Calgary Flames players and now move onto the 2nd round after winning their first playoff series in 13 years.
With the exception of one substitution in game 3 (Patrick Kane was out with the flu), the Hawks iced the same roster throughout the series, and used their speed and skill to put more pucks behind Miikka Kiprusoff than the Flames could get past the Nikolai Khabibulin. Many people had the Flames pegged to win this series (including myself), but at the end of the day, the team that was healthy, and had every player show up ready to play was the team that won.
As this post was taking shape, the Anaheim Ducks just put the San Jose Sharks out of the playoffs in game 6 with a 4-1 win. It is now confirmed that the Chicago Blackhawks will be flying a similar flight path in the 2nd round when they face off against the Vancouver Canucks.