The Western Conference is considered better than the Eastern Conference and the winner of the series between the Blackhawks and Sharks will be favored in Stanley Cup odds. Most people believe it will be Chicago that ultimately prevails against San Jose.
Stanley Cup betting history is on the side of Chicago. The Blackhawks won the first two games of the Western Conference Finals in San Jose. It is only the third time in their history they had won the first two games of a series on the road. They also won the first two games on the road in the 1934 Stanley Cup Final against Detroit, against Minnesota in 1982 and Detroit in 1992. The Blackhawks went on to win each of those series. That bodes well for them as they look to win the cup.
Chicago has not lost a series in which they led 2-0 since 1971. The other part that favors Chicago is San Jose has never won a series in which they trailed 2-0 and this San Jose team doesn’t appear to have the heart necessary to fight adversity. It is not like the Sharks are outclassed in terms of talent but they are outclassed in toughness and in heart. The Sharks simply don’t have players who know how to win big games. Depending upon players like Evgeni Nabokov and Joe Thornton has simply not worked well in the past. The Sharks did beat Colorado and Detroit in this year’s playoffs but neither of those teams was anything special. Winning against a talented team like Chicago is another story.
Chicago won the first two games of this series even though they were outshot in both games. The Blackhawks don’t get outshot very often. In fact, they outshot their opponents in 70 of their 82 regular season games and in the playoffs they are outshooting opponents more often than not. Chicago gave up 45 shots in Game 1 of the series and that was the most shots allowed by Chicago all season. It didn’t matter though as the Sharks still couldn’t find a way to win the game.
The Blackhawks look like they have all the necessary ingredients to win the Stanley Cup. They have a solid goaltender, a balanced scoring attack and a head coach in Joel Quenneville who knows how to win.