It wasn't pretty but they are in and they get a very familiar opponent in the first round. Hey Roberto guess what it's your worst nightmare.
The defending champion Chicago Blackhawks will be traveling to Vancouver to take on the President's Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks. This will be the third straight season these two will face each other in the playoffs.
The teams split the season series with both winning on each other's home ice. Chicago won the first two early on in the season while Vancouver won the second two. The final matchup was in early February so been over two months since the clubs have faced off. But guess what? Marty Turco was in net for 3 of the four games including Chicago's two losses. In Corey Crawford's only matchup against the Canucks was the 7-1 beat down where the Hawks were accused of running up the score.
Two seasons ago the Canucks were the higher seed and had home ice and the series ended in 6 much like it did last season when the Hawks had the better record so Chicago has no problem winning in Vancouver.
Hopefully Dave Bolland can return to slow down the Sedin brothers and if he does the Hawks will be healthy and we know how dangerous they can be when they are.
The rest of the Western Conference matchups are Sharks-Kings, Wings-Coyotes, Ducks-Predators.
For those saying the Hawks can't make another run like they did last season just remember the Flyers and Canadians were the 7 and 8 seeds last year in the Eastern Conference and they were fighting it out to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The first 2 games of the series will be in Vancouver before coming to Chicago for a pair and then the rest of the series is 1-1-1 if they are needed. The series could start either Tuesday or Wednesday with the exact schedule yet to be worked out.
Let the playoff beards start growing.