The Blackhawks knew they were going to get a decent amount of rest before they knew whom their Western Conference Final opponent would be.
Well, now they know, but it's still going to be a few days until they play again.
The Blackhawks will face the Anaheim Ducks, who eliminated the Calgary Flames a few minutes into Monday morning, in the Western Conference Final at some point later this week. Dates and times have yet to be determined.
[MORE: Rested Blackhawks prepping for physical Conference Final]
The conference finals will not begin before the second-round series in the Eastern Conference are completed. The New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals on Sunday night, evening their series 3-3; Game 7 is 7:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.
The Blackhawks will face a team they’re familiar with, although one which they don’t see that often. They took the regular-season series, 2-1, with two 4-1 victories; Anaheim won the first regular-season matchup 1-0.
The Ducks also had a postseason sweep, dispatching the Winnipeg Jets in four games in the first round. And just like the Blackhawks, Anaheim has yet to lose a game at home this postseason.
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Jonathan Toews didn’t know who the Blackhawks’ opponent would be when he talked after Sunday’s practice but knew whoever it was, it would provide a tough test.
“I don’t think it matters,” he said. “Whoever earns its way into the conference final will have done that for a number of reasons. We’ll have our work cut out for us either way.”
We all knew the 2010s were good to the Hawks and their fans, this salute is just the cherry on the sundae. There's no arguing that with three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013, 2015) in six seasons, they're incredibly deserving of the title.
Chicago ended a 49-year Stanley Cup drought in 2010 and captured first place in the Central Division in 2010, 2013 and 2016. The Hawks also won the President's Trophy awarded to the team with the most points in the NHL in 2013 after starting the season 21-0-3.
Who can forgot moments like beating the Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 of the 2013 Western Conference Final after trailing the series 3-1, Kane's Game 6 overtime goal in 2010 to snag the cup, 17 seconds and winning it on home ice in 2015.
"It's been special," Jonathan Toews told NHL.com. "At the end of the day it's not easy, it's a lot of hard work. A lot of teammates and friends have come through this locker room and left to play for other teams or retire -- there's always a different scenario -- but I'm pretty thankful for what I've been able to be a part of. For me, Chicago has become a home. You're around the city, people are thanking you for the championships and that will never get old. Great memories and obviously a pretty special time when were able to make those Cup runs."
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Host Pat Boyle is joined by Blackhawks Insider Charlie Roumeliotis, and NBCS Chicago producer Slavko Bekovic as they debate the nuclear line of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, have the Hawks found their identity as a team, predictions for the next few games as the Hawks head to the bye week.
(1:00) - Hawks forced to use Kane and Toews on the same line
(6:15) - Dominik Kubalik is doing well with Kane and Toews
(9:55) - Colliton doesn't have a healthy roster right now
(14:12) - What is the identity of this team?
(17:18) - Maybe the Hawks have a chance at a Wildcard spot
(20:24) - Kirby Dach is getting opportunities on the power play
(23:48) - How will the Hawks play vs the Panthers and Joel Quenneville?
(26:30) - Predictions on the next few gamesListen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
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