Blackhawks vs. Sharks: grab your bag- it’s on!

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By Paul M. Banks

One year to the exact date, the Chicago Blackhawks have eliminated the Vancouver Canucks from the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. Again, it’s in the Western Conference semis, once again it’s 4 games to 2. They beat VAN at GM place by a 5-1 margin, matching their record on the road this postseason.

In both series so far, the Hawks were more about getting the shorties than T-Pain and Nelly combined. The Hawks led the NHL in short-handed goals or “shorties,” (not to be confused with the hip-hop slang term for women…or maybe it is to be confused with that terminology, it’s ok) during the regular season. And during the first two rounds of the postseason, Chicago’s short-handed goals have come in crucial situations.

Combined with last season, the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs marks the first time since 1989 and 1990 that Chicago has advanced to the Conference Finals in back-to-back seasons. The Western Conference Finals will be the first-ever postseason meeting between the Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks.

The Blackhawks and Sharks finished as the top two teams in the Western Conference during the 2009-10 regular-season.  Chicago won three of the four meetings with San Jose during the campaign, earning a 4-3 overtime win on Nov. 15 at the United Center, and 7-2 and 4-3 (OT) victories at HP Pavilion.  San Jose defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 on Dec. 22 in Chicago

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