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Blackhawks Face Elimination in Game 6 of Western Conference Finals

The NHL postseason continues Wednesday when the Anaheim Ducks visit the Chicago Blackhawks for Game 6 of their best of seven series for the Western Conference championship.

The Ducks lead the series 3-2 after blowing a two-goal lead only to win Game 5 in overtime. They escaped a possible disaster but now must face Chicago on its home ice and the Blackhawks are favored.

Chicago is -140, while Anaheim is +135 for the game. The goal total has been set at 5 with the OVER sitting on -140.

Anaheim has tried to play its physical style of hockey in the series as it did in its first two series in the postseason, but the Blackhawks have done well to hold up to all the checking and hard hits.

The Blackhawks are a resilient team that has erased large deficits and has won deep into overtime like no other NHL team.

In Game 5, Chicago was outhit, but they possessed the puck more than the Ducks did. The Blackhawks have won the possession battle four of the five games. Over the past 10 years, the team that wins the battle of possession has won 65% of the playoff series.

Each goal by the Blackhawks came from outside, which means Frederik Andersen the goalie is more at fault than the defense is. On the other hand, the majority of the goals the Ducks scored in Game 5 were from close in.

The front must be cleared by the Chicago defense or they will continue giving up too many goals.

Offshore Chicago is listed at +250 to advance and is +500 to win the Stanley Cup.

The amount of hard hits the Ducks are dishing out cannot be taken lightly. Ryan Kesler one of the Ducks’ hard hitters said that no human would be able to withstand the number of hits they are dishing out. One online hockey stats website showed that through Game 4 the Ducks had outhit the Blackhawks to the tune of 220 to 158 with Game 4’s totals 60 for the Ducks to 50 for the Blackhawks.

Combine the body contact with the way the Blackhawks are needing to lean on their top players more than Anaheim has theirs, one can understand where Kesler is coming from.

Of course, the hitting part should not be overplayed as Chicago have been there done that and knows how the postseason is. Perhaps the aggressiveness of the Ducks does not make the impact on them like Kesler believes, but then again you never know.

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