Why the Hawks will win Game 7
It’s been 16 years since a team has gone to back-to-back Stanley Cup Finals. The Hawks are on the brink of changing that.
How will they do it?
It’s simple, the Hawks are playing at home. The Hawks thrive at home in the postseason. There are so many areas that improve when they’re playing at the United Center.
“If the crowd can bring the same energy in the building, it’s going to take a lot for LA to beat us,” Niklas Hjalmarsson said. “We’ve got to obviously do as best as we can and even more, but hopefully the crowd can bring the same effort. It was a great atmosphere last game.”
- Wins. The Hawks are 8-1 at home in the postseason this year. The United Center gets louder every game. It’s hard to look past that type of advantage. The Hawks have won clutch games at home before, and with momentum on their side and the atmosphere at the United Center, the Hawks will have a large advantage.
- Power play. Don’t get me wrong, they still struggle with the power play but any improvement will be key for a Game 7 victory. Luckily, they’re at home where they’ve done statistically better this postseason. They’ve had 26 power play opportunities both at home and on the road. At home the Hawks had eight goals; away they only had two. That’s an equal amount of opportunities but they are quadrupling their goals in the power play while at home.
- Penalty kill. The Hawks have been shorthanded 28 times at home and allowed only three goals. On the road, they’ve been shorthanded 35 times and allowed seven goals. Special teams have been critical in this playoff series. The Hawks will need any advantage they can get.
- Corey Crawford. In the 2014 playoffs, Crawford has a .936 save percentage at home, compared to .895 save percentage on the road. Average goals against? 1.89 at home and 2.91 on the road. At home, the Hawks have allowed 19 goals, compared to the 31 they’ve allowed on the road. While Crawford has come through the last few games when we needed him to, he’ll need to step up even more for Game 7, and being at home should make a big difference.
- Scoring. There have been some high-scoring games in this series, especially by the Kings. Every goal has the opportunity to be a difference maker. The Hawks have scored 32 goals at home and only 22 on the road. If Crawford is off even a little bit, the offense will need to step up and score big.
The Hawks have come through when they needed to the most. No better way to end a series and go on to the Stanley Cup Finals then winning at home in front of your fans.
— David Haugh (@DavidHaugh) May 31, 2014