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ONE GOAL!: Hawks face Day-twah next

I got my wish. The Blackhawks' second-round playoff opponent will be their arch-rivals, soon to be moved to another division: the Detroit Red Wings.

The Hawks should win in six. But never count out the Wings, an opponent who has earned the respect as well as the distain of Chicago fans over the years. The Montreal Canadians- the New York Yankees of hockey- have won 24 Stanley Cups; Detroit is tied with Toronto for second place, with eleven (the Hawks have won four).

Detroit's last Cup was in 2008. The Hawks' was in 2010.

The Hawks, who won the President's Trophy (best regular-season record) and set an all-time record for the best start in NHL history this year (24 games in a row before their first regulation loss), will be favored- and rightly so. But never count out the Wings. It should be a great series.

I'm happy with the matchup, not only because it pits a pair of arch-rivals against each other but because I think the Hawks would have had a tougher time with the San Jose Sharks, who will now draw the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. And the Wing's 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks last night means that the Blackhawks won't have to face the Ducks- the one team in the league that has had their number this year- down the road.

I disagree with Micheline Maynard, however, about the status of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane with reference to the many legendary players from both teams. Toews and Kane have certainly already attained the stature of some of the greats she names at equivalent points in their careers. While the Wings lack similar stars, they still are a team with character, skill and tradition that knows how to win.

I discovered late in the Minnesota series that if I put my clock radio on the windowsill next to my bed I could pick up WGN and the play-by-play.

I plan to go to bed early quite often the next week or so. With an air horn and a couple of beers.



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