ϮϬ óóó͘¥½®Öæƒþ®Ä›͘ěãWZ/>ϮϬϭϳ Brook Hager resides in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and a minor in Dance. She grew up playing many sports including, but not limited to lacrosse, cheerleading, swim team, tennis, softball and her favorite ice hockey. She always got a kick out of being the only girl on the boys team, but also enjoyed playing in an all girls league. When not pursuing her dreams, her favorite pastime is hanging out with her dog Fleury (named for her favorite hockey player Marc-Andre Fleury). The Chicago Blackhawks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last year and one likely reason for their early exit was a lack of defensive depth. Their management took note and at the recent March 1st trade deadline added defensive player Johnny Oduya. He had previously played for the Blackhawks from 2012-2015 and won the Stanley Cup Championship twice with the team in 2013 and 2015. What was their weakness last season has now become one of their strengths, along with their dynamic offense. In the second half of the season, their captain Jonathan Toews has been living up to his nickname "Captain Clutch", he's scored 30 points since January 1st. The team won seven straight games between the end of February and early March before being beat 1-0 by the Anaheim Ducks. The Blackhawks have two fantastic goaltenders in Corey Crawford and Scott Darling. Darling is in the top five for both save percentage and goals against average. Their goaltending tandem is in fourth place in the league for save percentage behind the Caps, Columbus and Minnesota. There really isn't much weakness to this Chicago team heading into the playoffs and they should enjoy a nice long run. Many people would consider the Flames a dark horse in this race and they wouldn't be wrong. This team is young, mostly inexperienced in the playoffs and they have been fairly inconsistent over the past couple seasons. The Anaheim Ducks eliminated them in five games in the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs and they failed to qualify for last year's playoffs. This season however they've had two long winning streaks including a six game streak between November 30th and December 10th. Currently they are sitting on a nine game winning run from February 21st through March 11th, which includes seven straight wins and back-to-back shutouts for veteran goalie Brian Elliott. With a save percentage of .910 and goals against average of 2.51 his stats aren't the best, but he's proven to be clutch in the last couple months. Unlike the other teams highlighted in this article, the Flames don't have any players with 60 or more points. They do however have six players, all under the age of 30, with 40 plus points so far in the regular season led by forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Mikael Backlund. That highlights the fact that if they don't reach their goal in the playoffs this year, they could very well be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come. The Flames currently have the NHL best record of 13-2-1 in the months of February and March. If the Flames can keep their late season momentum going into the playoffs, their veteran goalie and young forwards could propel them to the team's first Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 13 years. Honorable mention: MINNESOTA WILD THE CALGARY FLAMES     THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS :ŽŶĂƚŚĂŶdŽĞǁƐ Sean Monahan & :ŽŚŶŶLJ'ĂƵĚƌĞĂƵ