Chicago Blackhawks Aiming For A Repeat
Photo credit: Bill Smith/ Chicago Blackhawks
One of the toughest pieces of silverware to win in all of sports is most definitely the Stanley Cup, and nothing is better than the 16 teams that battle through best-of-seven series’ every Spring/Summer to try and capture it.
Throughout the NHL’s existence, we as fans have seen many dynasties come and go (New York Islanders, Detroit Red Wings, etc.). However, it seems as if there is a new ship approaching on the horizon, a ship packing mean and powerful members that are not afraid to take what is rightfully theirs.
That ship is the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the most consistent and adored teams in the league. A hockey club that yields the powers of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook on their blue-line, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews up front, and Corey Crawford between the pipes.
Mind you, those are just SOME of the big names that Chicago holds within their lineup. The team from the windy city also has great depth, which has allowed them to win titles in 2010 and last year in 2013. But they do not want to stop there, they want to keep going until there is absolutely nothing left for them to take, they are deadly, and they want to become the first team to repeat as champions since the Red Wings did it back in 1997 and 98.
The Blackhawks can be described with many adjectives, but there is one thing that sticks out mainly in my mind.
VALOR: great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.
The team picture of the Blackhawks should seriously be placed next to this definition of the dictionary. This club has battled through adversity that most hockey teams would never be able to survive.
For example, in 2010 the Hawks battled the Flyers in a memorable Stanley Cup Final. After winning the first two games by one goal each, they lost games three and four, and Philly was alive. The momentum seemed to swing in the Flyers’ favor, but the Blackhawks ousted their opponent 7-4 at home in game five, and then this happened:
A goal that Kane will remember for the rest of his days, as he stabbed a knife in the Hawks’ 49-year long Cup drought.
Fast forward to last year’s playoffs, and in the Western Conference semi-final against the Detroit Red Wings, it would take seven games and Seabrook’s OT winner in the final contest to send the Hawks to the WCF. Then, after defeating the LA Kings in five games, the Hawks drew the big and bad Boston Bruins in the Final.
After trading wins throughout the first four games, the Hawks had finally had enough, and won game five in Chicago to potentially win the title in game six. Things were looking bleak late in that game, as the Bruins were up 2-1 with two minutes to play, but then the impossible happened:
Goals by depth forwards Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland handed the Hawks their second trophy in three years, and they were once again on top of the NHL mountain.
Fast forward to this year, and the Hawks are down 2-0 in the series to the Cup favorites St. Louis Blues in the first round. Can you guess what happens next? The Hawks won the next four games and breezed into the second round, where they currently have a 1-0 series lead over the Minnesota Wild.
After seeing what this team has done in the past, who says they can’t win it all again? They certainly have the depth, defense, and goaltending to get it done, but it’s all a matter of execution.
When faced with the opportunity, expect the Blackhawks to strike and send shockwaves throughout the NHL with never-ending force.