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Chicago, Illinois is home to an original six hockey team that has emerged in recent years to become a dynasty. Winners of six Stanley Cups in their 90+ year history, three of those victories came in the last seven seasons. The windy city is filled with anticipation each season that another banner will be hoisted to the rafters at the United Center.
Some of the most electrifying players ever to lace up skates have worn the iconic Blackhawks jersey. These include such famous alumni as Jeremy Roenick, Chris Chelios, Denis Savard, Stan Mikita, and Bobby Hull.
Under the coaching prowess of Joel Quenneville, the second winningest coach in NHL history, the Chicago Blackhawks have blossomed in a perennial contender with leadership and skill to spare. Led by captain Jonathan Toews, Chicago comes out for each game with the intention of burying the competition. His linemate, and NHL leading point scorer from last season, Patrick Kane brings to the rink a combination of speed and play-making ability which is unmatched in the league today.
Significant contributions from role players like Artem Anisimov, Marian Hossa, and second year standout Artemi Panarin along with a strong defensive corps anchored by Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook creates a recipe for success in Chi-town. Corey Crawford has set up shop between the pipes, keeping it close for the Blackhawks in every game.
Their last Stanley Cup win came in the 2014-2015 season. After finishing out the season with a respectable record of 48-28-6 (3rd place in the Central Division), the Blackhawks knocked off the Nashville Predators before sweeping the Minnesota Wild. Moving on to the Western Conference Finals, Chicago bested Anaheim in a memorable series four games to three.
Matching up against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Blackhawks had to counter their speed and finesse. Coming back from a two games to one deficit, Chicago was able to outlast the Lightning and win the Cup in front of the home town crowd at the United Center. Corey Crawford posted the shutout to cap off the win. Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was voted the MVP of the Finals.
An uncharacteristic 1st round playoff loss in 2016 will, undoubtedly, continue to sting throughout the summer and ignite a fire under this team come next season. Loaded with talent and motivated by the early exit, games against the Chicago Blackhawks are sure to be circled on every teams’ calendar. For more information about the Chicago Blackhawks click here.