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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 ten 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, Eddie Belfour, Denis Savard, Tony Esposito, Glenn Hall, Stan Mikita, and Bobby Hull.
Under the coaching prowess of former bench boss Joel Quenneville, the second winningest coach in NHL history, the Chicago Blackhawks blossomed in a perennial contender with leadership and skill to spare. While the Blackhawks parted ways with Quenneville in 2018 after a decline in their last few seasons, they have confidence that their new head coach, Jeremy Colliton, can get this group back into the finals and, ultimately, hoist the Stanley Cup once again.
Led by captain Jonathan Toews, Chicago comes out for each game with the intention of burying the competition. His linemate, and winner of numerous NHL awards, 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, Brandon Saad, second year sensation Alex DeBrincat, along with a strong defensive corps anchored by Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook creates a recipe for success in Chi-town. Corey Crawford is the starter, but may miss a significant amount of time after suffering a concussion. Backup goaltender Cam Ward, who signed with Chicago after 13 seasons in Carolina, 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.
Following two consecutive seasons that finished with 1st round playoff losses, the Blackhawks took another step by failing to advance to the postseason for the first time in a decade. There is no doubt that the Blackhawks will be looking for redemption in the 2018-2019 season. They will do so without Patrick Sharp, a great Blackhawks player who have decided to retire from the game. However, Chicago add veteran Chris Kunitz to the lineup to toughen up the squad.
The pain of having had to watch the playoffs from the outside continued to sting throughout the summer and has ignited a fire under this team. Loaded with talent and motivated by their exclusion from the postseason, games against the Chicago Blackhawks are sure to be circled on every teams’ calendar. For more information about the Chicago Blackhawks click here.