With the Chicago Blackhawks coming off their second Stanley Cup in four years, the question is already being posed: can the Blackhawks become a dynasty?
I don’t want to say no, but it’s not likely. The NHL is weird when compared to the NBA when it comes to playoff upsets. It’s fair to compare hockey to the NBA when it comes to postseason format. It’s unfair to compare the Stanley Cup playoffs to the NFL postseason or any other. Yet you often have the Stanley Cup playoffs resembling March Madness in college basketball, much higher seeds go down all the time.
That almost never happens in the NBA. These perilous, anything can happen waters is what the Blackhawks must wade through.
NHL on NBC analyst Pierre McGuire:
“you’ve got to win 16 games and that just beats your team up unbelievably. You’ve got roster flexibility and fluid rosters because of the salary cap. You’ve got players moving all the time now, not nearly as much consistency. And the ultimate thing is we haven’t had NHL expansion in almost 12 or 14 years now and because of that the talent bucket is full around the National Hockey League and that makes it unbelievably difficult for everybody to repeat.”
And this is why Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has been deemed Supreme Genius Overlord of The Universe; who’s actions are never to be questioned at all. Because of the roster moves he’s made to keep the Blackhawks core in tact through one rebuild, and a second Cup. Their top Defencemen pairing (Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook) and their two marquee name forwards (Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews) were the nucleus of both the 2010 and 2013 Blackhawks championship teams.
Former Blackhawks star, and current Blackhawks television analyst Eddie Olczyk on the obstacles for repeating/building a dynasty:
“the Blackhawks are the only team that have that opportunity to repeat, first time since the late 90s. Not a lot of change-over which I think is a real positive. But the Olympic aspect, how does that impact their run, their chemistry that they’ve built up going into the Olympics and then coming out of the Olympics?
They could have 14 of their players in Sochi. And then having to come back and three days later you’re playing the New York Rangers on a Thursday night. And then two nights later you’re playing a game against one of the best teams in the league, the Pittsburgh Penguins, who will have plenty of people at the Olympics as well. When you throw in the Olympic break and the Olympics themselves it’s going to be very taxing. And I think we saw how coaches handled the shortened season last year with a lot of games in a short period of time and managing days off.”
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and FacebookFollow paulmbanks