The Chicago Blackhawks set a new NHL record by earning at least a point in the first 17 games of the season. In other good news, the Blackhawks are 14-0-3, with the 3 losses all coming in shootouts. They are undefeated this season while playing hockey. This season’s story is so much different from last year’s, and while so many are waiting for the other shoe to drop, the Blackhawks keep on rolling.
So many times this season fans have “had a bad feeling” about a game. Last season, these feelings would most likely have been right, and the Blackhawks would be painful to watch. This amazing start has surprised all of us. When the defense struggles, the goaltenders are there with a “big save!” or two and steal the game. When the goaltending is a bit shaky, the defense is there to make a huge momentum-building sacrifice. When the team needs leaders, the stars make plays, create chances, and get highlight goals. When the stars are shut down by the opponent, the third and fourth lines come up with hard work and pound in a game-changing goal.
The theme of the Blackhawks this year is “finding ways to win” which was the theme of the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion team. As a fan of the Blackhawks for only two years, it is easy to see the improvements from last season. Last season had all the potential but none of the promise. This season, with this start, has both. We all know what they are capable of and we’ve seen that they can do it. This team has already pulled off the unbelievable and used every asset that they have as a team, from high offense to strong defense, from the first line down, from veterans to the young guys.
The excitement for fans is building to a perilous height, and we want to protect ourselves from being devastated at the first regulation loss. We’re constantly nervous that the Blackhawks will stumble, lose a few games, and come crashing down from all the promise that this great start offered. But let’s be honest, that would be extremely difficult to do already 17 games into a 48 game season. Seventeen games is enough to prove that the Blackhawks aren’t a fluke this year. There is strategy, focus, and determination imbedded in this team, and it won’t abandon them any time soon. That philosophy will keep them strong through the next 31 games and into the playoffs.
And remember: this is just the beginning of the season. Imagine what the Playoffs Blackhawks team will look like! So relax and enjoy the ride, because if the previous “best start” record holders are any indication, it’s going to be a great season concluding with a pretty silver trophy paraded through the streets of Chicago!
Do you think the Blackhawks will be able to keep up their strong start for the rest of the season?