Stan Bowman was quoted from multiple sources this weekend. He stated that he had to keep the defense together and that’s why he traded Frolik and Bolland. One can speculate that Stan Bowman views defense as important part of the NHL game. This was something Stan learned from his father legendary coach and Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations to the Blackhawks, Scotty Bowman.
Scotty Bowman is revered as one of the best coaches in Hockey history. Scotty holds the record for most wins in the regular season 2141(Hockeyreference.com). He also has nine Stanley Cup Championships as a coach and four Cups as the member of team’s front office. He has two of his four Stanley Cups as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. Scotty Bowman knows the blue print to winning the Stanley Cup. The most important piece of the blue print is a strong defense and good goal tending. The team does need a strong offense to complement the defense, but defense is still king.
The phrase defense wins championship is true for teams influenced by Scotty Bowman. Scotty Bowman won the Stanley Cup in 1972-1973 Montreal, 1975-1976 Montreal, 1976-1977 Montreal, 1977-1978, 1978-1979 Montreal, 1991-1992 Pittsburg, 1996-1997 Detroit, 1997-1998, and Detroit, 2001-2001. Scotty’s teams never fell below seventh in goals against (Hockeyreference.com).
This Blackhawks fan was not around during the Canadian dynasty with Scotty at the helm, but this fan has not forgotten his Detroit teams. When Scotty Bowman won the cup in Detroit, his teams were in the top three in goals for and the top seven in goals against. When Scotty’s team did not make the playoffs they still ranked in the top three in goals for, however, they ranked in the bottom half of the league in goals against.
Stan Bowman copied his father’s methods when building the Blackhawks. Your team needs to have a strong defense, a good goalie, and a good offense.
The numbers do not lie, when the Blackhawks had a strong defense, they won. When they didn’t have a strong defense, they didn’t win. In 2009-2010, the Chicago Blackhawks were fifth in goals against and third in goals for. That season as everyone remembers, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. In 2010-2011, the Blackhawks ranked 12th in goals against and 4th in goals for. The Blackhawks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Vancouver Canucks. In 2011-2012, the Chicago Blackhawks were 22nd in goals against and 6th in goals for. The Blackhawks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Phoenix Coyotes. Lastly in 2012-2013, the Blackhawks were 1st in goals against and 2nd in goals for (Hockeyreference.com).The Blackhawks won their second cup in five years.
Stan looked at the Blackhawks salary cap situation and saw he needed to make space to keep his defense intact. Stan also saw that he had more forwards (Pirri, Morin, Hayes, and Leblanc) ready to make the jump to the NHL. Stan decided to keep his current defensive parings intact.
Stan learned from Scotty, defense wins Championships.