The Chicago Blackhawks reigned supreme in the NHL last year, and they reminded everyone on Tuesday night, with an emotional banner raising ceremony, marking their 2013 Stanley Cup win. However, a new year is upon us, and the Blackhawks have some work to do if they want to repeat. 29 teams stand in the way of a second consecutive Blackhawks championship, and today we’ll take a look at 3 surprise teams they’ll have to take care of.
#3: Washington Capitals
The Capitals might come as a surprise to some, but their performance in the season opener showed they have a chance to be up among the best. The Capitals are entering the second year with head coach Adam Oates, and the familiarity will pay off. Alexander Ovechkin remains one of the league’s elite forwards, and his leadership and offense will be counted on if the Capitals are to remain a threat. The Capitals power-play was stellar in 2013, and has started off on a tear, with 3 goals on the man advantage in Chicago. Despite the loss on Tuesday to the ‘Hawks, Washington put up a great fight, and will try to retain that composure for the next 81 games.
The Blackhawks and Capitals won’t meet again until Friday, April 11, 2014, when the fates of both teams will be largely decided.