The Chicago Blackhawks did something really big during the shortened season, and that is spoil us with Win after Win with an NHL start that had never been seen before and probably will never be seen again. Not only did the Hawks start out the season with a 24 game streak with a point, the Blackhawks played sensationally in 48 game sprint to the playoffs. The Hawks went 16-7 in the Stanley Cup Finals so after 71 games last year the Hawks only skated off with a loss 14 times which of course included the greatest 17 seconds the Blackhawks have ever seen to clinch the Stanley Cup.
Now enter the 2013-2014 season and for the 2nd time in four years the Blackhawks are defending their Stanley Cup. In 2010 the Blackhawks had a noticeable hangover after partying all summer long. The first thing about the Blackhawks start is the two worst offenders of the hangover last time in Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson have played very solid hockey to start off the season. The core is more mature and have already gone through this before so this a good sign through 15 games.
Secondly, the Blackhawks are picking up points almost nightly. The Hawks are not the #1 story on NHL Network or NBCSN every night and are under the radar, but they have collected at least a point in 13 out of 15 games with one of those games only 20 some seconds away from another point. In the era of OT/Shootout loss points picking up points is huge on a nightly basis, and the Hawks no matter how many goals they score or how discouraged we are by the penalty kill or offense at times, the Hawks are picking up points almost every time they lace up the skates.
The last thing about the Hawks start is as the defending champs, they are taking everybody’s best shot on a nightly basis. The Blackhawks learned a lesson on Sunday night against the Flames when they didn’t appear to give their best effort, but the underdog Flames brought their A-Game and skated away with a 2 point night in Chicago. The Hawks are facing every team in the NHL at least twice this year and everyone wants to leave the Stadium at the end of the night and say they knocked off the defending champs.
This isn’t a picture perfect start or another long point streak to start the season, but the start is as close to perfect that you could ask for from the defending champs. No visible hangover, picking up points, flying under the radar while taking on everyone’s best punch.
What do you think of the Blackhawks start this season?
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