Chicago Blackhawks Can Take Stanley Cup Back In 2017
On Sunday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins ended another NHL season by winning the Stanley Cup, defeating the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Game 6 of the Final and giving the Penguins their fourth-ever Cup (first since 2009). It officially led to the dethroning of the Chicago Blackhawks as reigning Stanley Cup champions.
So that means it’s time to look ahead to next season. We won’t have NHL regular-season hockey until October, preceded by World Cup action in late September and preseason play starting around the same time. But it’s never too early to dream about the Blackhawks earning an unprecedented fourth Cup in eight seasons.
It’s certainly within the realm of possibility, as suggested by the sports betting site Bovada:
Yes, the Blackhawks are early contenders to return to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017. Here are five reasons that will happen, and why they’ll come away with the chalice as well.
5. Rest And Rage
Members of the Blackhawks roster that have been around for all three of the recent Cup runs have obvious mileage on their bodies. Guys like Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson have played in several hundred games in a relatively short timespan, and Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane aren’t far behind them.
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While most of those guys and some of their teammates are going to play in the World Cup in September, having a longer offseason to decompress is good for the club. Sure, we’d love to see the Blackhawks make a run at the Stanley Cup every season, but it’s just so difficult to accomplish in this day and age of the NHL.
It was almost relaxing to see guys post pictures to their Twitter accounts of them relaxing and taking a breather. They’ll have a nice bit of time to rest up, and just as much time to come back motivated to take the Cup back.
That’s the other aspect to this longer layoff, especially considering the Blackhawks went out of the postseason at the hands of the rival St. Louis Blues. The Blackhawks may sleepwalk through some of their regular-season games, but fans know this group has some of the more fiercely competitive athletes in the league today. Led by an always-serious Toews, you know what the goal for the 2016-17 season will be from Day 1.
Next: Reasons 4 And 3