Although the Chicago Blackhawks have struggled as of late this was still arguably the best decade of Blackhawks hockey ever. With the poor effort we are seeing on the ice, and some free time on my hands let’s reminisce on the good old days of the decade.
To kickstart the 2010’s Patrick Kane showed us a little taste of what our decade would include when he scored the goal against the Flyers in OT to get the Blackhawks their first Stanley Cup in 49 years. Chicago deserved that trophy, and although many believed we might be a one in done type of team with the upcoming salary cap doom, few expected all of the success to come.
No team will ever experience the type of dominance the Blackhawks had ever again. Yes the Pittsburgh Penguins won back to back Stanley Cups and that is a pretty rare thing, but the Chicago Blackhawks were just one goal away from winning three straight Cups if it was not for a flukey overtime goal in 2014.
The Chicago Blackhawks are the team of the decade in my opinion. Do I have a little bias, yes of course I do, but at the same time I still think I can back up that statement with facts, here’s how.
Every season we get a new presidents’ trophy winner, and every year we get a new one that choked in the playoffs. No presidents’ trophy winner won a championship this decade, well except one in 2013. The Blackhawks were the only team to finish both the regular season and playoffs on top. They also managed to defeat one of their more historic rivals en-route to the cup when they crushed the Detroit Red Wings in their final season within the Western Conference.
Yes, this decade has been notorious for bad trades by Stan Bowman, and will always be tainted by the firing of Joel Quenneville, but at the end of the day when you have so many opportunities to win year after year and the Blackhawks capitalized as much as they do you can not help but smile.
Chicago finished the decade with a 14-5 record in playoff series. While I wish I could have seen the team make the playoffs the last few years, I can not help at smile at the run this team went on. The only more consistent team to me would be the Washington Capitals, but they could never find the playoff success Chicago had during the height of their dynasty.
Think about how many potential Hall of Famers this team had: Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, as well as a future Hall of Fame Coach in Joel Quenneville. Chicago Blackhawks fans of the future are going to look back on this decade as the golden years of Blackhawks hockey, and that is a bittersweet thing.
Chicago is never going to have teams that were as powerful as the Blackhawks were this decade. No matter who was on the ice the Blackhawks were almost always guaranteed the better matchup throughout much of the past decade. Chicago had players like Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Dave Bolland, and so many other players all on separate lines making an impact.
When teams from around the league look at who they want to be, they can use the Chicago Blackhawks from the 2010’s as a measuring stick. Teams are going to need to have speed, great leadership, core players locked in long-term to build around, and sometimes a little bit of luck.
My only real issue with this decade was it featured the end of the best intro video the team has ever had. The stitching of the jersey was amazing. The background music, and the combination of old and new highlights showcased the connection the team had then with the historic stars of the past. The Blackhawks were building a legacy, and that video showed that. Plus it was just really cool. Okay, I needed to get that out of my system.
The Blackhawks are going to keep playing hockey, and we are going to keep writing about the team and exploring all the different ways we can begin to look forward to something better. At the end of the day though, I hope any frustrated Blackhawks fans out there can look back on this decade with pride, and say to themselves we played some of the best hockey ever.
Chicago started their Stanley Cup dynasty when Patrick Kane scored the game-winning goal in OT, and their last Stanley Cup also featured a Kane goal at the end to help push the Blackhawks past the Lightning in 2010. Anytime you need to specify what Stanley Cup you are talking about and which Patrick Kane point streak you are talking about you know it is a good decade.
I just can’t wait to see the next time we will see something like it again. It might be a while.