Ways the Chicago Blackhawks compare to the San Francisco 49ers
By Ryan Fedrau
The Chicago Blackhawks have a few similarities to the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers.
The Chicago Blackhawks and San Francisco 49ers are both coming off of bad seasons. The Blackhawks had the third pick in the NHL draft, the 49ers had the second pick in the NFL draft. Now, the 49ers are playing in the Super Bowl. Maybe, the Blackhawks will be playing in the Stanley Cup in June.
The 49ers’ season was derailed by injuries back in 2018-19. Their starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo got injured early in their season. That set the team back a lot. They would have multiple different quarterbacks throughout the season. In the end, they missed the playoffs by a long shot.
The Blackhawks lost Corey Crawford early in the 2018-19 season. The team was struggling and an injury to their starting goalie didn’t help. The team fell behind and never really got back up. When Crawford came back, the team would filter within single digit-points of making the playoffs. In the end, they missed the playoffs by six points.
Every season starts off with experts predicting each team’s season. The 49ers weren’t picked to be anywhere near the Super Bowl. They weren’t even predicted to make the playoffs. The same thing is happening with the Blackhawks.
The Vegas’ sportbooks had the Blackhawks missing the playoffs. Right now the Blackhawks are three points out of the playoffs, they still have a +2,000 chance of winning the Stanley Cup. Their odds are better now than they once were, but those aren’t promising numbers.
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The 49ers have had some unlikely heroes step up during the season. Of course, Garoppolo has played well but other stars have stepped up too. Their running back Raheem Mostert really turned things around this season. Before 2019, he had one rushing touchdown. Now, he has nine.
The running game from the 49ers has kept them in most games. It reminds me of a lot of the unlikely heroes on the Blackhawks.
Dominik Kubalik has been an unlikely hero on the Blackhawks this season. He has scored 21 goals, just four less than Patrick Kane. Kubalik has really stepped up a lot as of late. He is making a name for himself in the NHL. He is strong on his skates and is hard to knock the puck off of. Kubalik makes great passes and is becoming a top player for the Blackhawks.
The 49ers’ head coach Kyle Shanahan is one of the youngest coaches in the entire NHL. He took over the team in a mess. He had the same responsibilities as Jeremy Colliton does now.
Shanahan coaches an organization that has a lot of history behind them. They’ve had many Hall of Famers and have won five Super Bowls. The fans expect nothing but the best out of them. They built a dynasty in the 1980-90s, as the Blackhawks have during the 2010s.
Colliton coaches an organization that has had recent success. The Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups during the last decade. Colliton takes over from Joel Quenneville, who is a legendary coach. The expectations from Blackhawks’ fans is winning Stanley Cups. That is the exact same expectation the 49er fans have out of Shanahan.