The Lightning Could Learn A Thing Or Two From The Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews #19, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Toews #19, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks have always been a great team come playoff time with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The Tampa Bay Lightning could learn a thing or two from the old Blackhawks team.

The Chicago Blackhawks went on a great run winning three championships in six seasons. Their last championship came against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team currently competing in the Stanley Cup Final. The Lightning have seen the Blackhawks win up close and personal, and if they plan to lift the Stanley Cup they need to start playing like the Blackhawks.

Since 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks are 18-6 in elimination games when counting this past seasons playoff run. The ‘Hawks have been one great team with their leaders in Toews and Kane, and while they might not be the best anymore, there still is a lot of great to look back on.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are one win away from winning their first Stanley Cup with players like Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. While they have struggled with some injuries throughout the entire playoff run, they have kept finding ways to win the games they need to win. I have to hand it to the Lightning for being in this position despite all the injuries they have had.

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Elimination games have been the Lightning’s kryptonite thus far though. In the past two rounds, they have lost two games fives when they were up 3-1. Ending a series one game early is a blessing, and even though both of these matchups took double OT to end in the opponent’s favor, Tampa needs to be better in elimination games.

This past game five against Dallas also featured a game where the Lightning had a two to one lead in the third period. The ‘Hawks in 2015 were a team that never lost a game when leading after two periods. Tampa Bay might win their Stanley Cup tonight, but only if they can be better defensively when the game is on the line late in the game.

Personally, I have been enjoying watching the Stanley Cup Finals. While I wish the Blackhawks were actually at a level where they could be in the finals, watching this has reminded me a lot of the old Blackhawks team.

Tampa Bay has so many stars on their roster that it reminds me of how elite Chicago was back during their 2010-2015 run. Plus, former Chicago Blackhawk “star” defenseman Jan Rutta has a chance to win his first Stanley Cup on Tampa’s blue line. Rutta has been paired with Victor Hedman a lot these playoffs and has played an average of 17:47 a night.

Should Tampa win the Cup tonight, Rutta will join a list of players like Trevor Daley and Michal Kempny to win Stanley Cups after getting traded by Stan Bowman.