The Chicago Blackhawks are about to face off against the Carolina Hurricanes three times in a row. There is a good chance the Hawks walk away from that with no points and lose out on their little chance of making the playoffs. So, going into it I think it is important to remember what the best team in NHL history looked like during a shortened season.
The Chicago Blackhawks finished the shortened 2012-13 season with a record of 36-7-5. They record 77 points that season and were the president trophy winners on the season. They would go on to win the Stanley Cup and had so many key players in the organization at that time.
Their lineup included players like Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Patrick Kane, Andrew Shaw, Bryan Bickell, Brandon Saad, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and so many other amazing players. This team was so good that when the game was tied during game six of the Stanley Cup final they put their fourth line out there.
Joel Quenneville made that hockey team an army capable of scoring goals at will while also defending any lead tossed at them. They were so good they started the season a perfect 21-0-3 before losing to the Avalanche in March of that season.
The 2013 Blackhawks is the best team during a shortened season and it is not even a close call.
This season presents a similar shortened schedule. In 2013 they played 48 games because of a lockout, this season they are only playing 56 games. Last time, the NHL limited play to just teams within your own conference, while this time things are limited to individual divisions. That means that the first time we are going to see Carolina play a team like Toronto is going to be the “Conference” Finals.
Carolina might lead the league with 75 points, and they do have a very good chance at picking up six in the next week, but at the end of the day, no team is as good as that 2013 Hawks roster.
I am interested in seeing how the standings end up shaking out, as the current point leaders in each division are:
Carolina – 75
Vegas – 74
Pittsburgh – 71
Toronto – 71
Those are the top teams in each division, but it is worth noting that both Florida and Tampa Bay are at 73 points as well on the year. So there is still a chance that Carolina is not the top team in the Central.
With the playoffs scheduled to start within the next couple of weeks, I cannot wait for some playoff hockey again – even if the Blackhawks are not going to be involved.