NHL: 3 Reasons Why the Chicago Blackhawks Are Stanley Cup Favorites
After Tuesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks, the Chicago Blackhawks tied the record for the longest point streak to start a season. The Blackhawks (13-0-3) earned their third consecutive win and joined the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks as the only teams to record at least one point in the first 16 games of a season. The Ducks got off to a 12-0-4 start that year. With that said, here are three reasons why the Chicago Blackhawks are Stanley Cup Favorites.
History is on Their Side
As mentioned earlier, the Chicago Blackhawks are the first team to record points in the first 16 games of the season since the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks. That same year, the Ducks went on to win the Stanley Cup that year. Granted that was a full 82-game season as opposed to the shorten 48-game season, but still it’s a stat that cannot be ignored.
Core Players Have Stanley Cup Experience
The Chicago Blackhawks won a Stanley Cup during the 2009-10 season. Currently, nine players on the current roster won a Stanley Cup with that team. That includes captain Jonathan Toews, assistant captains Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook, Bryan Bickell, Dave Bolland, Marian Hossa and Niklas Hjalmarsson. It helps having experience guys in the locker-room to help guide younger players (Nick Leddy, Marcus Kruger, Brandon Saad, etc.) through the up and downs of the Stanley Cup playoffs especially when nine guys won a Stanley Cup three years ago.
Remember when the Blackhawks and Roberto Luongo were interested in each other? It lit a fire underneath current goaltenders Corey Crawford and Ray Emery, both of whom have been playing great shutdown hockey. Crawford, is currently 7-0-3 with a 1.65 GAA and .935 save percentage. Emery, who is the backup to Crawford, has played equally well. Emery has not lost a game in six starts and has a 2.27 GGA and .925 save percentage. Sure, I don’t think these two will keep playing like this, but considering how Crawford played last year in the playoffs (2 wins, 2.58 GAA and .893 save percentage) it’s nice to see him bouncing back especially at such a high and consistent level, which has made him and early Vezina candidate.
Photo Courtesy: Blackhawks.com