Last night Gary Bettman the commissioner of the NHL got his usual boos as he walked onto the ice to present the Blackhawks with their third Stanley Cup Championship in the past six years. As he proceeded to salute the teams and their players, he issued a statement that the City of Chicago must’ve loved to hear, he claimed that they most assuredly had a dynasty on their hands. Three championships in six years does seem to be dominant, and the heads of the team are some of the best players at their positions in the primes of their careers. Duncan Keith was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for his cyborg like minutes, and then captain Jonathan Toews was given the first chance at hoisting the cup because of his status. The dagger was put home via Patrick Kane’s first of the series with a little over five minutes left in the game and the UC was rocking.
The Blackhawks are a great team, they were by far and away the best team of this season and there’s no reason to think that the run will stop anytime soon considering the information previously mentioned. Yes the Blackhawks have some cap constraints that could force them to lose a player like Brent Seabrook or Patrick Sharp, but those players are merely assistants to the superstars that inhabit the Hawks locker room nightly. The problem with asserting that Chicago’s a dynasty is that there’s a team in Los Angeles that has had equal success minus one championship while being triumphant over Chicago just last year.
The Los Angeles Kings are as deep and as skilled as the Blackhawks in addition to having the best goaltender in the world when he’s on his game. Brian Sutter has not only faced Joel Quenneville in a playoff series, but he’s bested him. Players like Anze Kopitar and Dustin Drown are equally as dominant at times as Toews and Kane. The Drew Doughty versus Duncan Keith comparison needn’t be discussed because there’s no discussion to be had. Jonathan Quick is a better goaltender than Corey Crawford, and that’s not taking anything away from Crawford who was phenomenal in this finals much like he was after the Nashville series. Surprisingly it was announced that Keith was a unanimous decision for the Playoff MVP hardware.
I’m not taking anything away from the Blackhawks, as a lifelong Bruins fan I’m envious of the team and it’s fanbase for the success it’s currently enjoying. However Gary Bettman may have been pandering to the raucous crowd by anointing them a dynasty with still half a decade to go. If Chicago repeats or wins a couple more championships before the decade is over then the moniker will be appropriate. However there are still teams out there that have won championships. The next four years of hockey should be fabulous with all teams now gunning for the franchise that clearly has the mark on their backs as being the best in the sport. The power of the sport clearly resides in the Western Conference and it doesn’t look like it’ll change anytime soon. The Hawks did it a different way this year. They had the underachieving success in the regular season and thus had to go on the road for three of the four series they were victorious in. Even winning a game seven on the road after trailing 3-2 in a series.
For the next week or so the streets will be buzzing with elation over just how good this team is and how good it can be in the coming years. Hats off to a phenomenal organization.