Tag - Patrick Kane

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The Chicago Blackhawks Add a Third Stanley Cup to Impressive Dynasty
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Only the Strongest Remain in the 2015 NHL Playoffs

The Chicago Blackhawks Add a Third Stanley Cup to Impressive Dynasty

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Whether you’re a die-hard NHL fan or a casual spectator, it’s guaranteed you at least know about the recent hockey powerhouse known as the Chicago Blackhawks. After the strange and somewhat oxymoronic occurrence of a Florida team being their opponent in the 2015 Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks took home their third championship in the past six years.

In the nail-biting 2015 Stanley Cup Finals, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning played an unforgettable six game series. Although Chicago took the lead quickly, winning the first game of the series in Tampa Bay, it quickly became tied with the Lightning clinching Game Two. While Chicago lost Game Three on their home rink, they bounced back to show dominance winning the next three games and the series 4-2. There are few things sweeter than winning a Championship title at home in front of your fans, and that’s just what the Blackhawks managed to do for the first time in 77 years on Game Six. With Duncan Keith scoring the first goal, the Blackhawks began to set themselves up for victory. When Patrick Kane shot one into the net in the third, Chicago could taste the victory already, but the team worked for that championship every second of the game. With this win, the Chicago Blackhawks began to hear the words “dynasty” circle around as they proudly hoisted up the shiny coveted Stanley Cup for the fans to see.

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What the Blackhawks have built in the past decade is something not many Hockey teams can claim. With six Stanley Cup titles in franchise history, Chicago is tied with Boston for second most titles won by an NHL organization. Even more impressive is the turn around during the 2015 Stanley Cup series when the Blackhawks miraculously came back to win the cup in what looked like a series that the Tampa Bay Lightning was going to take with ease. But the bigger story here is the titles they continue to bring back to The Windy City since 2010. They have won three titles in the last six years (2015, 2013, and 2010); an remarkable feat for a franchise in any sport. Can sports fan truly call this the start of a dynasty or is it just luck? Can the Blackhawks make Chicago a Championship city?

After the Blackhawks brought home the Cup to Chicago, it was back to work for the champions. What makes them so strong are not just their Stanley Cup appearances or their come from behind attitude to win it all, it’s something more impressive and hard to deny. During the regular season, the Blackhawks average over 50% of score adjusted even strength shot attempts, something that consistently leaves them in the top five teams yearly, and serves as further proof of the power and skill this Chicago team has. During the 2014-2015 season alone, the Blackhawks scored 150 goals and allowed just 129 goals. This in partial to standout goalie Corey Crawford, but he alone is not carrying the team. The entire Chicago Blackhawks roster seems to have this winning thing down and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight as the team will resign at least five of their key performance players.

Considering all of Chicago’s glory in recent years, is this truly a dynasty? If it were up to the heads of the NHL, I think they would already be calling this power team the next greatest dynasty. But putting such a big title on a team could be disastrous, as has been noticed in other teams throughout sports. Could this dynasty just be luck? Could it be a similar situation to the Miami Heat’s short-lived dynasty that crumbled when players began to be traded to other teams? Perhaps it is, but only time will be able to tell. Until that time comes, Chicago will bask in the glory of being a Championship City, something it hasn’t been able to do for any other sport for quite some time. They have a powerhouse hockey dynasty in their presence and no city can take that away from them just yet.

Only the Strongest Remain in the 2015 NHL Playoffs

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The 2015 NHL Postseason began on Wednesday, April 15th and since the race to the Stanley Cup got underway, hockey fans have witness shocking upsets as well as the complete domination of teams. In the first round of the playoffs, two exciting match-ups went to seven games while only the Anaheim Ducks were able to blowout the Winnipeg Jets. Forget the entertainment provided during the regular season because the best has yet to come as the NHL playoffs wrap up the second round and enters the Conference Finals.

The Anaheim Ducks finished with the number one seed in the Western Conference Pacific for a first round match-up against the Winnipeg Jets, the five seed in the Central division. Unfortunately for the Jets, the Ducks continued on their spree of dominance and eliminated Winnipeg with a series win of four games to none. Led by right wing Corey Perry and centerman Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim is nearly unstoppable, especially with these two players leading the postseason in total points scored with 14 points and 12 points respectively. The other three first round match-ups in the Western Conference all ended in six games and featured some exciting performances. Pitting fellow foes from the Pacific region against each other, Vancouver faced off against Calgary, but despite the Canucks higher record coming into the playoffs, the Flames came out victorious. The Minnesota Wild finished fourth in the Central division during the regular season but put on a very impressive performance and took down the St. Louis Blues who were ranked number one in the same division. Chicago finished just under the Nashville Predators in the Central division but that didn’t stop the Blackhawks from advancing to round two. Led by All-Star Patrick Kane, the Chicago Blackhawks are an extremely dangerous team that is in search of their second Stanley Cup in three seasons and secured another trip to the Western Conference Final to face off against the Anaheim Ducks.

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Meanwhile in the Eastern Conference, both match-up featuring the Tampa Bay Lightning versus the Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals against the New York Islanders took the first round to seven games. Although center Tyler Johnson for Tampa Bay had a terrific series, Braydon Coburn and Anton Stralman recorded one goal each in the final game to give the Lightning a 2 to 0 victory for a trip to the second round. The New York Islanders haven’t won a first round playoff match-up in the last 22 years, but the Washington Capitals were merciless as their opponents faced what seemed to be an inevitable fate. Game 7 was tied 1 to 1 in the third period but Evgeny Kuznetsov came up clutch and scored the game winning goal with seven minutes and 18 seconds remaining to keep the Capitals postseason hopes alive. As for the rest of the East, the Montreal Canadiens outlasted the Ottawa Senators in six games and the New York Rangers easily eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins in five. Centerman Derick Brassard and left wing Rick Nash both came up with big performances for the Rangers to help them advance to the second round.

Round 2 of the NHL Playoffs is coming to a close with the two Western Conference contenders set and two Eastern Conference teams on the verge of victory. With the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks easily advancing to the Conference Championship, hockey fans are in for a real treat with a match-up between two dominant contenders, while the Tampa Bay Lightning hopes to keep its lead alive entering Game 6 against the Montreal Canadiens and a Game 7 tie-breaker will leave either the New York Rangers or the Washington Capitals a Stanley Cup hopeful and crush championship dreams of the other. All four teams that will advance to the semifinals will be comprised of the best and most talented athletes on the ice, so the competition in the NHL is going to get even hotter as the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals rapidly approach.

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