1926/27: With the folding of the Western Hockey League, Frederic McLaughlin purchases the Portland Rosebuds moving them to Chicago to play in the NHL. The team, which became known as the Black Hawks first, took the ice on November 17th whey they beat the Toronto St. Patricks at the Chicago Coliseum 4-1. The Hawks would go on to finish in third place in the American Division with a record of 19-22-3. However, in the playoffs, they would be dominated 10-5 in a Total Goal Series against the Boston Bruins.
1927/28: In their second season, the Black Hawks would take their lumps, as they allowed a league-high 134 goals on the way to a league-worst 7-34-3 record.
1928/29: The Black Hawks struggles continue as they score the fewest goals with 33 and allow the most at 85 while finishing with the worst record in the NHL again at 7-29-8.
1929/30: On December 15th, the Black Hawks play their first game at Chicago Stadium, one of the premier indoor facilities in the world, built at the cost of $7,000,000, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1. The new arena had a positive effect on the Black Hawks as they win more than their previous two seasons combined, finishing in second place with a 21-18-5 record. In the playoffs, they would fall in overtime of Game 2 in a total goal series 3-2.
1930/31: In their second season in Chicago Stadium, the Black Hawks continue to improve finishing in second place with a solid 24-17-3 record. In the playoffs, the Black Hawks experience success for the first time as they reach the finals for the first time by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers in Total Goal Series. In the finals, the Black Hawks would set an NHL record in Game 2 as 18,000 fans packed Chicago Stadium to see the Hawks beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in overtime to even the series up. As the series moved to Montreal, the Hawks to a 2-1 series lead with another win in Overtime, but in the end, the Habs would prove too strong winning the last two games to claim the Stanley Cup.
1931/32: Despite a losing record at 18-19-11, the Black Hawks make the playoffs for the third year in a row by finishing in second place. However, in the playoffs, they would get blown away by the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2 in a Total Goal Series.
1932/33: The Black Hawks host the first afternoon game in the history of the NHL, losing to the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 at Chicago Stadium on March 19th. Losses seemed to be a habit all season for the Hawks as they finished in last place with a 16-20-12 record.
1933/34: The Black Hawks rebound off their disappointing last-place season by finishing in second place with a 20-17-11 record. In the playoffs, they would stun the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in a total goal series winning in overtime at The Montreal Forum. Staying in Montreal, the Hawks would make the finals by blowing apart the Maroons 6-2 in another goal series. In the finals, the Black Hawks would get off to a fast start as they limit the Detroit Red Wings to two goals in the first two games. Goalie Chuck Gardiner suffers a broken nose in Game 3 as the Wings exploded for five goals. However, Gardiner would return in Game 4 and blanked the Red Wings until Harold Marsh scored the game-winner at 30:05 over overtime, giving the Black Hawks their first Stanley Cup. However, the joy would be short-lived as playoff hero Chuck Gardiner died of a brain tumor, at the age of 29 just two months after sipping form the Stanley Cup.
1934/35: Coming off their first Stanley Cup, the Black Hawks finish in second place with a solid 26-17-5 record, missing their first Division title by just one point. However, in the playoffs, the Black Hawks would be blanked 1-0 by the Montreal Maroons led by Tommy Gorman, who a year earlier led the Hawks to the Cup.
1935/36: The Black Hawks put together another respectable playoff season s they finish in third place with a 21-19-8 record. However, in the playoffs, they would lose 7-5 shoot out to the New York Americans.
1936/37: The Black Hawks take the ice in the final games of the season, with a team made up exclusively of American Born players after they struggled mightily all season finishing in last place with a terrible 14-27-7 record.
1937/38: The Black Hawks continue to struggle, finishing with a 14-25-9 record. However, by finishing in third place, they sneak into the playoffs. In the first round, the Black Hawks would stun the Montreal Candies in three games taking the series finale in overtime 2-1. In the semifinals, the Hawks continued to play their best hockey as they beat the New York Americans in a three-game series. Already the worst team ever to make the finals, the Black Hawks faced the playoffs without their star goalie Mike Karakas, who broke his toe. To replace him, the Hawks sign Americans goalie Alfie Moore, who backstops a 3-1 win over the Maple Leafs in Toronto for Game 1. However, Moore would not be allowed to play in any more games as NHL commissioner ruled him ineligible. After minor league goalie Paul Goodman allowed five goals in a Game 2 loss, Karakas returned with a steel-capped boot. Karakas would allow just two goals in the final two games as the Black Hawks claimed their second Stanley Cup. On the roster for the Black Hawks were a Stanley Cup record eight American born players (Carl Dahlstrom, Roger Jenkins, Virgil Johnson, Mike Karakas, Alex Levinsky, Elwin “Doc” Romnes, Louis Trudel and Carl Voss).
1938/39: Coming off their stunning run to a Stanley Championship, the Black Hawks crash back to reality, finishing in last place with a terrible 12-28-8 record.
1939/40: After a terrible season, the Black Hawks make it back into the playoffs by finishing in fourth place with a 23-19-6 record. Getting into the playoffs, the Hawks traveled in style, becoming the first NHL team to fly to a game. However, their round trip was unrewarding as they are swept in two straight games by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
1940/41: The Black Hawks make the playoffs for the second straight season despite a terrible 16-25-7 record. Along the way, goalie Sam LoPresti sets an NHL record with 80 saves in a 3-2 loss to the Bruins on March 4th. LoPresti would make history again when he is pulled for an extra skater, the first time that now common strategy was used in an NHL game. In the playoffs, the Black Hawks would knock off the Montreal Canadiens in 3 games before being swept by the Detroit Red Wings in two straight games in the semifinals.
1941/42: The Black Hawks continue to play sub-.500 hockey but make the playoffs with a 22-23-3 record. Once in the playoffs, it would be a quick exit as they fall to the Boston Bruins in a three-game series.
1942/43: With the NHL reduced to six teams, making the playoffs is made harder, and the Black Hawks are on the outside looking in fishing in fifth place with a 17-18-15 record.
1943/44: On February 20th, the Chicago Black Hawks and Toronto Maple Leafs play the only scoreless, penalty-free game in NHL history. The game, handled by referee Bill Chadwick, took just an hour and 55 minutes to play. The Hawks would go on to make the playoffs by finishing in fourth place with a 23-23-5 record. In the playoffs, the Black Hawks would stun the Detroit Red Wings in five games to make the Finals. However, in the finals, the Black Hawks would go down quickly as the Montreal Canadiens sweep them in four straight games.
1944/45: Tragedy strikes the Black Hawks when founder Frederic McLaughlin dies. On the ice, the Hawks would struggle as they finish in fifth place with a terrible 13-30-7 record.
1945/46: With Max Bentley capturing the scoring title and the Hart Trophy, the Black Hawks finish in third place with a record of 23-20-7. However, in the playoffs, the Hawks would be swept in four straight games by the Montreal Canadiens while being outscored 26-7.
1946/47: Despite Max Bentley winning his second straight scoring title, the Black Hawks struggle all season, allowing an NHL high 274 goals while finishing in last place with a 19-37-4 record.
1947/48: Max Bentley scores the game-winning goal in the first official All-Star Game on October 13th. Less then a month into the season, he would be dealt away to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Gus Bodnar, Gaye Stewart, Bob Goldham, Bud Poile, and Ernie Dickens. Without Bentley, the Hawks would finish in last place with a 20-34-6 record.
1948/49: The Black Hawks escape last place but can’t make into the playoffs as they finish in fifth place with a 21-31-8 record.
1949/50: The Black Hawks’ struggles continue as they finish in last place for the third time in four years with a 22-38-10 record.
1950/51: The Black Hawks continue to be the worst team in the NHL as they miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year while finishing in last place again with a horrendous 13-47-10 record.
1951/52: The lone highlight of another otherwise awful year comes on March 23rd when Bill Mosienko scores three goals in 21 seconds against the New York Rangers. In the end, the Black Hawks would finish in last place again with a 17-44-9 record.
1952/53: The Black Hawks are sold to a group led by James D. Norris Jr. and Arthur M. Wirtz before the start of the season. The Hawks show immediate dividends making the playoffs for the first time in six years with a record of 27-28-15. In the playoffs, they would give the Montreal Canadiens all they could handle leading after five games. However, the Habs would outscore the Hawks 7-1 in the final two games and would go on to win the Stanley Cup.
1953/54: The Black Hawks crash back down to reality, finishing in last place again with a horrendous 12-51-7 record. Along the way to the worst record in franchise history, the Hawks score the fewest and allow the most goals in the NHL.
1954/55: Tommy Ivan is named the team’s new General Manager, but the struggles continue for the Black Hawks, who finish in last place again with a 13-40-17 record.
1955/56: The Black Hawks continue to be a dreadful team finishing in last place for the third straight season with a 19-39-12 record.
1956/57: The Black Hawks continue to reside in the NHL cellar finishing below 20 wins for the sixth time in seven years with a record of 16-39-15.
1957/58: Glenn Hall and Bobby Hull make their Chicago debuts as the Black Hawks escape last place. Once again, they would miss the playoffs with a record of 24-39-7.
1958/59: The improvement of the Black Hawks continues as they make the playoffs for the first time in six years with a third Place 28-29-13 record, as Stan Mikita makes his debut. However, in the playoffs, the young Hawks would be clipped by the Montreal Canadiens in six games.
1959/60: For the first time in 18 years, the Black Hawks make the playoffs in consecutive seasons by finishing in 3rd place with a record of 28-29-13. Once again, in the playoffs, they are taken out quickly by the Montreal Canadiens, this time falling in four straight games.
1960/61: For the first time in 15 years, the Black Hawks finish the regular season with a winning record, finishing in third place with a record of 29-24-17. In the first round, the Black Hawks were once again matched up against the Montreal Canadiens, who were seeking their sixth straight Stanley Cup. However, this time it would be different as Glenn Hall blanked the Habs in the final two games as the Hawks reached the finals in six games. In the Finals, the Black Hawks get off to a fast start as Bobby Hull scored two goals in a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1. After four games, the series was tied at two games apiece, when Stan Mikita blew open Game 5 late, as the Black Hawks took a 6-3 win. With all the momentum on their side, the Hawks would win Game 6 going away to claimed their 3rd Stanley Cup Championship and first since 1938.
1961/62: Coming off their Stanley Cup Championship, the Black Hawks again put together a solid season finishing in third place with a record of 31-26-13. In the playoffs, the Hawks would reach the finals for the second straight season by uprooting the Montreal Canadiens in six games. However, in the finals, the Black Hawks would fall to the Toronto Maple Leafs in six games despite a spectacular series from Stan Mikita, who set a record for points in a playoff season.
1962/63: Glenn Hall’s record 502 consecutive games in goal streak comes to an end as he misses an early-season game with a pinched nerve. However, it would only be a temporary set back as Hall takes the Vezina Trophy as the Black Hawks finish in second place with a 32-21-17 record. However, in the playoffs, they would be stunned in seven games by the Detroit Red Wings, losing the final two games by a combined score of 11-4.
1963/64: The Black Hawks come within one point of their first Division Title in franchise history as they finish in second place with a solid record of 36-22-12. In the playoffs, the Hawks are knocked off by the Detroit Red Wings for the second year in a row falling in six games.
1964/65: Stan Mikita wins the league scoring title, but Bobby Hull is singles out as the MVP, winning his first Hart Trophy as the Black Hawks finish in 3rd Place with a record of 34-28-8. In the playoffs, the Black Hawks finally solve the Detroit Red Wings rallying form a 3-2 to deficit to reach the finals in seven games. However, in the finals, the Hawks would fall to the Montreal Canadiens in seven games, as they were unable to win a game in Montreal in a series in which the home team won all seven games.
1965/66: Bobby Hull wins his second straight Hart Trophy while capturing the league’s scoring title as the Black Hawks finish in second place with a solid record of 37-25-8. However, in the playoffs, the Hawks would be tripped up by the Detroit Red Wings in six games.
1966/67: Stan Mikita captures the scoring title and the Hart Trophy as the Black Hawks finish in first place for the first time in franchise history, with a record of 41-17-12. However, in the playoffs, the Hawks would be buried by the Toronto Maple Leafs in six games.
1967/68: Even with Glenn Hall departing for the expansion St. Louis Blues, the Black Hawks make the playoffs by finishing in fourth place with a record of 32-26-16 as Stan Mikita claims his second straight Hart Trophy while winning the scoring title. In the playoffs, the Black Hawks would beat the New York Rangers in six games before falling to the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Finals in five games.
1968/69: The Black Hawks string of nine straight playoff appearances comes to an end as they finish in last place with a record of 34-33-9. Following the season, the Hawks would claim Goalie Tony Esposito off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens for $25,000, in the hopes he could fill the void left behind by Glenn Hall.
1969/70: Bobby Hull scores his 500th career goal as Tony Esposito wins the Vezina and Calder Trophies during a season in which the Black Hawks finish with a league-best 45-229 record. In the playoffs the Hawks would make quick work of the Detroit Red Wings, sweeping them in four straight games. However, in the Eastern Finals, the Hawks would be swept by the Boston Bruins in four consecutive games.
1970/71: Realignment sees the Chicago Black Hawks moved to the Western Division. Playing a division made up mainly of recent expansion teams, the Black Hawks win easily with a record of 49-20-9. In the first round, the Hawks would win easily as they swept the Philadelphia Flyers in four straight games. However, in the semifinals, the Hawks need all they could muster to knock off the New York Rangers in a hard-fought seven-game war. In the finals, the Hawks found themselves in another battle against the Montreal Canadiens. All looked bright when they jumped out to a 2-0 lead at home in Game 7. However, Henri Richard would score to goals as the Canadiens rallied to take the cup with a 3-2 win.
1971/72: The Black Hawks win their second straight Division Title with a record of 46-17-15. In the playoffs, the Hawks again appeared to be flying high as they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in four consecutive games. However, in the semifinals, they would end up being the ones swept by the New York Rangers. Following the season, Bobby Hull would stun the Black Hawks and the NHL when he signs a contract with the Winnipeg team in the upstart WHA, which even goes as far as to name the team Jets after him.
1972/73: Despite the loss of Bobby Hull, the Black Hawks remain the power in the West, winning their third straight Division title with a record of 42-27-9. In the playoffs, the Hawks would play even better as they reached the finals by knocking off the St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers in a five-game series. However, in the finals, the Black Hawks would be done in again by the Montreal Canadiens, who claim the Stanley Cup in six games.
1973/74: The Black Hawks top the 100-point mark but settle for second place with a solid record of 41-14-23. In the playoffs, the Black Hawks would reach the semifinals again by crowing the Los Angeles Kings in 5 games. However, in the semis, they would be beaten by the Boston Bruins in six games.
1974/75: Under a new four-division format, the Black Hawks are placed in the Smythe Division. The Hawks would make the playoffs by finishing in third place with a 37-35-8 record. In the playoffs, the Hawks would overcome an 8-2 loss in Game to beat the Boston Bruins in three games. However, in the second round, the Hawks would be knocked off by the Buffalo Sabres in five games.
1975/76: The Black Hawks capture the Smythe Division with a record of 32-30-18. However, in the playoffs, they would be swept in four straight games by the Montreal Canadiens after a first-round bye.
1976/77: The Black Hawks acquire Bobby Orr before the season, with the hopes the aging star could help improve their defense. Meanwhile, Stan Mikita scores his 500th career goal as the Black Hawks make the playoffs while finishing in third place despite a terrible 26-43-11 record. In the playoffs, it would be a quick exit as they fall to the New York Islanders in two straight games.
1977/78: The Black Hawks win the Smythe Division for the second time in three years with a record of 32-29-19. However, after a first-round bye, the Hawks would be swept in four straight games by the Boston Bruins.
1978/79: Despite a poor 29-36-15 record, the Black Hawks win a weak Smythe Division. However, in the playoffs would come a dose of reality as they are swept in four straight games by the New York Islanders. The sweep was the Black Hawks’ 16th consecutive loss in the playoffs, establishing a professional sports record that has yet to be broken.
1979/80: The Black Hawks win the Smythe Division for the third year in a row with a record of 34-27-19. In the playoffs, the Hawks would finally end their losing streak as they sweep the St. Louis Blues in three straight games in the first round. In the second round, the Black Hawks would feel the wrath of the broom again as they are swept in four consecutive games by the Buffalo Sabres. Following the season, Stan Mikita would retire, ending a 23-year career.
1980/81: The Black Hawks make the playoffs again by finishing in second place with a record of 31-33-16. However, in the playoffs, they would be burnt by the Calgary Flames in three straight games.
1981/82: With realignment, the Black Hawks are moved to the Norris Division, as they make the playoffs with a fourth-place finishing and a 30-38-12 record. In the first round, the Hawks would stun the first-place Minnesota North Stars three games to one. In the Norris Final, the Hawks again would rise to the occasion as they beat the St. Louis Blues in six games. In the Campbell Conference Finals, the Hawks would be knocked off by the Vancouver Canucks in five games.
1982/83: The Black Hawks don’t wait until the playoffs to get hot as they win the Norris Division easily with a record of 47-23-10. In the playoffs, the Hawks again would dominate the Norris as they reach the Campbell Finals by beating the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota North Stars losing just one game in each series. Once again, the Hawks would slip in the Campbell Finals, falling to the Edmonton Oilers in four straight games.
1983/84: Despite a mediocre 30-42-8 record, the Black Hawks make the playoffs by finishing in fourth place. In the playoffs, the Black Hawks would not go down easily as they fought the Minnesota North Stars al the way to Game 5 before losing 4-1.
1984/85: The Black Hawks make the playoffs for the 16th year in a row by finishing in second place with a record of 38-35-7. In the playoffs, the Black Hawks would sweep the Detroit Red Wings, scoring 23 goals in three games. In the Norris Finals, the Hawks and Minnesota North Stars would light up the scoreboard scoring a combined 62 goals in six games as the Black Hawks won the last three games in overtime to win the series. However, in the Campbell Conference Finals, the Hawks would fall to the Edmonton Oilers in six games.
1985/86: The Black Hawks win the Norris Division regular season by finishing with a record of 39-33-8. In the playoffs, they would be stunned by the Toronto Maple Leafs in three games. Following the season in a move that only effected merchandise and publications, the Black Hawks remove the space in their name and become the Blackhawks.
1986/87: The Blackhawks have to scramble to keep their 18-year playoff streak alive as they finish in third place with a record of 23-37-14 avoiding last place by just two points. In the playoffs, the Hawks would make a quick exit as they are swept in four straight games by the Detroit Red Wings.
1987/88: Despite a mediocre 30-41-9 record, the Blackhawks make the playoffs by finishing in third place. In the playoffs, it would be another quick exit as the St. Louis Blues beat them in five games.
1988/89: Despite an awful 27-41-12 record, the Blackhawks make the playoffs by finishing in fourth place in the weak Norris Division. However, in the playoffs, the Blackhawks would raise their level of play as they stun the Detroit Red Wings in six games. Staying hot in the Norris Finals, the Hawks would beat the St. Louis Blues in five games. However, the Blackhawks Cup dreams would end up in ashes as the Calgary Flames defeat them in five games.
1989/90: The Blackhawks would play consistent hockey all season as they win the Norris Division with a record of 41-33-6. In the playoffs, the Hawks would barely survive a seven-game war with the last place Minnesota North Stars. In the Norris Final, the Hawks would need seven games again as they beat the St. Louis Blues. However, in the Campbell Conference finals, they would be slipped up by the Edmonton Oilers in six games.
1990/91: With rookie Eddie Belfour winning the Calder and Vezina Trophies, the Blackhawks win the President’s Trophy for the best record in the NHL at 49-23-8. However, in the playoffs, the Hawks would be stunned by the Minnesota North Stars in six games.
1991/92: The Black Hawks make the playoffs for the 23rd straight season as they finish in second place with a record of 36-29-15. In the playoffs, the Blackhawks would get past the St. Louis Blues in six games, winning the last three games to start a playoff winning streak. The streak would continue through the Norris Finals as they swept the Detroit Red Wings in four straight games. The streak would reach 11 as they beat the Edmonton Oilers in four straight to reach the Finals. However, the streak would come to an end in the Finals as they blow a 3rd period lead in Game 1 at home to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins would go on to win the next three games to complete the sweep to win their second straight Stanley Cup.
1992/93: Ed Belfour becomes just the fifth goalie to post a 40-win season as the Blackhawks win the Norris Division with a record of 47-25-12. However, in the playoffs, the Hawks would be stunned in the first round as they are swept in four straight games by the St. Louis Blues.
1993/94: In the Final season at Chicago Stadium, the Blackhawks make the playoffs for the 25th straight season by finishing in fourth place in the Central Division with a record of 39-36-9. In the playoffs, it would be another quick exit as the Toronto Maple Leafs bury the Blackhawks in six games.
1994/95: The debut of the Blackhawks at state of the art United Center is delayed until January 25th by a lockout. However, for the sellout crowd of 20,536, it was worth the wait as the Blackhawks defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-1. In the playoffs, the Blackhawks would survive a tough seven-game series against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round. In the second round, the Hawks would sweep the Vancouver Canucks in four straight games. However, they needed three wins in overtime to do so. In the Western Conference Finals, the Blackhawks playoff run would come to an end as the Detroit Red Wings beat them in five games.
1995/96: The Blackhawks would put together another solid regular season, finishing in second place with a record of 40-28-14. In the playoffs, the Blackhawks would quickly extinguish the Calgary Flames in four straight. In the second round, they would be buried by the Colorado Avalanche in six games.
1996/97: The Blackhawks would make the playoffs for 28th year in a row by finishing with the eighth seed in fifth place with a record of 34-35-13, as star goalie Eddie Belfour is traded away after a fall out with management. However, it would be a quick exit as the Colorado Avalanche beats them in six games.
1997/98: The Blackhawks 28-year playoff streak comes to an end as they finish in fifth place with a record of 30-39-13. The streak falls just one year short of the Bruins record streak of 29 years.
1998/99: The Blackhawks struggles continue as they miss the playoffs for the second straight year by finishing in third place in the newly realigned Central Division with a record of 29-40-12.
1999/00: After 28 years of playoff hockey, the Blackhawks can’t seem to get back into the postseason as they miss the playoffs for the third year in a row with a record of 33-39-10-2.
2000/01: In one of the most embarrassing seasons in Blackhawks history, the team misses the playoffs for the fourth year in a row finishing tied with expansion Columbus Blue Jackets in points with an awful record of 29-40-8-5.
2001/02: With new coach Brian Sutter and the emergence of stars like Eric Daze, the Blackhawks reemerge as a playoff contender as they finish in third place with a record of 41-27-13-1. However, in the playoffs, the Blackhawks would make a quick exit as they fall to the St. Louis Blues in five games. Making matters worse is that Captain Tony Amonte is allowed to walk away as a Free Agent.
2002/03: A year after making the playoffs for the first time in five years the Blackhawks returned to mediocrity and missed the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years posting a record of 30-33-13-6, as the loss of Tony Amonte was felt hard by the team who lacked a proven goal scorer. Meanwhile, the signing of Theo Fleury would blow up in the Hawks face as the erratic former All-Star played in just 54 games before being suspended for substance abuse.
2003/04: Early on, the Blackhawks played competitive hockey with a 6-5-3-0 record on November 7th. However, Goalie Jocelyn Thibault would be lost for the season with a hip injury, and the season would go straight downhill as they went on a 14 game winless streak while winning just 6 of their next 40 games as they settled at the bottom of the Western Conference. As the season wore on, the Blackhawks began to focus on the future trading away Steve Sullivan and Captain Alexei Zhamnov at the deadline, as the Blackhawks finished dead last with a poor record of 20-43-11-8, which marked one of the worst seasons in Blackhawks history. Highlighting the embarrassing season was a game on February 29th when more hockey fans in Chicago went to see the Chicago Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers at the Allstate Arena, then to see the Blackhawks face the Florida Panthers.
2004/05: Season Cancelled Due to Lockout
2005/06: Following the Lockout, new General Manager Dale Tallon set about resurrecting the Blackhawks by signing free agent Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who won the Stanley Cup in 2004, and Defenseman Adrian Aucoin. However, both players were plagued by injuries, along with Eric Daze, who played just one game and contemplated retirement, as the Blackhawks remained down at the bottom of the Central Division Standings, as they started with a 3-8 October and never recovered. Once again, the Blackhawks would finish well out of the playoff chase as they finished in fourth place with a terrible 26-43-13, which was the third-worst record overall in the NHL. Following the season, the Blackhawks tried again to change the team with off-season moves, acquiring Martin Havlat and Brian Smolinski in a three-team deal with the Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks.
2006/07: The Blackhawks would once again get off to a slow start, as Martin Havlat, who made an immediate splash with seven goals in his first seven games before he got bit by the injury bug. As the Blackhawks again sat near the bottom of the Western Conference on November 26th with a record of 7-12-2, Coach Trent Yawney was fired. He was replaced by longtime fan-favorite Denis Savard, who would get off to a good start in his coaching career by winning his first three games. However, the problems the Blackhawks faced were not going to be fixed, only by a coaching team as a whole rebuilding effort top to bottom was still required. Once again, they were never a factor in the playoff chase, finishing in fourth place with a 31-42-9 record. However, the poor season would turn into good fortune as they won the draft lottery picking OHL Star Patrick Kane first overall.
2007/08: Before the start of the season, longtime Blackhawks President Bill Wirtz died at the age of 78 on September 26th after a battle with cancer. Unpopular with fans and media, his passing was treated as if he were Ebenezer Scrooge, as fans booed a moment of silence before the October 8th home opener. Wirtz had been nicknamed “Dollar Bill” for his frugal dealings regarding free agents as many blamed him for the Blackhawks’ futility, as his ownership group was named the were the worst franchise in sports by ESPN. In a sign, things were changing; the team’s new President Rocky Wirtz finally agreed to allow Blackhawks home games to air on local television, reversing a long-held policy from his father. Rocky Wirtz also welcomed back legendary players Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito as club ambassadors; the three had refused to have anything to do with the team, while Bill Wirtz was alive. On the ice rookie, Patrick Kane made an immediate impact averaging more than a point per game in his first month in the NHL, while Jonathan Toews, the Blackhawks 2006 first-round pick, also had a solid first month giving Blackhawks fans hope for the future for the first time in years. Toews and Kane played well early, each becoming early favorites for the Calder Trophy given to the league’s best rookie, as the Blackhawks posted a 14-9-2 record in the first two months of the season. In December, the Blackhawks began to stumble, losing six of seven games early in the month. However, with a four-game winning streak, they entered the New Year with a winning record of 19-15-3. On January 1st, the Blackhawks dynamic Rookie duo was broken up by injury as Jonathan Toews suffered a sprained knee that would sideline him nearly six weeks, as the Blackhawks struggled. The loss of Toews put the Blackhawks in a hole that again put them behind in the playoff chase, leading management to decide to trade several veterans down the stretch with the focus continuing to be on the future. Gone was their longest-tenured player, Tuomo Ruutu, to the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Andrew Ladd. At the same time, Martin LaPointe was dealt to the Ottawa Senators for a sixth-round draft pick. Despite the trades, the Blackhawks started to play better, as Toews returned from his injury and played strong, with Patrick Kane narrowly beating him out for the Calder Trophy. The Blackhawks fell just a few games short of making the playoffs with a 40-34-8 record that was viewed as something to build off.
2008/09: The Blackhawks continued to work on winning back their fans, by rehiring the popular Pat Foley as their play-by-play announcer, while placing several games on WGN, as all 82 games were scheduled to be on television and broadcast in high definition for the first time. They also were chosen to host the Detroit Red Wings in the Winter Classic to be played at Wrigley Field on January 1, 2009. On the ice, the Blackhawks stumbled in the first week leading to the quick dismissal of Coach Dennis Savard in favor of Joel Quenneville, a coach with respect throughout the league. The move would show its benefits in December as the Blackhawks won ten out of 12 games, losing just once in regulation as they went into their Wrigley Field showdown with a head of steam. However, the Red Wings would spoil the Blackhawks return to the NHL spotlight as they won the Winter Classic 6-4. However, it would be only a slight bump in the road as the Hawks continued to play solid hockey in January, on the way to ending their seven-year playoff drought by finishing in second place with a solid 46-24-12 record. Along the way, the fans returned as the team who five years earlier was being outdrawn by a nearby AHL team led the NHL in attendance with a total of 912,155, averaging of 22,247 fans per game. In their first playoff game against the Calgary Flames, the fans at the United Center were treated to a dramatic win as Martin Havlat tied the game 2-2, with just over five minutes to go in regulation and then won it overtime with a quick wrist shot only 12 seconds into the extra session. The Hawks would take a 2-0 lead led by two goals from Jonathan Toews as the Blackhawks overcame an early 2-0 deficit to win 3-2. After dropping the next two games in Calgary, the Blackhawks exploded in Game 5 using five different goal scorers to beat the Flames 5-1. The Hawks would go on to win the series in six games. In the second round against the Vancouver Canucks, the Blackhawks faced the prospect of falling behind three games to one, as they trailed 1-0 late in Game 4 at the United Center. Havlat provided the spark again, tying the game with less than three minutes left, as Andrew Ladd scored in overtime to even the series at two games apiece. Following a solid 4-2 win in Vancouver, the Blackhawks would use a hat trick from Patrick Kane in Game 6 to win 7-5 to reach the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1995. However, just like the Winter Classic, the Blackhawks’ dreams of reaching the Stanley Cup Finals would be ended by the Detroit Red Wings, who won the series in five games.
2009/10: After losing in the Western Conference Finals, the Blackhawks put all their energy in adding players to lift them over the top, as they acquired veterans Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopecky, John Madden, and Richard Petiot. Oversight of General Manager Dave Tallon saw the Hawks not offer offers to their restricted free agents before the deadline. The best of these players was Calder Finalist Kris Versteeg, who the Blackhawks were able to re-sign and avoid disaster. However, the Blackhawks were left with no flexibility with the salary cap. This would lead to Tallon, being replaced by Stan Bowman, the son of legendary coach Scotty Bowman, who was now the Blackhawks Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations. The Blackhawks began the season by getting a possible three out of four points in a two-game series with the Florida Panthers in Helsinki, Finland, as they got off to a solid 8-4-1 start. The Blackhawks would spend the entire season at or near the top of Western Conference season all season as they won their first division title since 1993 with a record of 52-22-8, earning the second seed in the West. Helping to pace the Blackhawks who also led the NHL in attendance was their 1-2 punch of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, who had strong seasons with 30 and 25 goals respectively to lead a balanced offensive attack that six players score 20 or more goals. This did not include Duncan Keith, who won the Norris Trophy as the best defensive player in the NHL while posting an impressive 55 assists. In the playoffs, the Blackhawks stumbled in their first game, suffering a lackluster 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators. In Game 2, the Blackhawks defense put forth a solid effort allowing just 23 shots as they evened the series with a 2-0 win. After suffering a 4-1 loss in Nashville in Game 3, the Blackhawks again needed a shutout from Antti Niemi to even the series with a 3-0 win. With the series even in Game 5, the Blackhawks faced a must-win at the United Center. However, late in the game, things looked bleak as they trailed the Predators 4-3 after allowing three straight goals after holding a 3-1 lead in the 2nd Period. Making matters worse, Marian Hossa took a major penalty and was in the box for five minutes as the Hawks desperately looked for the equalizer. With the season on the line, Patrick Kane tied the game with a shorthanded goal with Niemi on the bench for an extra attacker with 13.6 seconds left in regulation. In overtime, the Blackhawks would kill the remaining 3:57 on Hossa’s penalty, which ten seconds after leaving the penalty box scored the game-winner in a dramatic 5-4 win with assists by Brent Sopel and Dave Bolland. The Blackhawks would win the series in six games with a 5-3 win in Nashville. In the second round against the Vancouver Canucks, the Blackhawks again got off to a slow start losing the opener 5-1. The next three games saw the Blackhawks offense come alive as they outscored the Canucks 16-8, with Dustin Byfuglien netting a hat trick in Game 3, and Jonathan Toews getting a hat trick in a five-point game in Game 4. After suffering a 4-1 setback in Game 5, the Blackhawks advanced to the Conference Finals for the second straight season by taking the series in six games as they closed out the Canucks with a 5-1 win in Game 6. Against the San Jose Sharks, Antti Niemi put forth an outstanding effort in Game 1, stopping 44 of 45 shots as the Hawks won the opener on the road 2-1. After a 4-2 win in Game 2, the Blackhawks came home with a 2-0 edge looking to put a stranglehold on the Sharks. Game 3 would go to overtime after a hard-fought even game with neither side showing signs of fading. There it would be Dustin Byfuglien who befuddled the Sharks scoring at 12:24 overtime to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 win. The Hawks would go on to complete the sweep with a 4-2 win in Game 4, as they fell behind early 2-0 but rallied to score four unanswered goals as Byfuglien but the Sharks ahead for good with 5:55 left in the game.
2010 Stanley Cup Finals: In the Stanley Cup Finals, the Blackhawks who had not won the Cup since 1961 faced the Philadelphia Flyers, who qualified for the playoffs on the last day of the season, and overcame a 3-0 deficit to reach the finals. Game 1 at United Center would be a wild affair, as the two teams lit the lamps for ten goals in the first two periods. With the game tied 5-5, it was Tomas Kopecky who delivered the win for the Hawks with a goal with 11:35 left, as the Blackhawks were able to hold off the Flyers the rest of the way. Game 2 would be a different story altogether as the defenses came alive for a tight-checking game after the wide-open first game. Late in the 2nd Period, the Blackhawks got on the scoreboard with two goals Marian Hossa and Ben Eager scored 28 seconds apart. The Flyers would get one goal back as Simon Gagne scored on the power play, but Ante Niemi was able to hold off a strong finish from Philly as the Blackhawks took a 2-0 series lead with a 2-1 win. Looking to take a commanding 3-0 lead as the series shifted to Philadelphia, the Blackhawks found themselves in overtime tied 3-3. This time, however, it was the Flyers who kept their Cup hopes alive as Claude Giroux scored at 5:59. The Flyers would go on to even the series with a 5-3 win in Game 4. With the series tied 2-2, the Blackhawks returned to the United Center looking to regain control of the series. The Blackhawks jumped out to a fast start in Game 5, with three goals in the 1st period, they would go on to win the game 7-4 as Dustin Byfuglien had a stellar game with two goals and two assists, including an empty netter that sealed the victory and nearly blew the roof off the United Center. Looking to win their first Stanley Cup in 49 years, the Blackhawks struck first as Dustin Byfuglien scored at 16:49 in the 1st Period. The Flyers would score to even the game on a power-play goal by Scott Hartnell with 37 seconds left in the first period. The Flyers would take a 2-1 lead in the 2nd Period, but the Hawks quickly answered back, scoring twice to enter the 3rd Period with a 3-2 lead. With 3:59 left, it was Hartnell again who evened the game, as the game went to overtime tied 3-3. In Overtime, Patrick Kane slipped the puck past Michael Leighton at the 4:06 mark. Though no goal light went on, the Blackhawks began celebrating. After a brief review, the city of Chicago joined in as the Blackhawks were Stanley Cup Champions. Before getting the Stanley Cup, Captain Jonathan Toews held the Conn Smyth Trophy as his 22 assists helped earn him Playoff MVP honors.
2010/11: The Stanley Cup celebration would be tempered a bit as the Blackhawks were forced to shed salaries to get in line with the salary cap. This meant dealing playoff hero Dustin Byfuglien along with Brent Sopel and Akim Aliu to the Atlanta Thrashers for Marty Reasoner, Joseph Crabb, Jeremy Morin, and two draft picks. They would also deal away Kris Versteeg to the Toronto Maple Leafs, as Goalie Antti Niemi was not re-signed. After starting the season with a 4-3 loss in overtime to the Colorado Avalanche on the road, the Blackhawks raised their Championship banner to the rafters of the United Center, but the party would be spoiled as the Blackhawks were beaten by the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. The Blackhawks would bounce back to win four of their next five games, as they closed October with a record of 7-5-1. As November started, the Blackhawks would struggle, dropping four of five games, as Goalie Marty Turbo, who was signed in the off-season, was failing to live up to expectations. As the month came to an end, Corey Crawford would begin to take over in goal, as the Blackhawks ended the month on a strong note. The Blackhawks would continue to play mediocre hockey over the next two months, as they hovered near .500. In February, with the playoffs in doubt, the Blackhawks began to look like a champion, posting a record of 8-3-1 as they posted an eight-game winning streak that would stretch into March, as Jonathan Tows earned the first star of the month. The Blackhawks would go on to finish the season with a record of 44-29-9, beating out the Dallas Stars by two points for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. In the playoffs, the Blackhawks would face the Vancouver Canucks, who had dominated the NHL all season and had the best record in the league. However, the Blackhawks had a mental advantage having eliminated the Canucks in the last two playoff seasons. The Canucks jumped out fast, winning the first two games in Vancouver 2-0 and 4-3. As the series shifted to Chicago, the Canucks continued to control the series, winning 3-2 to take a 3-0 series lead. The Blackhawks would not go into the night quietly, winning 7-2 in Game 4, as Dave Boland had four points. The Blackhawks would also avoid elimination with a 5-0 win in Game 5, as Duncan Keith had two goals and two assists, while Corey Crawford stopped all 36 shots. In Game 6, the Blackhawks continued to keep their hopes alive as Ben Smith scored an overtime winner to beat the Canucks 3-2 and send the series to a seventh game. Down 1-0 late in the third period, the Blackhawks continued to show the heart of a champion as Jonathan Tows scored a shorthanded goal with 1:56 left to send the game to overtime. However, there would be no miracle comeback, as the Canucks won the game 2-1 on an overtime goal by Alexander Burrows, to advance to the second round.
2011/12: After a difficult season with the weight of the Stanley Cup crown and the pinch of the salary cap causing them to lose several key players, the Blackhawks looked to get the cup back encouraged by their never say die playoff fight. After they lost their season opener on the road 2-1, the Blackhawks won their home opener 5-2 on the backend of a home and home against the Dallas Stars. The Blackhawks would put together a strong start, posting a 7-2-2 record in October, winning five of seven games at United Center, while capturing at least a point in every home game. The Blackhawks would play strong hockey in the first half, led by Jonathan Toews, who was among the league leaders in scoring as they went into the New Year with a solid record of 24-10-4. December was a particularly good month for the Blackhawks as they won seven of nine games at home and won ten games overall. The Blackhawks thought had troubles on the road and lost all four games away from Chicago in January. Making matters worse, Jonathan Toews suffered a foot injury just before the All-Star break and was lost for the next six weeks. Without their leading scorer in February, the Blackhawks struggled, posting a 5-9-0 record, while losing eight of ten games on the road. Jonathan Toews would return to the ice in March, and the Blackhawks got on track, winning ten games as they secured a playoff spot. Toews would go on to score 57 points while playing in 59 games, as Marian Hossa led the team in scoring with 77 points, as Patrick Sharp led the Blackhawks with 33 goals.
2012 Playoffs: With the sixth seed, the Blackhawks would face the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round. The series would be a battle from the start, as the opener went to overtime. The Blackhawks would end up losing 3-2 on a goal by Martin Hanzal in Game 1, despite tying the game with 14 seconds left on a goal by Brent Seabrook. The series would begin to take a nasty turn in Game 2, as Andrew Shaw was ejected and later suspended three games for hitting Coyotes Goalie Mike Smith in the head with his stick. The Blackhawks would go on to even the series with a 4-3 overtime win on a goal by Bryan Bickell after Patrick Sharp tied the game with six seconds left. As the series shifted to the United Center, the nastiness continued with Raffi Torres of the Coyotes, blindsided Marian Hossa, who did not even have the puck. Hossa had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital with a severe concussion. Hossa would miss the rest of the series, as Torres was suspended 25 games. Game 3, would also go to overtime, as the Coyotes won on a goal by Mikkel Boedker 3-2. In Game 4, Boedker struck again in overtime as the Coyotes took a commanding 3-1 series lead with another 3-2 win. Facing elimination, the Blackhawks won a tough game in overtime 2-1 on a goal by Jonathan Toews. It marked the first time in 61 years a playoff series, had the first five games all decided in sudden death. However, back in Chicago, the Blackhawks season would end with a lackluster 4-0 loss in Game 6.
2012/13: Like a rocket, the Blackhawks shot off out of the gate as the season began on January 19th after a four-month lockout wiped out the first half of the season. In their first game, the Blackhawks spoiled the banner rising for the Los Angeles Kings, winning 5-2. Following a 6-4 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, the Blackhawks earned a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in their home opener on January 22nd; as they went on to win their first six games, setting a new record for the best start in franchise history. Following back to back shootout losses on the road, the Blackhawks strong start continued as they won four straight games, as they secured at least one point in their first 12 games. After a 3-2 shootout loss against the Anaheim Ducks, the Blackhawks would kick it into another gear as they won their next 11 games. Along the way the Blackhawks set a record for the best start in NHL history, by securing a point in their first 24 games, the previous mark was 16, set by the Ducks in the 2006/07 season. Coming into the season, the Blackhawks had not had a shutout in nearly two years, had three during the win streak. The Blackhawks even were winning as goalie Cory Crawford dealt with some nagging injuries. As backup, Ray Emery won his first ten games. The streak would finally come to an end at 24 games with a 6-2 road loss to the Colorado Avalanche on March 8th, as the 48-game season was already at the midway point. The Blackhawks would split their final ten games in March, as they spent the entire season in first place. After their mini-slump, the Blackhawks finished strong, posting a 10-2-2 record in April as they captured the President’s Trophy with a record 36-7-5. Illustrating the Blackhawks turnaround, the Blackhawks ended the season with a record 200 straight sellouts, coming just a few years after the AHL’s Chicago Wolves were outdrawing them. Among the Blackhawks having strong individual seasons was Jonathan Toews, who, along with Patrick Kane, led the team in goals with 23. Toews had an incredible +28, as the Blackhawks allowed the fewest goals in the NHL.
2013 Playoffs: Facing the Minnesota Wild, the Blackhawks would find themselves in a tough game right away, as their playoff opener would go into overtime. The tight defensive battle would be won by the Blackhawks 2-1 on a goal by Bryan Bickell. The second game would be much easier as the Blackhawks won 5-2, with Michael Frolik and Patrick Sharp each scoring twice. The series shifted to St. Paul, where the Wild won Game 3 in overtime 3-2. However, with Corey Crawford stopping 25 shots, the Blackhawks would win 3-0 in Game 4 as they closed the series out with a 5-1 win in Game 5, with Marian Hossa had two goals with an assist in the series clincher. Next up for the Blackhawks would be a series with their longtime rival the Detroit Red Wings, with the Wings set to move to the Eastern Conference this was to be the last time the two would meet in a playoff series other than the Stanley Cup Finals. Thanks to third-period goals by Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger, the Blackhawks would take the opener 4-1. However, the Wings would bounce back and take the next game 4-1 to even the series. Detroit would be a nightmare for the Blackhawks who lost Game 3 and Game 4 to fall behind three games to one, as they managed just one goal on 57 shots. With frustration mounting, the Blackhawks got a two-goal game by Andrew Shaw as they recorded a 4-1 win in Game 5 at the United Center. Down 2-1 in the third period of Game 6, the Blackhawks got three goals, including a penalty shot goal by Frolik to win the game 4-3 and force a seventh game. Game 7 would be another fierce defensive battle as the score was deadlocked 1-1 at the end of regulation. In overtime, Brent Seabrook would nearly blow the roof of the United Center with a goal at 3:35 to send the Blackhawks on to the Western Conference Finals. Facing the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, the Blackhawks would win the opener of the Conference Finals as Patrick Sharp, and Marian Hossa scored back to back goals in the second period to give the Hawks a 2-1 win. Corey Crawford continued to outplay Jonathan Quick in Game 2, as the Blackhawks won 4-2 to take a 2-0 series lead. The Kings would win Game 3, but with Marian Hossa’s third-period goal, the Blackhawks took a commanding 3-1 series lead with a 3-2 win. With a 3-2 lead in Game 5, the Blackhawks were ten seconds away from the Cup Finals, when Mike Richards beat Crawford to send the game into overtime. Neither team would score in the first overtime, but midway through the second overtime Jonathan Toews who scored two earlier goals, clinched the series win and completed the hat trick as the Blackhawks won 4-3 to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.
2013 Stanley Cup Finals: For the first time in 34 years, two of the Original Six teams met in the Stanley Cup Finals as the Chicago Blackhawks faced the Boston Bruins. Game 1 at the United Center would be an instant classic as the Blackhawks overcame a two-goal deficit and sent the game into overtime on goals by Dave Bolland and Johnny Oduya. From there, the goalies would take over as neither team scored in the first two overtimes, as the Blackhawks had to kill off two power plays. Finally, a wicked shot by Michal Rozsival deflected off Bolland and Andrew Shaw past Bruins Goalie Tuukka Rask to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 win in triple overtime. Game 2 would also go to overtime; this time, it would be the Bruins that would get a 2-1 win on a goal by Daniel Paille. As the series shifted to Boston, the Bruins scored twice in the second period, as the Blackhawks committed three penalties. Following three defensive battles, Game 4 would see an offensive outburst as each sided scored five times with the game going into overtime. Brent Seabrook would play the role of hero as the Blackhawks evened the series with a 6-5 win. As the series shifted back to Chicago, the defenses reestablished control as the Blackhawks held a 2-1 lead with two goals from Patrick Kane. With the Bruins looking to force overtime, Dave Bolland knocked home the clincher into the empty net as the Blackhawks 3-1 win put them one win away from the Stanley Cup. The Blackhawks on the road would be the team looking to tie the game by pulling Goalie Corey Crawford in Game 6 in Boston, as the Bruins held a 2-1 lead, seeking to force a seventh game. With 1:16 left, Bryan Bickell would get the equalizer. However, the game would never get to overtime, as Dave Bolland took advantage of a giveaway and scored the game-winner just 17 seconds left, leaving fans in Boston stunned as the Blackhawks skated around with the Stanley Cup after a 3-2 win in Game 6. Patrick Kane, who led the Blackhawks in scoring with nine goals and ten assists, would win the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP.
2013/14: Coming off a second Stanley Cup championship in four years, the Blackhawks were the clear team to beat in the NHL. The Blackhawks would open the season strong, beating the Washington Capitals 6-4 as they raised the championship banner at the United Center. The Blackhawks again quickly climbed to the top of the Western Conference, as they posted a record of 20-4-4 through the first two months. However, their path to a division title would not be easy, as the St. Louis Blues challenged them early as the Central Division despite the move of the Detroit Red Wings to the Eastern Conference was top to bottom the best division in the NHL. After entering January with a record of 28-7-7, the Blackhawks struggled in the New Years, posting a 7-5-7 in the five weeks leading into the Olympic Break, as the rigors of a long playoff run and a truncated season began to catch up, with several key players missing games. The Blackhawks were well represented in Sochi and unable to get the rest they needed, as their struggles continued after the Olympic Break. The Blackhawks would impress in their first game back beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 at Soldier Field in the NHL’s Stadium Series, with Jonathan Toews netting two goals with an assist. However, they still had trouble stringing wins together as they slipped to third place, with a 7-7-1 March. One win that was a highlight came on March 19th as Joel Quenneville became the third coach in NHL history with 700 wins in a 4-0 blanking of the Blues. The Blackhawks would finish the season in third place with an impressive record of 46-21-15, as Duncan Keith won his second career Norris Trophy as the best defenseman in the NHL.
2014 Playoffs: In the realigned playoff format, the Blackhawks would face a tough draw in the first round as they played the second-place St. Louis Blues. Things looked bleak early, as the Hawks lost a pair of overtime heartbreakers in St. Louis. In the opener a 4-3 loss, the Blackhawks and Blues needed three overtimes, after the Blues evened the score with 1:45 left in regulation. The Blues would get the game-winner 26 seconds into the sixth period on a goal by Alexander Steen. Game 2 would be even more frustrating for Chicago, as they led 3-2 with less than five minutes left in regulation. However, Brent Seabrook was called for a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for charging David Backes. The Blues would get the tying goal on the ensuing power play and with the game 4-3 on an overtime goal by Barret Jackman. The Blackhawks would also lose Seabrook to a three-game suspension. The Blackhawks facing a must-win at United Center got a big game from Corey Crawford, who made 34 saves in a 2-0 win, that was not secured until Marcus Kruger hit an empty-net goal with 20 seconds left. Like the first two games in St. Louis, Game 4 would go to overtime tied 3-3; this time, it would be the Blackhawks getting the winner on a goal by Patrick Kane to even the series. Game 5 would also need an extra period in St. Louis, this time the Blackhawks would get the win 3-2 to take control of the series on a goal by Jonathan Toews. Back in Chicago, the Blackhawks would close the series out in Game 6, with a 5-1 win as they enjoyed a four-goal explosion in the third period, which was started by a Toews Power Play goal 44 seconds into the final period. In the Central Division Finals, the Blackhawks would face the upset-minded Minnesota Wild, who had just upset the Central Division Champion Colorado Avalanche. Early on, it was all Blackhawks as they took the opener 5-2, as Marian Hossa had a three-point game, with Patrick Kane scoring two goals. Hossa would get three assists in Game 2, as Brandon Saad scored two goals in a 4-1 win. However, the Wild would battle back to even the series with a pair of wins in Minnesota. The Blackhawks would regain control of the series with a 2-1 win in Game 5, as Jonathan Toews’ third-period goal was the difference. The Wild continued to give Chicago all it could handle as Game 6 went into overtime. In OT, the Blackhawks would get a lucky bounce when the puck hit off the glass and on to the stick of Patrick Kane, who put the puck in the net to send them to the Western Conference Finals. The Blackhawks would face the Los Angeles Kings for the second straight season with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line. The Blackhawks would take the opener 3-1 at the United Center. Looking to take a 2-0 lead, the Blackhawks held a 2-1 lead entering the third period. However, the Kings would score five unanswered goals to win the game 6-2. As the series shifted to Los Angeles, the Kings continued to reign, winning 4-3 and 5-2 to take a 3-1 series lead. With their backs to the wall, the Blackhawks found themselves in overtime in Game 5 at the United Center. After a scoreless fourth period, the Blackhawks kept their hopes alive as Michal Handzus scored 2:04 into the second overtime to give the Blackhawks a 5-4 win. Trailing 3-2 with ten minutes left in Game 6 at Staples Center, the Blackhawks got goals from Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane to force a seventh game. Things looked good early for the Blackhawks in Game 7 as Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews scored in the first ten minutes. The Kings would quickly tie the game with two goals in 51 seconds. However, the Blackhawks answered 12 seconds later with Patrick Sharp giving them a 3-2 lead. After the Kings tied the game again in the second period, Sharp answered back as Chicago held a 4-3 lead in the third period. However, Marian Gaborik scored with just over seven minutes left to even the score. In overtime, the Kings would get their first and only lead of the game on a goal by Alec Martinez to go on to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they would win for the Cup for the second time in three years.
2014/15: After having their championship reign ended by an overtime goal in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, the Chicago Blackhawks looked to regain the Stanley Cup, adding some extra offense picking up Brad Richards. The season began with a 3-2 shootout win on the road against the Dallas Stars on October 9th as the Blackhawks won four of their first five games, losing once in overtime. The Blackhawks used the strong start to boost themselves to the top of the Central Division with a 25-10-2 record at the beginning of the New Year. The Blackhawks would take center stage on New Year’s Day, facing the Washington Capitals in the Winter Classic at National Park. The Capitals would win the game 3-2, thanks to a power-play goal by former Blackhawk Troy Brouwer with 13 seconds left in regulation. January would be a rough month for the Blackhawks as they lost five of their first eight games in 2015. Chicago’s hopes for another Stanley Cup suffered a hit in February as Patrick Kane. He was leading the league in scoring through most of the first half of the season, with 64 points scoring 27 goals with 37 assists, suffered a broken collar bone when he was ridden hard into the boards by Alex Petrovic in a game against the Florida Panthers on February 24th. Patrick Kane would miss the remainder of the regular season, and it was feared he would also miss the playoffs following surgery. With the injury to Kane, the Blackhawks acquired Kimmo Timonen, Antoine Vermette, and Andrew Desjardins at the trade deadline. At the same time, rookie Teuvo Teravainen’s addition also proved to be a significant addition. The Blackhawks would get back on track with nine wins in March and locked up a playoff berth on the way to posting a record of 48-28-6, finishing third in the Central Division. With Kane missing the last 20 games of the season, Jonathan Toews would end the year as the Blackhawks leading scorer with 66 points, with a team a high 28 goals. The Blackhawks had finished the season with the fewest goals allowed in the NHL, with 189 as Corey Crawford had a strong season, posting a 2.27 GAA, with a record of 32-20-5. At the same time, Scott Darling proved to be a reliable backup, winning nine games, with a 1.94 Goals Against Average.
2015 Playoffs: The Blackhawks struggled down the stretch, losing the final four games of the regular season. The season-ending slump cost them home ice in their first-round as they had to begin the playoffs on the road against the Nashville Predators. Things did not start well for the Blackhawks as the Predators opened the game with three first period goals, chasing Corey Crawford from the game after just 12 starts. Scott Darling would relieve Crawford in the second period and played flawlessly, stopping 42 shots to give Chicago a chance to come back with three second-period goals. The game remained tied until the second overtime when Duncan Keith scored at 7:49 to win the game 4-3. Despite Darling’s heroics in the opener, Corey Crawford would get the start in Game 2 and again struggled, allowing six goals as the Predators evened the series with a 6-2 win. Scott Darling would get the start in Game 3 as the series shifted to the United Center, making 35 saves as the Blackhawks won the game 4-2. Darling was even better in Game 4 as three overtimes were needed to decide matters. With Scott Darling making 50 saves on 52 shots, the Blackhawks won the game 3-2 on Brent Seabrook’s one-timer from the blue line one minute into the sixth period. After a 5-2 loss in Game 5, the Blackhawks saw a complete reversal of Game 1 at the United Center for Game 6 as Corey Crawford relieved Darling after allowing three quick first period goals. Crawford was perfect the rest of the way as the Blackhawks rallied again to win 4-3 to win the series, with Keith scoring the game-winner with just under four minutes left in the third period. The Blackhawks would move on to face the Minnesota Wild in the second round, scoring three goals in the first period only to see the Wild answer back in the second period. With 59 seconds left in the second, Chicago regained the lead on a goal by rookie Teuvo Teravainen. The 4-3 lead would hold up as the Blackhawks took the opener. With Patrick Kane scoring twice, the Blackhawks would also take Game 2 by a score of 4-1. Kane would also net a big goal in Game 3 as the series shifted to Minnesota as the Blackhawks blacked the Wild 1-0 with Corey Crawford stopping all 30 shots. Chicago would go on to complete the sweep with a 4-3 win in Game 4. The Blackhawks would face a much stiffer challenger in the Western Conference Finals as they faced the Anaheim Ducks, who were the top team in the Western Conference. The opener would be all Anaheim as the Ducks won 4-1. Game 2 would see the Ducks continue to control the ice, but thanks to two power-play goals, the Blackhawks managed to get the game in overtime. The game would need three overtimes to be decided as Corey Crawford made 60 saves. Finally, with Marcus Kruger scoring at 16:12, the Blackhawks had a 3-2 win to even the series. As the series shifted to Chicago, the Ducks continued to be as strong as advertised, winning 2-1 to regain control of the series. In Game 4, the Blackhawks would again need overtime to even the series as Antoine Vermette scored 5:37 into double overtime to win the game 5-4. Game 5 would also go into overtime, but this time it would be Anaheim winning at home 5-4 on a goal by Matt Beleskey just 45 seconds into extra time after the Blackhawks tied the game with two goals by Jonathan Toews in the game’s final two minutes. However, no matter who won Game 5, it appeared as if the series was destined to go seven games, as the Blackhawks used to Andrew Shaw goals for a 5-2 win in Game 6. Jonathan Toews took control of Game 7 with two first period goals as the Blackhawks built a 4-0 lead. The Ducks would throw everything they could at Corey Crawford in the final two periods, but the Blackhawks would not go down, winning 5-3 to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.
2015 Stanley Cup Finals: The Chicago Blackhawks would face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the finals, looking for their third cup in six years and sixth overall. The opener in Tampa would be a tight defensive affair as both teams struggled to get shots. With the Lightning hold a 1-0 lead midway through the third period, the Blackhawks finally got on the board on a goal by Teuvo Teravainen two minutes later Antoine Vermette scored to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 win. Game 2 would go and forth as the teams traded leads before Jason Garrison’s power-play tally gave Tampa a 4-3 win to even the series. The Blackhawks turned up the pressure on Goalie Ben Bishop and took a 2-1 lead early in the third period on a goal by Brandon Saad as the series shifted to Chicago for Game 3. However, Ondrej Palat answered 13 seconds later as the Lightning went on to win the game 3-2. Game 4 would be another tight defensive battle as each team managed just one second period goal for the first 40 minutes. The Blackhawks again would get a goal by Saad to take the lead at 6:22 of the third period. This time it would stand up as the Chicago evened the series with a 2-1 win. Game 5 back in Tampa was more of the same, this time it was Vermette playing the hero role scoring two minutes into the third period as the Blackhawks took control of the series with a 3-2 win. Things would stay tight in Game 6 as the Blackhawks looked to win the cup on home ice for the first time in franchise history after no goals were scored for the game’s first 17 minutes before Duncan Keith lit the lamp to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead. With Tampa throwing everything at Corey Crawford to tie the game, the Blackhawks would add an insurance goal by Patrick Kane, as Crawford stopped all 25 shots, including 14 in the third period to preserve a 2-0 Stanley Cup-clinching win. Duncan Keith, who was credited with the game-winning goal in the cup clincher, was named winner of the Conn Smythe Award as Playoff MVP for providing strong defense along with 18 assists in the postseason.
2015/16: After winning the Stanley Cup for the third time in six years, the Chicago Blackhawks faced the champions curse as the salary cap squeezed them. This meant the Blackhawks were forced to part ways with several key players. Backup Goalie Antti Raanta was shipped to the New York Rangers for Ryan Haggerty. Brandon Saad was traded along with Alex Broadhurst and Michael Paliotta to the Columbus Blue Jackets with the Blackhawks receiving Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin and Corey Tropp in return. The most significant loss was Patrick Sharp, who went with Stephen Johns to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt. As training camp began, the Blackhawks also said goodbye to Kris Versteeg, who was sent to the Carolina Hurricanes with Joakim Nordstrom in exchange for prospects. The Blackhawks also lost Antoine Vermette and Johnny Oduya through free agency. The off-season was even more stressful for Patrick Kane, who was accused of sexual assault in Western New York. Kane would eventually be cleared and never faced any criminal charges after a police investigation. The legal troubles would not affect Patrick Kane on the ice, as he would have his most exceptional season as he became the first American Born player to lead the NHL in scoring with 106 points and 46 goals. He would also be the first American born player to win the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP. Kane helped carry the Blackhawks in the first half of the season, as they held a record of 22-13-4 at the end of December. It was right at that time the Blackhawks had their best stretch of the season, winning 12 straight games. The Blackhawks would struggle at home in February, posting a record of 2-3-1; while they won four of five games away from United Center, the only road loss in February would be a Stadium Series game in Minneapolis, with the Blackhawks suffering a 6-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild. The Blackhawks home ice struggles continued in March as they won just one game at United Center. Despite the second-half struggles, the Blackhawks still reached the playoffs, finishing third in the Central Division with a record of 47-26-9. Besides Patrick Kane’s MVP season, Artemi Panarin took home individual honors as he won the Calder Trophy given to the league’s top rookie. Panarin finished second on the Blackhawks in scoring with 77 points and 30 goals.
2016 Playoffs: The Chicago Blackhawks would face the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs. The opener was a battle of the goalies that saw the Blues win 1-0 on a goal by David Backes 9:04 into overtime. The Blackhawks would not light the lamp themselves until five seconds were left in the second period of Game 2. After Duncan Keith tied the game with that late second-period goal, Andre Shaw and Artemi Panarin notched goals in the third period to even the series with a 3-2 win. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, their struggles at United Center continued as they suffered a 3-2 loss in Game 3 and 4-3 loss in Game 4. Down 3-1 in the series, the Blackhawks blew a two-goal third-period lead in Game 5. The game remained tied until double overtime when Patrick Kane scored his first goal of the postseason at 3:07 to win the game 4-3 and keep their defense of the Stanley Cup alive. Facing elimination again in Game 6 at home, the Blackhawks got off to a bad start, falling behind 3-1 in the first period. The Blackhawks thought finally broke through in the second period scoring three times to take the lead. Chicago would add two more goals in the third period as they won 6-3 with six different goal scorers to force a seventh game. After falling behind 2-0 in Game 7, the Blackhawks chipped away and tied the game on a goal by Andrew Shaw in the second period. The game remained tied until the third period when former Blackhawk Troy Brouwer put the Blues in front 3-2 a score that would be the final as the Blackhawks were emanated in the first round for the first time in four years.
2016/17: Coming off a heartbreaking seven-game loss in the first round, the Chicago Blackhawks looked to regain their spot as one of the elite teams in the Western Conference. Despite some early struggles in the first week, the Blackhawks quickly showed they would once again be the team to beat in the Western Conference as won ten games in November, highlighted by a seven-game winning streak. The Blackhawks were especially strong at home in the first two months, posting 9-1-2 record at the United Center. Heading into the New Year with a record of 23-11-5, the Blackhawks suffered a 4-1 loss in the Winter Classic against the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium. After threading water in December and January, the Blackhawks again found their groove in February as they won nine of the games, including all on the road. The Blackhawks kept their winning streak going in March, reaching seven straight as climbed to the top of the Western Division and battled for the best record overall in the NHL. The Blackhawks would finish the season with the best record in the Western Conference at 50-23-9. Patrick Kane, once again, was one of the top scorers in the NHL with 89 points, highlighted by a team-best 34 goals. Artemi Panarin also topped the 30-goal mark scoring 31, while Duncan Keith had 47 assists and was an impressive 22 on the season.
2017 Playoffs: While the Chicago Blackhawks looked every bit like a Stanley Cup contender with their 20 wins in February and March, the month of April brought a hard rain on Chicago, as the Blackhawks were winless in the final four games. With first-place locked up, it was no worry as they faced the Nashville Predators in the first round of the playoffs. In Game 1, at the United Center, the Blackhawks would be frustrated by Pekka Rinne, who stopped all 29 shots as an early goal by Viktor Arvidsson stood up as the Predators won the opener 1-0. In Game 2, Rinne thwarted the Blackhawks again, stopping all 30 shots as Nashville won 5-0. As the series shifted to Nashville, the Blackhawks finally broke through scoring twice in the second period on goals by Dennis Rasmussen and Patrick Kane. However, Nashville tied the game on a pair of third-period goals by Filip Forsberg and won in overtime 3-2 on a goal by Kevin Fiala to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. The Predators, who were the last team to make the playoffs, would go on to complete the sweep of top-seeded Blackhawks with a 4-1 win in Game 4, outscoring Chicago 13-3 in the series.
2017/18: After the stunning first-round exit, the Chicago Blackhawks started very shaky with some questionable offseason trades. On June 23rd Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks made two pivotal, destiny-changing trades. The first was shipping Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin. The second was sending Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte, and a sixth draft round pick in 2017 to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg, and a fifth-round pick in 2018. Both moves shocked the organization and the fan base. Hjalmarsson had won three Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks and was known for his stay-home defense, the shot-blocking play that coach Joel Quenneville admired. The real shot in the arm was trading 2016 Calder cup winning Artemi Panarin. The trade took everyone off guard as Panarin and superstar Patrick Kane were gaining steam as a deadly duo on the ice. When Patrick Kane was asked who he would like to be on a 2-on-1 with, he picked Artemi Panarin. The Arizona trade was to get younger, which has been a success. The Columbus trade was to acquire former Blackhawk Brandon Saad on a deal they had been to try to sign him to before they were forced to trade him due to cap reasons. Training Camp did not get off to a good start; rumors were swirling that Coach Quenneville was not happy with the trades. The Blackhawks also signed brought back, Patrick Sharp, on a one-year deal. There were also three key prospects drafted in Henri Jokiharju, Ian Mitchell, and Evan Barratt. To make matters worse, Marian Hossa was forced into early retirement after it was revealed he had been battling a skin disease and the antibiotics were beginning to become too much to handle The season started with some hope as the Blackhawks won four of their first five games, but quickly went south as they ended October at 5-5-2. After entering the New Year with a record of 18-14-6, the Blackhawks began a winter of discontent that would see them finish last in the Central Division and third to last in the Western Conference with a 33-39-10 record. With injuries to goalies (particularly starter Corey Crawford), the Blackhawks were forced to use six different goalies. One of these goalies was Accountant/Emergency Goalie Scott Foster who had 14 minutes of ice time and made all seven saves to lead the hawks to a 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on March 29th. The Blackhawks also had a breakout star on their hands in rookie Alex DeBrincat, who led the team with goals with 28 and was tied for second with Nick Schmaltz and Jonathan Toews for most points with 52. Patrick Kane had the second most goal with 27 and most points with 76. Kane was the lone Blackhawk that was selected to be in the All-Star Game. Overall, the season was a huge disappointment and letdown from past seasons. It was the first time in a decade that the Blackhawks had not made the playoffs. Patrick Sharp would retire in the offseason.
Written by Johnny Leane
2018/19: Coming off a disappointing season, fans of the Chicago Blackhawks were angry and wanted more out of the front office as the season before they had made some questionable trades. The draft was shown to be a promising one with the Blackhawks drafting Adam Boqvist with the eighth pick. They would also draft promising Nicolas Beaudin with the 27th pick. The fans got the exact opposite of what they wanted. At the tail end of the first day of free agency, the Blackhawks made the opposite of a splash signing Cam Ward, Chris Kunitz, and Brandon Manning. The first two would retire after the season was over. Cam Ward had to play more than an average backup as Cory Crawford missed 50 games with a concussion. The Blackhawks would continue to make moves that backfired. They traded Vinny Hinostroza, Marian Hossa, and Jordan Oesterle, with a third-round draft pick to the Arizona Coyotes for Markus Krueger, three prospects, and a fifth-round draft pick in. This move as made to get Hossa’s contract off the books due to his retirement. The Blackhawks started the season without starting goalie Cory Crawford but would get in him back about ten games in. What would happen next sent shockwaves through the hockey world and would be the catalyst for more such moves to come. Just 15 games into the season, the Blackhawks fired coach Joel Quenneville. They would replace with him with Jeremy Colliton, who had one season as the Rockford Ice Hogs coach under his belt. Quenneville had been the most successful coach in the history of the Blackhawks, bringing home the Stanley Cup three times. He was also the second-winningest coach in NHL history. At the time of the coaching change, the Blackhawks had a record of 6-6-3 on November 6th. There was a learning curve for Jeremy Colliton. He was more offense focused, rather than the defensive-minded Quenneville had been running. By the start of the New Year, the Blackhawks were in last place again at 15-20-6. This was despite a strong finish to December with five wins in their last six games. On New Year’s Day, the Blackhawks hosted the Winter Classic, suffering a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins in South Bend at Notre Dame Stadium. The Blackhawks would struggle most of January. Looking to turning things around, the Blackhawks made a flurry of trades mid-season. They would send Nick Schmaltz to their favored trading partner, the Arizona Coyotes, for Dylan Strome. The trade was made with the hopes of rejuvenating both of their careers with a fresh start. Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat were linemates with the Eerie Otters before going pro. The Blackhawks would also Brandon Manning and Robin Norell to the Edmonton Oilers for Drake Caggiula and Jason Garrison. An underrated trade that was made was a fifth-round pick to the Los Angeles Kings for European prospect Dominik Kubalik. The trades would not save the season, as the Blackhawks would finish sixth in the Central division with 36-34-12 record, missing playoffs for the second straight season, as they fell six points short the final Wild Card spot by six points. Patrick Kane would lead the team with 44 goals and 110 points. Jonathon Toews would have a real bounce-back year with 35 goals and 81 points. Followed by youngster Alex DeBrincat with 41 goals and 76 points.
Written by Johnny Leane
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Page created on December 8, 2002. Last updated on May 1, 2020, at 11:30 pm ET.