It was quite the show the Blackhawks put on last night in their shellacking of the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins. They broke the team record of 8 goals in a home opener by scoring 10. In fact, it was the first time since October 12, 1988 they scored that many.
With the exception of Rick Vaive who had a hat trick, Blackhawks fans have probably heard the names of the organizational legends who scored in that game. Denis Savard, Steve Larmer, Doug Wilson and current analyst Troy Murray. Despite all those names the success didn’t translate for much of the season.
That season the Blackhawks recorded a 27-41-12 record totaling a very low 66 points. They would finish fourth in the Norris Division and just slide into the playoffs. As bad as that regular season record was, that team had a deep run in the playoffs.
The Blackhawks would defeat the hated Detroit Red Wings four games to two in the division semifinals. Then they would take out another rival during the division finals by defeating the the St. Louis Blues four games to one.
Their luck would run out in the Campbell Conference Finals though. The Blackhawks would lose that series four games to one against the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Calgary Flames.
I know what happened 29 years ago doesn’t apply to anything this season but I feel there are some comparisons. A lot of people have picked the Blackhawks to finish third or fourth in the division. I am also one of those people but I expect a lot more than 66 points. Mostly because I feel they’ll win considerably more than 27 games and there was no “loser point” back then for making it into OT.
The make-up of that team was a lot like today’s team. It had a very good group of veterans but had some young or unproven players behind them. If the current younger players can carry even half of the success they had in game one, this could be a very exciting season.
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— MLP (@Pappy_Hour) October 6, 2017