Just when everyone thought the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals were headed back to Chicago for an ultra exciting game seven, the Chicago Blackhawks did the unthinkable and scored two late goals on the Boston Bruins, a great defensive team during the Finals, and won Lord Stanley’s Cup. The Blackhawks are enjoying being the world champions of Hockey today as they will for a while and darn well should. Some of the office staff however, will soon begin thinking about next season and the impossible question. Can they repeat as Stanley Cup champions in this era of the NHL?
Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman has already repeated in one way, leading his team to be the first two-time Stanley Cup winners in the salary cap era of the NHL. After the first win, things didn’t look good for a repeat. The Cup was still damp from whatever ale had been drunk from it when the Blackhawks team began to be dismantled for money reasons as well as other reasons. That is why repeating seems impossible during this day in time. But is it possible for the first two-time winner of this era to be the first repeat Stanley Cup champ?
I think it most certainly is. Bowman already has spoken about how the team is not going anywhere. He suggested that there will be some minor changes but most of the guys that hoisted the Cup will be on the same bench next season. I believe that one reason this team won is the fact that they are a strong team of fighters. I don’t mean fighters in the fist-to-fist sense but in the way they fought back to win the game in the final minutes in game six.
That fighting spirit is what was key to them getting passed the Detroit Red Wings and the other obstacles they hurtled on the way to ultimate victory. They believed in themselves when some might not have. If Bowman keeps these guys intact for next season and they continue to build together as a team, I think a repeat is doable.
They will need all major players back which seems likely. They’ll need a family atmosphere in order to overcome the inevitable challenges they will face next season. In the end they will need to keep playing well throughout the season and get into the playoffs comfortably. If they do that while staying fairly healthy, they could really do it. All in all, though nothing is a guarantee in this sport, the Blackhawks can rest easily knowing that they have as good of a chance as anyone in recent years has had of repeating as Stanley Cup Champions next season.