The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last season, and in the process captivated a majority of the mainstream sports media such as ESPN, who offered minimal coverage of the NHL after the league recovered from its last major lockout.
Beginning with the 21-0-3 start to the season, the ‘Hawks were able to make the SportsCenter discussions by drawing asinine comparisons to the NBA’s defending champion Miami Heat. Going on into the shortened season, the Stanley Cup playoffs captivated the nation, culminating in Sports Illustrated putting the Blackhawks on the cover, simply calling them “The Franchise.”
As a fresh season is less than a week away, SI once again printed a preview issue, and while there’s no sign of a direct curse like there is believed to be when a star player appears on a Madden video game cover, Sports Illustrated has not predicted the winner of the Stanley Cup correctly any time in recent memory.
For example, while nearly all writers had both the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins in the playoffs, only writer Allan Muir has the Bruins in the Eastern Conference playoffs, while nobody had the Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals. The 2011 season, however, did have the Blackhawks being defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup finals, which obviously wasn’t correct, as the Blackhawks themselves were knocked on in the conference quarterfinals.
Blackhawks fans need not fret or speculate of a curse, though. This is simply the culmination of the ‘Hawks evolution as the face of the NHL. Similar to how the New York Yankees and New England Patriots are always proverbial contenders; the Blackhawks will defend their title as the favorites, and hopefully be contenders for years to come.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486.