The Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning met in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final and the Blackhawks prevailed for the third time in six years. Chicago won the first, the sixth and the last game of the series to earn the title as 2015 NHL Champions.
In the first three games, Tampa Bay won two in a row to take the lead 2-1, however those were the only two wins the Lightning were able to pull away with, and Chicago was able to win the rest. Every game in the series aside from game six was decided by one goal. It was an unanimous decision for defenseman Duncan Keith to win the Conn Smythe Award (MVP). Keith averaged 31:06 minutes in six games and had over 700 minutes of ice time in the NHL playoffs. You might want to ice up the feet, Duncan that’s a lot of ice time.
Goalie Corey Crawford ended the Stanley Cup Playoffs strong for the Blackhawks. In the first round against the Nashville Predators, Crawford struggled and everyone wondered if they would make it very far. Backup goalie Scott Darling was impressive in the first round of the playoffs and many were curious if they advanced past the first round, if he would be the starter. However, Crawford got his game in gear and ended up earning a shutout in the game that won it all for Chicago.
Tampa Bay was on the ice in 26 games in this NHL postseason, which is tied for the most by a team in the postseason. This may or may not have had an effect on the Lighting’s losing of the Stanley Cup due to fatigue. Two of Tampa Bay’s best players had confirmed injuries right after the Stanley Cup Finals. Playing in such a high number of games and having your goalie and best forward hurt is a major reason why the Lightning couldn’t bring the series to a game seven.
For the many that don’t know, Chicago is one of the original six teams in the NHL including the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Chicago had only three Stanley Cup victories in their first 80 years. They have gotten just as many Stanley Cup victories just in the past six years, which many say marks the time to call this team a dynasty. However, I wouldn’t say they’re a dynasty just yet. If the Blackhawks win the NHL Stanley Cup in 2016 then, we will be able to call them a dynasty. Chicago’s odds of winning the 2016 Cup are very high already coming of this victory so we just may be witnessing dynasty. Chicago winning the finals at home in 2015 marks the first time since 1938 that Chicago has done so.