The Chicago Blackhawks' Road to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final
Here are the key games, moments and players from training camp through the Western Conference Finals that gave the Blackhawks a shot at winning their third Stanley Cup since 2010. BY MICHAEL BLINN
June 05, 2015
1 of 12Bill Smith/Getty Images
After losing an epic seven-game Western Conference Finals against the Kings, coach Joel Quenneville's Blackhawks arrive in camp with their core—Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith—intact plus new additions such as veteran free agent Brad Richards and highly-touted prospect Teuvo Teravainen. With the West and Central Division stacked with tough teams, winning their third Stanley Cup since 2010 looks like a stiff challenge.
2 of 12Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images
October 30, 2014
Marian Hossa returns to Ottawa, where he began his career in 1997-98, to play his 1,000th NHL game. With an assist on Jonathan Toews' first period goal, Hossa notches his 999th point and adds a goal in Chicago’s 5-4 shootout win to become the 80th player in NHL history to score 1,000 points.
3 of 12Francois Lacasse/Getty Images
November 4, 2014
After a two-day stint in fifth place in the Central (and 10th in the West), the Blackhawks rout the Canadiens by ringing up five goals on 32 shots against Vezina Trophy candidate Carey Price. Chicago will never go as low in the standings again during the season.
4 of 12Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images
December 11, 2014
With Corey Crawford out (foot injury suffered at a concert), backup Scott Darling makes 32 saves as the Hawks fend off a Boston rally and win, 3-2, for their eighth straight victory. Chicago’s run to the top of the Central is remarkable due to Darling, 26, a minor league journeyman who overcame a drinking problem to reach the NHL despite long odds. After becoming the starter on Dec. 6, he wins three of his four starts, allowing two goals or less in three of them.
5 of 12Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
January 22-25, 2015
Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons garners the most All-Star votes from fans, but the remaining five starting slots for the game are filled by Blackhawks. Forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews (left) are joined by defensemen Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith and goalie Corey Crawford in Columbus for the festivities. Team Toews wins by the football score of 17-12.
6 of 12Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
February 24, 2015
Early in the first period of a 3-2 win against the Panthers, Patrick Kane lands awkwardly against the boards after being crosschecked and leaves the game. Placed on injured reserve with a broken clavicle, he’s expected to miss two to three months. The injury ends his regular season, one in which he’d racked up 27 goals and 64 points in 61 games. Of greater concern: The Hawks may have to weather the first two rounds of playoffs without him.
7 of 12Lance Thomson/NHLI via Getty Images
March 29, 2015
With a 4-3 win over the Jets, the Hawks climb into third place in the Central, a spot they hold for the remainder of the regular season as they are unable to pass the Predators for second overall in the West behind the Ducks.
8 of 12Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
April 2, 2015
Jonathan Toews and Marcus Kruger score in the third period while Corey Crawford adds 15 saves in the frame for a total 36 on the night, out-dueling Eddie Lack in a 3-1 win over the Canucks in Chicago. The Blackhawks' 47th win of the season clinches a playoff spot for the seventh straight year.
9 of 12John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images
April 15, 2015
Bolstered by the amazingly fast return of Patrick Kane for Game 1 of their first round series vs. the Predators, the Hawks rally for a 4-3 win in Nashville. Kane chips in two assists and the winner is scored by Duncan Keith at 7:49 of the second overtime. Goalie Scott Darling makes one of the great relief appearances in NHL history by blanking the Preds after entering the game to start the second period. He becomes Chicago’s starter for the next three games.
10 of 12Ann Heisenfelt/AP
May 7, 2015
Having eliminated Nashville in six games, Chicago meets Minnesota for the third straight year. After winning the first three games, the Hawks withstand a late rally in Game 4 to sweep the Wild with a 3-2 win. In the series, they outscore the Minny 13-7 with Patrick Kane tallying in every game and finishing with five goals and six points. The bad news: defenseman Michal Rozsival (right) is lost for the rest of the playoffs with a fractured ankle in the series finale.
11 of 12Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire
May 19, 2015
The Hawks take Game 2 of the West finals against the Ducks, 3-2, in a 3-OT classic. Seemingly ended in the second OT by Andrew Shaw’s “header goal” (later disallowed), the victory is finally secured by Marcus Kruger. Duncan Keith leads the way among a quartet of workhorse defensemen (including Seabrook, Oduya, Hjalmarsson), making up for Rozsival’s absence with a staggering 49:51 of ice time. It's the second time in 12 playoffs games that Keith passes the 45-minute mark.
12 of 12Harry How/Getty Images
May 30, 2015
Extended to seven games by the Ducks, the Blackhawks jump out to a 2-0 lead in Anaheim thanks to a pair of goals by Jon Toews and hold on for a 5-3 win that sends them the Stanley Cup Final where they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!