What constitutes a dynasty?
The 1979-82 New York Islanders come to mind. Led by Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy, this dynasty won four consecutive Stanley Cup championships — something that seems unheard of in today’s day and age.
Consecutive championships don’t always seem to define a dynasty, though. More often, dynasty teams win multiple championships in a short period of time, not always consecutively. The 1974-79 Pittsburgh Steelers won four of six Superbowls; the 1957-69 Boston Celtics won 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons; don’t forget about the resoundingly popular Montreal Canadiens, whose best run lasted from 1953 to 1979, when they amassed 16 of the franchise’s 23 championships in that span.
The NHL has another dynasty in the making, as the Chicago Blackhawks are now one win away from capturing the franchise’s third Stanley Cup title in six seasons.
Before the Blackhawks famously won the Stanley Cup in 2010, Chicago had not seen a championship since 1961 — a span of 49 years. Led by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, the Blackhawks captured another title in 2013 and is now 60 minutes away from completing another long, victorious journey.
Heading into Game 5 with a 2-2 series tie, the Blackhawks relied on late heroics from forward Antoine Vermette (who now has four postseason goals, three as game winners) and goaltender Corey Crawford, who stopped 31 of 32 shots from the opposing Tampa Bay Lightning. Chicago is 3-1 when they have the chance to close out a series in 2015, with the only loss coming in Game 5 of the first round against the Nashville Predators.
The Blackhawks look poised to continue its league dominance into the future, as top players Toews, Kane, Keith, Crawford, Marian Hossa and Niklas Hjalmarsson are all locked up until at least 2019-2020. The only member of the team’s core of Cup wins that will see his contract expire soon is Seabrook (2016-17).
The Blackhawks’ rule seems to switch off with the Los Angeles Kings, who did not qualify for the 2015 playoffs after seizing the Cup the season prior. The Kings defeated the Blackhawks in seven games of the Western Conference Final that season, with the winning goal coming in overtime (Alec Martinez).
The Blackhawks also entered the Western Conference Final in 2009, losing in five games to the Detroit Red Wings. This adds up to the Blackhawks involved in five of the last seven Western Finals — not many teams can boast a similar model of consistency.
Going by statistics, it’s difficult to assign a number of championships needed to dictate a dynasty. Skating away with an average of one title every two years in the post-expansion era, though, sure is going to be tough to beat.
Acquiring one more victory may be what the Blackhawks need to receive the uncontested dynasty tag by sports pundits.
Check out what is going on around the NHL with this weekend’s news:
Victor Hedman and Ben Bishop collided to cause the Blackhawks’ first goal in Game 5. [Today’s Slapshot]
What you should take away from Game 5. [The Score]
Nathan Beaulieu signed a two-year contract extension with Montreal. [Hockey Inside/Out]
A judge granted a restraining order in the Arizona Coyotes dispute with Glendale. [ESPN]
Seattle’s chances to acquire an NHL team might be greatly improving every day. [Seattle Pi]
Gary Bettman needs to end the NHL’s experiment in Arizona. [New York Post]
NHL comparisons for the top-five forwards in the 2015 NHL Draft. [Bleacher Report]