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Experience could help Chicago avoid Stanley Cup hangover

Jul 27, 2013, 1:20 PM EST

Duncan Keith Getty Images

As hard as winning the Stanley Cup is, defending it seems to be an even more daunting task. Everyone is out to get you plus you’re coming off of a season where you played more than almost every other team and had less time to rest over the summer.

This year it might be even tougher as the Stanley Cup Final ended later due to the lockout and the top players on teams will be playing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in addition to the 82-game grind.

As it is, no team has successfully defended the Cup since the Detroit Red Wings earned back-to-back championships in 1997-98. That being said, the Blackhawks have a rare advantage: They know what to expect.

Many of the Blackhawks’ best players were also around when they won it all in 2010, so they know exactly what it’s like to try and defend the Cup, even if they weren’t successful in their first attempt.

“Winning the first time, you learn a lot about what to do in the offseason the next year,” Defenseman Duncan Keith told CSN Chicago. “Obviously we’ll see. There can only be one winner at the end of the day. But I still think we have to make sure we’re prepared and make sure we know it’s important to get off to a good start and use the experiences of last time.”

Patrick Sharp added that going into the 2013-14 campaign with mostly the same team will help. They were in a terrible cap situation in the summer of 2010 and had to sacrifice many of their complimentary players in addition to starting goaltender Antti Niemi as a result. By comparison, this summer’s turnover was far less severe.

“Easier’s the wrong word, but it might be more comfortable with the number of returning players and Joel (Quenneville’s status) being locked up,” Sharp said. “There’s going to be that familiarity.

“Hopefully we pick up where we left off last season.”

  1. dboldave - Jul 27, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    The hard part is keeping everyone healthy, especially once the playoffs start.

  2. blackhawks2010 - Jul 27, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Agreed, health will be the biggest factor. If we can stay healthy, we will be in a great shape to repeat with our talent and experience.

  3. pirovash88 - Jul 27, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    I really doubt they have what it takes to repeat as champions, but then again they’ll be in the easiest division next season, so that’ll definitely be an advantage.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 28, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      Did not seem to help the Caps in the playoffs. No matter how you divide upm tyhe West, Hawks are still the best team. Not saying that there arn’t other good teams, and we saw how close the Kings WERN’T in the playoffs.

  4. chanceoffleury1 - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    They are a great team, but they also have the shortest break of any Cup champion since 1995. They basically just have to get right back into training. They defined the word domination last year, so nothing against them. I just wouldn’t bet my bottom dollar on them being the team to repeat because of the short break. But they kept a lot of the guys together so at least a deep run wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 28, 2013 at 8:43 PM

      And of course there is the big unknown, injuries. While I’m VERy bullish on their chances next year, I’m not doing any real betting, as I would have done last year if I could have legally (I live in ILL and was not in a traveling role during the year)

  5. girouxed - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Well they only played half the games this past season, but at a faster pace. So a full season with more time in between games should benefit them.

  6. sjsharks66 - Jul 27, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    They had a great season. Will they repeat it? Highly unlikely.

    • Jackson Scofield - Jul 27, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      Highly unlikely? Sure, 1 team out of 30. But are there many teams that individually have better chances? no.

  7. blomfeld - Jul 27, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    WAS FEHR A COMMUNIST ?

    While the answer to that could be somewhat clouded, there exists ‘no’ uncertainty in asserting that the Chicago Black Hawks will ‘not’ repeat as SC champs this coming season ! Their victory last year came with an *asterisk* due to comrade Bettman’s shortened 48 x schedule. And Hawks’ fans themselves will tell you that ‘something’ just didn’t feel right about it ? Next year however will be the ‘real’ deal, where the eventual winner will be an ardent and ‘righteous’ team which has to play a full 82 x game schedule and then some 20 ‘plus’ games in the playoffs, all the while ‘destroying’ everything in it’s path. And if I recall correctly, the last team to do that were our ‘glorious’ Kings of Los Angeles ! :) :) :) :) :)

    PS fellow Kings’ fans: Enjoy the summer friends and continue to ‘savor’ the fact that we are the ‘true’ Stanley Cup champions … winners of the last ‘scandal free’ campaign and the most ‘feared’ team in the league, bar none !. But be ready in September, when it’ll be time for us all to ‘fall in’ again and begin yet another ‘glorious’ march to supreme and ultimate victory !

    GO KINGS GO !!!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    clue: we Kings are the side which had a penchant to transmit ‘tally ho’ upon engaging the enemy ! :)

  8. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Another Kings fan dissing the Hawks, nothing new, resorting to the lame “asterisk” thing. Same thing we got constantly thrown at us during the streak last year. Last year the Kings and Pens fans were the most likely to troll on Hawks game threads, trashing the Hawks and making dire predictions. I posted very objective comparisons based on thorough statistical analysys before the playoffs started, during the 1st two rounds as Kings fans continued their behavior, and during their WC Finals. I was consistantly given dismissive, patronizing responses, none bothering the refure what I said, and ultimately falling back on “We have J Quick”.

    I was ultimately proven to be quite correct, and having followed all the summer changes and re-signings, have no reason to not conclude that the Hawks are the logical favorites to win their their division, the WC and contend for the SC, again.

    • pirovash88 - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      The Hawks better win their division next season, have you seen who else is in it? Bunch of pathetic teams..

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 28, 2013 at 8:38 PM

        Preds have been prety good, until last year. They’ve taken steps to rebuild, with Rinne not having had surgery during this offseason, they will most likely be better. Wild will likely improve a little, and Blues should do better. They had real goaltending problems earlier in the season.

        And admittedly it is likely the weakest division, now that the continually weak SE division was disbanded. Don’t blame us Hawks fans – we’d rather the Wings still be present, don’t think anyone but the Wild have positive thoughts about the Jets/Thrashers being included.

      • blomfeld - Jul 28, 2013 at 10:54 PM

        Enduser – I’ve no quarrel with you people and you were indeed the ‘best’ in last year’s campaign. But it came with an *asterisk* and there’s nothing more that anyone can do about that, as that’s just the way it is. This year however, you’ll have your chance to show what you’re made of. And you people had better make sure that you do, because we LA Kings are ‘angry, battle-tested and ready’ to reclaim that which is ours … “Stanley Cup Champions of the Free World” based on a full 82 x game schedule !

        GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!

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