It’s been a long, long time since the Chicago Blackhawks won a Stanley Cup. Almost 50 years, actually, as the last time they raised it was the 1960-61 campaign. With the team four wins away from a championship, it seems reasonable to compare the 2009-10 Blackhawks to their predecessors, something that Vintage Leaf Memories did today.
The first logical comparison is Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Michael Langlois points out that Hull and Mikita were at similar age levels when they had their greatest successes, just like Kane and Toews.
Moving on, Langlois wrote that the teams compare favorably on the blueline as well as with veteran role players.
The two biggest difference, he writes, is that the old team lacked anyone resembling Dustin Byfuglien and the current Blackhawks don’t have a Hall of Fame goalie in the league of Glen Hall.
First, his take on Byfuglien:
I don’t recall anyone on the old Hawk team like Byfuglien. He is playing now like a combination of a young Probert and Bertuzzi in their prime. He’s a load in front of the net and a guy who can apparently finish, too and score big goals-though I do recall that ex-Hab Ab McDonald was a good-sized forward (for the time) and brought some of that to the ’61 team.
Finally, Langlois on the current Blackhawks situation in net:
The big difference is that the Hawks had a an “in his prime” future Hall-of-Famer in Glenn Hall in net, who shut out the then five-time defending champion Canadiens the last two games of the semi-finals then led Chicago over the Red Wings in six games in the Cup final.
Niemi doesn’t have to be a Hall-of-Famer, he just has to play like one for one more series for Chicago to win for the first time in 50 years.
Ultimately, to Chicago Blackhawks fans, the only thing the two teams really need to have in common is a Cup victory.
(H/T to Greatest Hockey Memories.)