Blackhawks

Highlighting Blackhawks' milestones during 2015 postseason

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Highlighting Blackhawks' milestones during 2015 postseason

The season and championship parade/rally may be over, but the celebration will continue all summer in Chicago after the Blackhawks claimed their third Stanley Cup in the last six years.

So before we officially close the chapter on the 2015 season, let's highlight some of the milestones the Blackhawks set during their postseason run.

  • Blackhawks are the first team to capture three Stanley Cups over a span of six seasons since the Detroit Red Wings (1997, 1998, 2002).

  • Blackhawks have now won 10 consecutive Game 6s when leading a series 3-2; it's the second-longest streak of its kind in NHL history.

[MORE: Relive the Blackhawks 2015 Stanley Cup Parade and Rally]

  • Blackhawks became the first team in NHL history to win four multiple-overtime games, which included a pair of triple-overtime wins, in the same postseason.

  • Blackhawks broke a franchise record for longest game at 116:12, which ended in a 3-2 victory against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final. The previous record stood at 113:50 in 1931 against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

  • Blackhawks finished the year with a perfect 33-0-0 record (8-0 in the playoffs) when leading after two periods, the only team unbeaten team in that scenario. 

 
Now, for some individual accomplishments:
 

  • Corey Crawford tied Tony Esposito (45) for most postseason wins as a goaltender in franchise history, surpassing Ed Belfour (37), who ranks second, along the way.
     
  • Crawford also became the first goalie in Blackhawks history to win two Stanley Cups.

[SHOP BLACKHAWKS: Get your 2015 Stanley Cup champs gear right here]

  • Joel Quenneville jumped to No. 3 all-time for most postseason wins in NHL history with 115; only Scotty Bowman (223) and Al Arbour (123) have more.

  • Quenneville (73) also surpassed Bill Reay (57) for most playoff wins as a Blackhawks coach.

  • Quenneville now stands alone for most Stanley Cup wins (three) out of any active head coach. Los Angeles Kings' Darryl Sutter is the only other current coach with at least two.

  • Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews became the fifth and sixth's players in franchise history to crack 100 points in the postseason. Kane ranks fourth with 114 while Toews sits at sixth with 102. The other four: Stan Mikita (150), Denis Savard (145), Bobby Hull (129), and Steve Larmer (111).

 
(Sticktap to ESPN's Elias Sports Bureau and NHL's Public Relations Department for the contributions).

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

Jimmy Greenfield, Connor McKnight, and Matt Spiegel join Kap on the panel to discuss Corey Crawford back on the ice for the first time in 10 months. The Bears have good news when it comes to Khalil Mack, who injured his ankle against the Dolphins.

Plus, Fred Hoiberg announces that Jabari Parker is coming off the bench for the season opener.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below:

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Niklas Hjalmarsson 'wasn't happy' about trade, but remembers time with Blackhawks fondly

Apparently time doesn’t heal all wounds. 

Nearly a year and a half since being traded to the Coyotes, Niklas Hjalmarsson will return to the United Center ice on Thursday playing for the visiting team.  

“It’s going to be strange coming in as the away team and being in the other locker room,” said Hjalmarsson on Wednesday. “I bet it’s going to be a lot of emotions and mixed feelings.” 

This is also the first time Hjalmarsson has been back to the city of Chicago since he was traded, a city he called his “second home.” A home where he spent parts of 10 seasons, and never really planned on leaving.

“I wasn’t happy, to be honest with you,” said Hjalmarsson of the trade to Arizona. “I was shocked. It took me a couple days to actually realize I wasn’t going to play for the Hawks anymore.”

Including the playoffs, Hjalmarsson played 751 games in the Indian head sweater. Despite that and the team’s three Stanley Cup victories, the Blackhawks shipped him off to Arizona for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin in June of 2017.

“You kind of let it go after a while,” he said. “Now I’m just hoping all the success for the guys over here too.”

Hjalmarsson was known for his toughness, repeatedly blocking shot after shot, giving up his body, while never missing a shift. He credits his long-time teammates — Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook — for a lot of his success and identity on the blue line.

“I couldn’t have had better role models coming into a team,” he said. “I’m very thankful to have played on the same team as those guys and created a lot of success together. We’re always going to be connected with the Cups that we’ve had.”

The third championship won by that defense-trio was on United Center ice against the Lightning in 2015, but that isn’t the memory that stands out most for Hjalmarsson.

“The first Cup is always going to be pretty special,” said the 31-year old. “Even just going to the conference final (in 2009), even when we lost against Detroit that year, the year before was great memories too. The first time for me going into the playoffs and playing deep.”

The tables have turned now for both Hjalmarsson and the Blackhawks. 

The Coyotes have yet to score an even-strength goal this season, while the Blackhawks have claimed eight of a possible 10 points thus far through five games and expect to have their starting goaltender back between the pipes. 

But you won’t hear any ill-will from Hjalmarsson, he’s still rooting for the Hawks.

“I always think that Chicago deserves to have a team in the playoffs,” he said. “It’s not that I wish them not to do well. It’s the total opposite. I want them to have continued success.”