Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/18/13 at 11:24 AM ET
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Not sure if it's because we've all become so used to them winning -- twice being Stanley Cup champions since 2010 -- but has a first-place team ever gone without less fanfare than the Chicago Blackhawks?
A 3-1 win over Nashville pushed their league-best record to 25-7-5, the reigning Cup champs laughing in the face of the so-called Cup hangover that beset other former champions over the past decade.
Rookie netminder Antti Raanta, 24, improved to 7-1-1 for the Hawks, and while he's been impressive, don't you think Santa himself could be in net and the Hawks would still keep on winning? Just saying.
The Western Conference is a beast, and the likes of L.A., Anaheim, San Jose, St. Louis and Vancouver, among others, will have a mighty say in whether the Hawks can become the first repeat champions since the 1997-98 Red Wings. As one Eastern Conference GM recently told me, "The road still goes through Chicago, no matter what anyone says." True that.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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