Chicago Blackhawks 1990-96

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by whcanuck, Sep 25, 2018.

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  1. whcanuck

    whcanuck Registered User

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    The Chicago Blackhawks, except for the era from about 2009-15 and the period from 1961-71, may have had one of their best teams in the early to mid 1990s. The big three of Jeremy Roenick, Chris Chelios and Ed Belfour were outstanding in this period, and you can even make it a big 4 if you include Steve Larmer. Not to mention Dominik Hasek as the backup goaltender!

    The Hawks made it to the Conference Finals twice in this span and got to the big dance in 1992, bowing out to the powerhouse Pens in a sweep.

    This roster was so deep. After the big stars there were veterans like captain Dirk Graham, Michel Goulet, Steve Smith, Bryan Marchment and Joe Murphy. This was a very good hockey team that was at or near the top of the NHL standings for more than half a decade. After the 1996 season of course, the band broke up when Roenick left, then Belfour and finally Chelios.

    But why didn't they have more playoff success? Sure they had a few good deep runs, but their 1992 final showing wasn't great, weren't able to win a single game. They also had big years in 1991 and 1993 only to be shockingly upset in the first round of the playoffs.
     
  2. ForsbergForever

    ForsbergForever Red Rocket

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    They had some great, gritty, if low-profile defensemen after Chelios and Suter... guys like Keith Carney, Eric Weinrich, Cam Russell, Dave Manson, Steve Smith and of course even more truckulence in the persons of Probert, Cummins, Ciccone, and Grimson. So toughness was certainly not lacking, but as to why they didn't do more I think I'll leave that to someone who was there.
     
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  3. Normand Lacombe

    Normand Lacombe Registered User

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    I think the Blackhawks were overconfident heading into the playoffs in 1991. They were coming off a President's Trophy and facing a Minnesota team in the first round that was 12 games under .500 in the RS. Once Minnesota won game one in OT at Chicago, the North Stars had confidence. The Hawks won the next two games in unconvincing fashion, before Minnesota reeled off three wins in a row, including a 6-0 pasting of the Hawks at Chicago Stadium. The Hawks were outshot in five of the six games and scored only 2 goals in the final three games. Belfour didn't help the cause with a .891 SV% and a 4.07 GAA.

    In 1993, the Blackhawks simply couldn't score against Curtis Joseph. In the 4 game sweep by the Blues, Joseph stood on his head, pitching two shutouts and a .957 SV%. Hull had a great series, 5 G, 3 A, 8 PTS, while scoring at least one goal in every game. The Blues kept Roenick (3 pts), Goulet (1 pt) and Larmer (3 pts) in check, while Murphy was invisible with 0 points. Belfour had another bad series, but you can't pin all the blame on him.
     
  4. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    Let's see: In 1990 they were on the rise, but had two tough 7-game series (against Minny and St.Louis), before running into deeper Edmonton, with Messier and Ranford in great form. This, plus Keenan's insistence on playing Greg Millen, did them in. After this season, Keenan got rid of Savard.

    In 1990-91 they finished in 1st overall, partly due to Ed Belfour's .910 save percentage. Given that non-dominant teams like Minny and Pittsburgh made the Finals, this really was maybe Chicago's best chance at the Cup. But they lost to Minnesota, that surprise team, in the first round. Actually, looking back at it, Chicago lost game 1 in overtime and then won games two and three. Barring a single bounce of the puck, they could easily have been up 3-0 in that series, from which they certainly would have won it and almost undoubtedly would have gone to the Finals against Pittsburgh.

    In 1992, they had a middling regular season but did everything right in the playoffs... until they left Mario unchecked at the blue-line with 10 seconds left in game one. I've never understood what they (Keenan?) were thinking there. Pittsburgh was stronger in '92 than in '91, and I think the better team won that one... although the Hawks basically handed the Pens game one.

    Enter Daryl Sutter, and suddenly the Hawks transition to a defence-first team. This worked well enough in the regular season, but against St.Louis in the playoffs they couldn't score and got swept. Only 4 players managed to score in the whole series.

    After that, I think they didn't have enough depth at forward.

    But I don't recall why Sutter departed after the short '95 season?
     
  5. Normand Lacombe

    Normand Lacombe Registered User

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    Daryl resigned to be at home with his son, who had had Down's Syndrome.
     
  6. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Equally great were the Hawks that went to the conference finals three times between 1982-1985. Denis Savard, Al Secord, Doug Wilson, Steve Larmer, Darryl Sutter, Troy Murray, Ed Olczyk, Bob Murray, Keith Brown, even Tom Lysiak... that team would have won a cup if it weren't for the legendary Oilers. When Chicago keyed in on containing Gretzky and Messier to just a point or two a night, hat tricks by Anderson and Kurri downed the Hawks. The team changed coaches three times in four years but couldn't get to the promised land despite huge expectations for them to do so.
     
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  7. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    don’t forget iron mike peluso, one of three men to ever hit the 400 pim plateau.

    and manson probably belongs on this list as much as he belongs on that other one you had him in. guy was a maniac.
     
  8. ForsbergForever

    ForsbergForever Red Rocket

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    I wonder how much things would have gone differently for the Hawks if they had been successful in getting Tkachuk through that offersheet in 1995.
     
  9. ehhedler

    ehhedler Registered User

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    Roenick was a little alone up front, speaking of offensive star power, to put them over the last hurdle. And while Roenick was very good or (perhaps even) great (for a while) he was always more of a Turgeon level player than an Yzerman calibre guy.
     
  10. GlitchMarner

    GlitchMarner Formerly 29GoalHoglund

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    Well, Tkachuk is legendary for his playoff play... :oops:
     
  11. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Yeah, some of those early 90's Chicago teams were quite good. Up there among great teams to never win a Cup for sure.
     
  12. Jim MacDonald

    Jim MacDonald Registered User

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    I know the 93 playoffs were considered a bust with getting swept by the Blues with the controversial goal to end game 4 I believe......Do you guys/gals know much about the 94 playoff series with the Leafs? Is that considered a bust too? I think they lost in six with the last game being a 1-0 loss at home....I seen highlights of Roenick winning a game in OT at home that series.
     
  13. GlitchMarner

    GlitchMarner Formerly 29GoalHoglund

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    I was eight during that TOR/CHI series in 1994, so I don't remember it too well, but I do know the Leafs won three games by a 1-0 score.

    I've seen some of game six recently on Leafs TV. It's surprising how little offense CHI manages to mount toward the end of that game considering the score was only 1-0 and the Hawks were facing elimination.
     
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  14. ChrisK97

    ChrisK97 Registered User

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    I don’t think 94 was a bust.

    Whereas the 93 team had the third beat record overall, #1 in the Campbell Conference, and finished 21 points ahead of the Blues.

    94 was the opposite: only 3 games above .500, an uninspiring record (39-36-9, only 2 points better than Vancouver, only 5 points better than San Jose), finished 11 points behind Toronto.
     
  15. AmericanDream

    AmericanDream Adopted Canadian

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    The 1995 and 1996 teams (1995 that lost to the Wings in the Western Conference Finals) were as good as any Hawks teams that I watched during that era.

    They brought in Bernie Nicholls to FINALLY give Roenick some help and a legit second scoring line. Most of those years prior we were a 1 line team with JR and Larmer doing the heavy lifting, then Murphy and Goulet rotating with them...simply had no real good #2C options to hang with the best teams.

    We had a young rookie in Eric Daze who was a gentile giant, but great goal scorer, and Tony Amonte from that 1994 Rangers trade that was starting to take off scoring wise. Had three young solid players in Shantz, Krivokrasov, and Poulin as well...We added vets in Murray Craven and Denis Savard back, and the team went from one line, to rolling 3 lines for the first time in my life time as a Hawks fan. ****, Probert almost hit 20 goals that year.

    That team should have went to the cup for what they finally assembled, unfortunately we just couldn't get past Detroit in the Finals. Nobody had a career year because they rolled the lines so evenly it was wave after wave, I still have score cards we would keep as kids from that season, they blew out some teams man.

    Poulin - Roenick - Amonte
    Daze - Nicholls - Murphy
    Probert - Craven - Savard
    Shantz - Sutter - Krivokrasov

    Chelios - Suter
    Carney - Weinrich
    Smith - Russell


    team was deep...
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  16. Jim MacDonald

    Jim MacDonald Registered User

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    Ahhh ok...very interesting to learn this Chris thanks....boy it's crazy to learn they went South so much in one season!
     
  17. Sticks and Pucks

    Sticks and Pucks Registered User

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    Looks like they lost some secondary scoring in 93-94 due to an aging core. Got it back the following season with Nicholls, Savard, and a full season of Amonte.
     
  18. Jim MacDonald

    Jim MacDonald Registered User

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    I remember Savard had a GREAT playoffs in 95...maybe had 7, 8 or 9 goals or something....I bought Game 5 of the WCF between the Wings and Hawks and when Savard scored his goal they talked about how great he had been up to that point (feeding Chelios the series winner against Vancouver etc).
     
  19. streitz

    streitz Registered User

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    They had plenty of playoff success, they were a good/great team but not among the elite at the time despite the presidents trophy.


    Also in 1991 the refs pretty much gave the north stars the series.
     
  20. The Pale King

    The Pale King katabat.bandcamp*****

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    I'm interested in how they stack up against the Flames from the same period. They certainly had more playoff success, but I don't have to squint too hard to picture either/both teams winning a Cup in that early/mid-90s window.

    Roenick, Chelios, and Belfour vs Fleury, Macinnis and Vernon. Hawks might have the better high-end guys, but the Flames have them beat in depth.
     

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