Then there were “Four”…a very special four. Thanks to a Brent Seabrooks wrister 3:35 into overtime in game 7 against Detroit, the Blackhawks advanced into the conference semi-finals. Not only did Seabrook’s shot complete an improbably comeback for Chicago, being down 3-1 in the best of seven, it also was historic.
Historic in the sense that it’s the first time since 1945, and only the second time in league history that all four semi final teams are the last four Stanley Cup Champions. Pittsburgh who won it in 2009 will face off against the 2011 Champion Bruins.
While last year’s Cup winning L.A. Kings take on Lord Stanley’s Champion Black Hawks who won it all in 2010.
Back in 1945 the four champions that went at it, were the Montreal Canadiens (1944), Detroit Red Wings (1943), Toronto Maple Leafs (1942), and Boston Bruins (1941).
The Leafs who were down 3 games to none in the Championship, came back and won the next 4 games against the Red Wings to win the Cup in 1945.
Back to present day, only two teams have won the Cup twice since 1999, Detroit (2002, 2008) and New Jersey (2000, 2003), also no one has won the Cup twice since the salary cap was introduced for the 2005-06 season. Los Angeles who won the Cup last year, will have a chance to become the first repeat champions since Detroit in 1997 and ’98, but first they’ll have to get by my pick to win it all – the Chicago Blackhawks!