son For the Chicago Blackhawks fans that can remember a team that featured Eddie Belfour and Dominik Hasek as the tandem, the 1991-92 team was something special. Not only would they go to the Stanley Cup Final that year, they would rip off a staggering 11-game winning streak that would propel them through the (then) Campbell Conference.
Just never mind the results of the Stanley Cup Final against a ridiculously stacked Pittsburgh Penguins team.
31 years ago on the same day, the Blackhawks would rally to down the Oilers 4-2 to take a commanding 2-0 series lead as well as cementing their win streak with their ninth straight victory.
Blackhawks Roll Through the Conference After Years of Frustration
The history heading into this run was how the Blackhawks were always so close, yet so disappointing in the playoffs. In 1991, they bowed out in the first round after being the division champs. A season earlier in 1990, they fell to the Oilers in the Conference Finals. In fact, the Blackhawks were tormented twice in the ’80’s by the Oilers, unable to get past them in 1983 and 1985. Both series blocked Chicago’s chance at playing in the Stanley Cup Final.
After a decade of disappointment, the 1992 playoffs would provide the tonic–at least in the Campbell (now Western) Conference anyway.
The Game 2 victory was a steady diet of Steve Smith, Michel Goulet, Steve Larmer, and Chris Chelios who would pace Chicago to victory. Larmer would pot the first two goals while Chelios would pick up three assists along with his usual feisty play. Larmer even assisted on Goulet’s game winning goal, which sent old Chicago Stadium into bedlam.
Sweet Sweep but Sour Final
Chicago would head to Edmonton and take Game 3 in overtime before sealing the Oilers off with a 5-1 win in Game 4. To put into perspective why the 11-game winning streak and amazing run ran short, the ’92 Pittsburgh Penguins was one of the best teams of the decade. They would sweep Chicago and capture their second consecutive Cup.
Results be damned, the Blackhawks 11-game streak was impressive in its own right. Chicago wouldn’t see the same level of success, the furthest being their five-game Conference Final loss to Detroit in 1995. That would also signify the end of an era, and it would be over a decade before they would go that far again.
Oh, and if you’d like to revel in the nostalgia, here’s a good 25-minute version of the game that includes the big moments of the game, along with the goosebump-inducing rendition of the National Anthem. It’s worth the watch.