Year in review: Best and worst of 2013

December, 30, 2013
12/30/13
11:42
AM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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Chicago BlackhawksJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesThe Blackhawks watch as the 2013 Stanley Cup Championship banner is hung during a ceremony on Oct. 1.

The Chicago Blackhawks couldn’t have jammed much more into one calendar year as they did in 2013

From the NHL lockout ending to a NHL-record 24-game points streak to winning the Stanley Cup in dramatic fashion to having an estimated one million people at their Grant Park rally to a shortened offseason to again being atop the league in points entering 2014, the Blackhawks saw and did it all in 2013. Even their worst moments weren't all that bad and were often followed by their best moments.

It is certainly a year that will be forever remembered by the franchise and its fans.

BEST MOMENTS

5. Emery, Hossa steal points in Calgary: The Blackhawks’ record-breaking points streak would have come to an end in the ninth game of the 2013 season if it wasn’t for a career performance by goaltender Ray Emery and late heroics by Marian Hossa. The Blackhawks were outshot 47-19 by the Calgary Flames, but remained in the game thanks to Emery’s 45 saves. Despite that, the Blackhawks still appeared to be headed to a 2-1 defeat. With Emery pulled in the final minute of the third period, Hossa came through and scored with 2.3 seconds remaining and forced overtime. Patrick Kane scored the lone shootout goal, and Emery made three shootout saves for the victory.

[+] EnlargePatrick Kane
Scott Stewart/USA TODAY SportsPatrick Kane celebrates his game-winning goal with Andrew Shaw during the second overtime of Game 5 against the Kings on June 8.
4. Kane’s hat trick: Kane is playing the best hockey of his career and has had a memorable calendar year. He’s accumulated 103 points in 85 regular-season games, 19 points in 23 playoff games and was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner during 2013. His greatest individual feat was scoring three goals, including the game-winner, in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 two-overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals. He became the fourth player in the last 30 years to record a hat trick in the conference finals.

3. Best start in NHL history: The Blackhawks set the NHL’s record for best start in a season by registering a point in the first 24 games of the 2013 season. The previous record was 16 games by the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks. The Blackhawks went 21-0-3 during their record start. Their first loss came in Game 25 against the Colorado Avalanche on March 8. The Blackhawks played in 16 one-goal games during the 24 games.

2. Blackhawks rally back against Red Wings: The Blackhawks dropped three consecutive games to the Red Wings and fell behind 3-1 in the Western Conference semifinals. The Blackhawks won Game 5 by a 4-1 score behind two goals by Andrew Shaw in Chicago. They were facing a 2-1 deficit after two periods in Game 6 in Detroit and fought back to win 4-2. Game 7 was thought to be one of the biggest games in the history of the teams’ rivalry, and it lived up to the hype. Patrick Sharp gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead in the second period, and Henrik Zetterberg tied the game early into the third period. The Blackhawks had a controversial goal waved off in the third period, and Brent Seabrook provided the game-winner at 3:35 of overtime.

1. The Blackhawks win the Cup again: The Blackhawks won their second Stanley Cup in four years by defeating the Boston Bruins in six games. The series included three overtime games and no game was decided by more than two goals. The Blackhawks clinched Game 6 in dramatic fashion as Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored within 17 seconds of each other in the final 1:16 of the third period and turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 victory before a stunned Boston crowd. The Blackhawks celebrated their victory with a parade through Chicago and a rally at Grant Park. An estimated two million people attended the rally.

WORST MOMENTS

5. Bieber disrespects the logo: Pop star Justin Bieber angered Blackhawks nation by unwittingly standing on the team’s logo while taking a picture with the Stanley Cup in the team’s dressing room in July. Blackhawks players Brandon Bollig and Shaw light-heartedly scolded Bieber on Twitter. Shaw wrote, “Bro no stepping on the logo @justinbieber that's money on the board! #gutty.” The Blackhawks released a statement saying Bieber apologized for the incident.

4. Toews’ forgettable game: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews had one of the worst games of his career in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals last season. He was called for three unrelated penalties for the first time in his career and spent six minutes in the box. He was called for hooking once and high-sticking twice. He also had zero points and a minus-one rating in the Blackhawks’ loss.

3. Keith suspended: Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith received one-game suspension for high-sticking the Los Angeles Kings’ Jeff Carter during Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. Keith swung his stick upward and connected with Carter's face while the two were skating behind the play. Carter fell to the ice and required 20 stitches. Keith missed Game 4 and was replaced by Sheldon Brookbank, who was a healthy scratch throughout the playoffs. Brookbank had a minus-two rating in Game 4, but the Blackhawks pulled out a 3-2 win.

2. Q’s doghouse: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville placed defensemen Brent Seabrook and Nick Leddy and forward Viktor Stalberg in his doghouse at different times during the playoffs. Seabrook played a season-low 12:03 against the Red Wings in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. Leddy’s ice time was 2:37, 6:53 and 3:25 in the final three games of the Stanley Cup finals. Stalberg was made a healthy scratch in four playoff games.

1. Season on the line: The Blackhawks’ dream of winning another Stanley Cup nearly vanished in the Western Conference semifinals. They dropped three consecutive games, one at home and two on the road, to the Red Wings and put themselves in a 3-1 hole.
Scott Powers is the Blackhawks beat reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Kane
PTS GOALS AST +/-
64 27 37 10
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Kane 27
AssistsP. Kane 37
+/-J. Toews 23
GAAC. Crawford 2.29