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One minute remaining: Opening game indicators

by Harvey Wittenberg / Chicago Blackhawks

With six Stanley Cups captured in 88 NHL seasons, the Blackhawks are setting their aim on number seven and are trying to become the first to repeat since Detroit turned the trick in 1997 and 1998, prior to the start of the hard salary cap.

It is interesting to note that when the Blackhawks won their first three Cups in 1934, 1938 and 1961, they opened the season at home. The most recent three Cup-winning campaigns in 2010, 2013 and 2015 saw the Blackhawks begin their schedule on the road.

Naturally, there is a ton of hockey with an 82-game schedule that will be decided before the regular campaign ends on April 9.

Taking nothing for granted, Coach Joel Quennville has repeatedly said the toughest task is making the playoffs. After all, the Los Angeles Kings failed to reach the playoffs last season after winning the Stanley Cup in 2014.

The Blackhawks are 38-31-17 (including two overtime losses) all-time in openers. The 1934 and 1961 Blackhawks teams both tied their openers, while the 1938 Cinderella team—which won the Stanley Cup, despite a losing regular-season record—was shut out in their first game.

The 2010 team lost in a shootout at a game played in Finland, but in the 2012-13 opener, the Blackhawks spoiled L.A.'s banner-raising ceremony; last season the Blackhawks beat Dallas 3-2 in a shootout.

Winning the first game of the season after enjoying the banner-raising ceremony against the Rangers would be great, but the long-term plan remains "One Goal" in retaining the coveted Stanley Cup for Blackhawk fans!

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