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This Week in Chicago Blackhawks History: 1961 champs crowned, 2010 & 2015 runs begin

Greg Boysen Avatar
April 15, 2023

This week in Chicago Blackhawks history is full of playoff memories, including the crowning of a Stanley Cup championship team. Many of the best players to ever wear the Blackhawks uniform left their mark while two more recent Stanley Cup runs got underway. The CHGO time machine is ready to take you back through the decades to relive it all, so let’s hop on the ride!

April 13

1919 – Paul Bibeault was born in Montreal, QC. The goaltender played 41 games for the Blackhawks during the 1946-47 season and went 13-25-2 with a 4.15 goals-against average (GAA) and one shutout. Following the season, he was sent to the Montreal Canadiens to complete an earlier trade for George Allen.

1944 – The Blackhawks had their championship hopes dashed by Canadiens’ legend Toe Blake. He assisted on all four goals in regulation before scoring in overtime to complete the four-game sweep. This was the first Stanley Cup win for the Canadiens in 13 years, the longest championship drought they would endure during the 20th century.

1974 – The Los Angeles Kings held the visiting Blackhawks to just 10 shots on goal, and just three after the first period, setting a record for the fewest shots on goal in a Stanley Cup Playoff game. However, Germain Gagnon scored on their first shot of the game, and that was all they needed as Tony Esposito made 32 saves in a 1-0 win.

1985 – The Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 8-2 to complete a three-game sweep in the Norris Division Semifinals. Denis Savard led the way with two goals, while Steve Larmer and Behn Wilson each had a goal and two assists. Tom Lysiak, Troy Murray, and Doug Wilson finished with two helpers.

1989 – Another Red Wings season came to an end after a 7-1 loss to the Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Norris Division Semifinals. Wayne Presley was the offensive hero by scoring his only career postseason hat trick. Larmer added two goals, Savard had a goal and two assists, while future head coach Trent Yawney chipped in with three assists. This was the first playoff series win under Mike Keenan, who led the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup Final in 1992.

1993 – Ed Belfour picked up his 40th win of the season in a 3-2 victory at the Minnesota North Stars. He joined Jacques Plante, Terry Sawchuk, Bernie Parent, and Ken Dryden as the only goalies to have more than one 40-win season in NHL history.

1997 – Eric Daze scored his first NHL hat trick and added an assist for the first four-point game of his career as the Blackhawks beat the Dallas Stars 5-2.

April 14

1931 – Paul Masnick was born in Regina, SK. The center was loaned to the Blackhawks by the Canadiens on Nov. 9, 1954. He had one goal in 14 games before he returned to Montreal a month later. At 91, he is the last surviving member of the Canadiens’ 1953 Stanley Cup Championship team.

1980 – The legendary Stan Mikita announced his retirement. In his 22 seasons for the Blackhawks, he scored 541 goals and 1,467 points in 1,396 games. He won two Hart Trophies and was a four-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy. He remains the franchise’s all-time leader in points. Mikita was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, his first year of eligibility.

1992 – Larmer played in his 800th consecutive game, a 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues. The milestone left Larmer third on the NHL’s all-time list behind Doug Jarvis (964) and Garry Unger (914)  for consecutive games played. He never missed a game in his entire career with the Blackhawks.

1991 – After winning the Presidents’ Trophy with 106 points in the regular season, the Blackhawks’ season came to an early and disappointing end with a 3-1 loss to the North Stars. Keith Brown had the lone goal in the game. The Blackhawks jumped out to a 2-1 series lead before losing three straight games in which they scored two total goals. The North Stars went on a run all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the same thing the Blackhawks did the following season.

1994 – The Blackhawks lost 6-4 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the final regular-season game at Chicago Stadium. John Cullen scored two goals for the Maple Leafs, including the final one in the old barn. Dirk Graham lit the lamp for the last time in the regular season at the original Madhouse on Madison.

1997 – Wyatt Kalynuk was born in Brandon, MB. The Blackhawks signed the defenseman as a free agent after he was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the seventh round (196th overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He had four goals and nine points in 26 games over two seasons with the Blackhawks. He signed with the Vancouver Canucks in 2022 and was eventually traded to the New York Rangers.

April 15

1920 – Jim McFadden was born in Belfast, Ireland. He is one of only six players born in Ireland to play in the NHL. The centerman won the 1948 Calder Trophy with the Red Wings after scoring 24 goals and 48 points in his rookie season. On Aug. 20, 1951, he was dealt to the Blackhawks as part of a seven-player trade. McFadden scored 36 goals and 84 points in 159 games over three seasons before moving on to the Calgary Stampeders of the WHL, where he played until 1957.

1965 – The Blackhawks advanced to the Stanley Cup Final by beating the Red Wings in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals. After finding themselves down 2-0 at the first intermission, Bobby Hull and Doug Mohns evened the score in the second period. Mikita scored the series-clinching goal midway through the third period before Eric Nesterenko added an insurance tally.

1969 – Jimmy Waite was born in Sherbrooke, ON. The Blackhawks drafted the goaltender with the eighth overall pick of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. He went 14-23-7 in his 58 games over eight seasons with the Blackhawks, sporting a .860 save percentage (SV%) and 3.64 GAA. On June 18, 1993, he was traded to the San Jose Sharks for Neil Wilkinson. The Sharks traded him back on Feb. 5, 1995, for a fourth-round draft pick. His time in Chicago as a player ended when the Phoenix Coyotes claimed him in the 1987 Waiver Draft. He has served as the Blackhawks’ goaltending coach since 2014.

1974 – Sergei Krivokrasov was born in Angarsk, USSR. The right wing was selected by the Blackhawks 12th overall in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. In his 225 games over six seasons in Chicago, he had 42 goals and 83 points. His most memorable moment with the Blackhawks came in 1996 when he scored in overtime against Patrick Roy in the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Krivokrasov was traded to the Nashville Predators for unknown compensation on June 26, 1998.

1993 – Jeremy Roenick scored his 50th goal of the season in a 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs to become the second Blackhawk to have back-to-back 50-goal seasons. He and Hull remain the only two players to do it. In fact, they are two of just three players to ever have 50 goals in a season for the Blackhawks, with the third being Al Secord. Steve Larmer played in his 884th consecutive game this night, the final game of his 11-year streak.

2015 – The Blackhawks began their march to the Stanley Cup with a 4-3 win in double overtime over the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the First Round. Corey Crawford found himself watching from the bench after allowing three first-period goals. The Blackhawks stormed back in the middle frame with goals by Niklas Hjalmarsson, Patrick Sharp, and Jonathan Toews. Duncan Keith won the game at 7:49 of the second overtime. Scott Darling was tremendous in relief, stopping all 42 shots he faced.

April 16

1915 – Joffre Desilets was born in Capreol, ON. He was traded to the Blackhawks by the Canadiens for Lou Trudel on Aug. 26, 1938. The right wing had 17 goals and 27 points in his 74 games over two seasons before being traded to the Cleveland Barons of the AHL on May 12, 1940.

1961 – The Blackhawks won their first championship since 1938 after beating the Red Wings 5-1 in Game 6 of the Stanley Final. The Cup-clinching victory came at the old Olympia, and it was the only win by the road team in the series. The Blackhawks got goals from five different players; Reggie Fleming, Nesterenko, Jack Evans, and Kenny Wharram, with Ab McDonald scoring the game-winner.

1968 – The Blackhawks beat the Rangers 4-1 in Game 6 of the NHL Quarterfinals. Doug Jarrett, Chico Maki, Pit Martin, and Mikita were the goal scorers, while Denis DeJordy made 26 saves between the pipes. The Blackhawks advanced to the NHL Semifinals, where they lost to the Canadiens in five games.

1974 – The Blackhawks ended the Kings’ season with a 1-0 win in Game 5 of the NHL Quarterfinals. Jim Pappin’s goal at 15:23 of the third period was the game’s only scoring. Esposito made 18 saves for his second shutout of the series. He allowed seven goals during the five-game series, with five coming in a 5-1 Game 4 loss.

1986 – Peter Regin was born in Herning, Denmark. The center was acquired from the New York Islanders with Pierre-Marc Bouchard for a fourth-round draft pick on Feb. 6, 2014. That draft pick was later dealt to the Rangers, who used it to draft star goalie Igor Shesterkin. Regin had two goals and five points in 21 games for the Blackhawks before he returned to Europe to play in 2015.

1990 – The Blackhawks beat the North Stars 5-2 in Game 7 of the Norris Division Semifinals. Presley and Roenick both scored twice during a four-goal second period. Greg Gilbert put the cherry on top with a late third-period tally. Greg Millen made 30 saves in the net to earn the win despite the Blackhawks racking up 48 penalty minutes.

1991 – Jeremy Morin was born in Auburn, NY. He was acquired by the Blackhawks from the Atlanta Thrashers with Joey Crabb, Marty Reasoner, and a first and second-round pick for Akim Aliu, Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager, and Brent Sopel on June 24, 2010. He had eight goals and 16 points in 54 games over five seasons. On Dec. 14, 2014, Morin was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Tim Erixon. He returned to Chicago in the seven-player trade that included Brandon Saad on June 30, 2015, but only played for the Rockford IceHogs in his second stint. The Blackhawks traded Morin to the Maple Leafs for Richard Panik on Jan. 3, 2016.

1995 – Nikita Zadorov was born in Moscow, Russia. The hard-hitting defenseman was acquired from the Avalanche with Anton Lindholm for Saad and Dennis Gilbert on Oct. 10, 2020. He had a goal and eight points in 55 games before he was traded to the Calgary Flames for a third-round pick. That pick was used in 2022 to select Aidan Thompson.

1996 – John Quenneville was born in Edmonton, AB. He was originally a first-round pick (30th) of the New Jersey Devils in 2014. He was acquired for John Hayden on June 22, 2019. Quenneville, a cousin of former head coach Joe Quenneville, played nine games for the Blackhawks and had no points in his two seasons with the Blackhawks. The Seattle Kraken took him in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.

1998 – Chris Chelios became the 128th player to play 1,000 NHL games in a 1-1 tie with the Devils.

2009 – In their first Stanley Cup Playoff game since 2002, Martin Havlat scored 12 seconds into overtime to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 win against the Flames in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. At the time, the goal was for the third-fastest overtime goal in playoff history and came after Havlat tied the game with 5:33 left in regulation.

April 17

1895 – Alex McKinnon was born in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. The New York Americans traded the right wing for Charley McVeigh on Oct. 15, 1928. He had a goal and an assist in 44 games during his lone season with the Blackhawks.

1965 – Kent Paynter was born in Summerside, PEI. The Blackhawks selected the defenseman in the eighth round (159th overall) of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. He had no points in his three games over two seasons before he signed with the Washington Capitals in 1989.

1967 – Roger Johansson was born in Ljungby, Sweden. The Blackhawks claimed the defenseman from the Flames in the 1995 NHL Waiver Draft. He had one goal in 11 games before returning to Sweden to play.

April 18

1993 – Brian Noonan provided all the offense with the only postseason hat trick of his career in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the Norris Division Semifinals.

2010 – After losing their postseason opener two nights earlier, the Blackhawks win their first of 16 playoff games by beating the Predators 2-0 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Dave Bolland scored the only goal the Blackhawks needed on the power-play midway through the second period. Patrick Kane added an insurance goal in the third period as Antti Niemi made 23 saves for his first career playoff shutout.

April 19

1962 – The Blackhawks lost 8-4 to the Maple Leafs in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Mikita scored twice to give him 21 points in the postseason, breaking the record once held by Gordie Howe for the most points in a single playoff. He had 15 assists during that run, also an NHL record for a single postseason. Toronto Hall of Famer Tim Horton had three assists to give him 15 points in the postseason, a new single playoff record for defensemen.

1981 – Havlat was born in Mlada Boleslav, Czechoslovakia. He was acquired from the Ottawa Senators with Bryan Smolinski for Michal Barinka, Josh Hennessy, Tom Preissing, and a second-round pick on July 10, 2006. The right wing had 64 goals and 161 points in 172 games before signing with the Minnesota Wild on July 1, 2009.

1996 – Belfour made 33 saves for his third career playoff shutout as the Blackhawks beat the Flames 3-0 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Gary Suter, Roenick, and Jeff Shantz had the goals as the Blackhawks took a 2-0 series lead on Calgary.

Photo credit: Rockford Register Star

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