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posted: 5/20/2014 5:18 AM

No doubter: Blackhawks will reign supreme

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  • Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus stands his ground during Sunday's 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center. Game 2 is Wednesday.

      Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus stands his ground during Sunday's 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center. Game 2 is Wednesday.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

It was a real pleasure to watch the Chicago Blackhawks game Sunday afternoon, and I believe you can learn a lot about a team from just one game.

We know the Hawks are championship pedigree, but even when a supposed goal by Jonathan Toews was disallowed, the Hawks handled it like pros.

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That call prevented the Hawks from going up 2-1, and the Los Angeles Kings took advantage and scored soon after to tie the game at one a piece.

That unfortunate turn of events would have wilted most teams, and it had the potential to knock the Hawks down and cost them the game. Instead, it seemed their misfortune was nothing more than a source of frustration.

The Stanley Cup Champs tightened their play after that and won 3-1.

I grew up around some pretty good Blackhawks teams with superstars such as Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Hall of Fame goalie Tony Esposito. But the ownership wasn't as good then, and the 1960s were a different time with only a six-team league.

This Blackhawks team, as it is currently constructed, could go down in history as one of the greatest teams ever. I know they have a long way to go to cement their place in NHL history.

But if they win the Stanley Cup this season, that will make three in five years, and that's with a still young, but very experienced nucleus.

As far as my heroes are concerned, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita were great players, but NHL players of the future will be asked to measure up to guys such as Toews and Patrick Kane.

Everyone with the organization from the Blackhawks brass of owner Rocky Wirtz to President John McDonough to the Bowmans to the rock himself, head coach Joel Quenneville, deserves a bow and a salute.

I know it was only one game, but the Hawks seemed in command and never panicked.

Duncan Keith continues to log minutes and get it done defensively. Key man goalie Corey Crawford rose to the challenge, especially in the second period when he stopped 16 shots out of 17 from Los Angeles.

Quenneville may have set the tone when he went ballistic after Toews' goal was disallowed due to incidental contact once the referees looked at the replay.

The Kings played a decent game, but the Blackhawks just seemed to play with a more intensity. The Kings have been resilient, and with Darryl Sutter as their coach there will not be a pity party in Kings land.

No, but I do pity the Kings because the Blackhawks just passed the eye test.

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter@ north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio. Catch my show from 7-11 a.m. Sundays, and check me out on iHeart radio or Foxsportsradio.com.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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