It’s hard to believe it’s been less than two months since the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning to win their third Stanley Cup in six seasons. And while fans wait for the 2015-16 season to begin in October, they can relive all the action of the Blackhawks’ Cup run with the commemorative DVD/Blu-Ray Stanley Cup Champions 2015: Chicago Blackhawks, which hit stores yesterday.
The film begins with a retrospective montage and interviews with team members talking about how the 2014 season ended: with a loss to the LA Kings on home ice in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. Players talk about how disappointing the loss was and how it pushed them to want to be better. The Blackhawks added talented new players, coaches, and staff in the offseason to bolster its lineup and create a team that could compete for the Cup in 2015.
The 2014-2015 Blackhawks season was a memorable one for both bad and good reasons. Patrick Kane and Corey Crawford had injuries that kept them out for weeks. The team lost beloved equipment manager Clint Reif. It acquired new players. And there were several suspenseful and stressful overtimes. And yet the Blackhawks went on to finish with a 48-28-6 record and claim their sixth Stanley Cup.
The DVD/Blu-Ray, produced by NHL Studios and released by Cinedigm, focuses a lot on Chicago’s postseason.
It began strong, with a double-overtime Game 1 first-round win against the Nashville Predators. But the Blackhawks were crushed in Game 2, with Nashville winning 6-2. The Hawks bounced back, winning Game 3 and then Game 4 in triple overtime. They dropped Game 5, but took the series in Game 6.
Chicago’s second-round opponent was the Minnesota Wild. And they proved to be easy for the Hawks to handle. They swept the Wild, but Minnesota played a tough series. Most of the games were decided by one goal.
One of the most suspenseful playoff rounds for all four teams vying for a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals was the Western and Eastern Conference Finals. Both series — the Lightning and the New York Rangers in the East, Blackhawks vs. Anaheim Ducks in the West — went seven games. In Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, the Hawks and Ducks played a triple-overtime contest (that Chicago ultimately won) that was the longest game in Blackhawks history.
Chicago and Tampa Bay made it to the Finals, where the Hawks won the Stanley Cup on home ice for the first time in 77 years.
Whether you attended or watched any of the playoff games, parades, or Blackhawks celebrations, it’s worth watching the film. It provides a different viewpoint on all the action you’ve already experienced. It was interesting to watch the DVD because goals and plays were intertwined with player interviews and behind the scenes footage to create something entirely new. Even though you know the outcome of the season, there are times when you will be nervous and at the edge of your seat watching the plays.
Some of the best highlights include the Blackhawks winning and celebrating their Stanley Cup (duh!), goalie Scott Darling naming all of the minor league teams that he played on before joining the Blackhawks (there were a TON), the debate of whether the “goal” that Andrew Shaw made against the Ducks while using his head instead of his stick was a goal at all, and all of the camaraderie that you see between the entire Blackhawks franchise.
This DVD/Blu-Ray is a great item to add to your hockey collection to commemorate the 2014-2015 Blackhawks season and to see up close the making of a dynasty.
On the box, it says that the film is unrated, but I would give it the rating of “epic.”
Photo and video: Cinedigm/NHL/NHL Studios