Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press
The best team doesn't always win the Stanley Cup; in fact, it "wins the Cup 22 percent of the time," according to JLikens of Objective NHL. The Chicago Blackhawks have nevertheless managed to hoist the Stanley Cup two times in the five seasons since Joel Quenneville took over, during which time they have arguably been the best team in hockey.
Over the past five years combined, Chicago leads the NHL in goals scored and possession percentage, and is second to Boston in goal differential and to the Pittsburgh Penguins in winning percentage.
The secret to the Blackhawks' success? They have the most talent.
Why They Should Be Feared
Only the best players in the world were selected for this year's Sochi Olympics, and 10 Blackhawks were among them.
The team finished the season with five 20-goal scorers and five 60-point scorers. The Blackhawks have a combined 15 30-goal seasons and 13 All-Star Games in just five players: Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp.
If that's not frightening enough, take note that about a quarter of their roster is 23 or younger and that they have blue-chip prospects such as Teuvo Teravainen still to come. This team is going to be dominant for a long time.
What can you do against a team like Chicago?
The St. Louis Blues are one of the league's youngest, fastest and best all-around teams, and they were outshot 215 to 186 while being outscored 20 to 14 in their first-round series with the Blackhawks. Not a single one of those six games ended with St. Louis ahead when regulation time expired.
Chicago was stopped by the Vancouver Canucks in 2011 and by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2012. Of course, Vancouver was outscored 22 to 16, and Phoenix was outshot 241 to 159, so I guess the best advice is to be patient, stay in it and win the close ones.