The Chicago Blackhawks wrapped up the 2016-17 season with a loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday evening. It was a disappointing way to end the regular season, blowing a lead in the final minutes, but this still stands out as one of the best NHL regular seasons in Chicago history.
With a 50-23-9 record, the Blackhawks earned the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Their 109 points is the second-best total in franchise history, just three behind the 112 posted by the 2009-10 Blackhawks, who went on to break a 49-year Stanley Cup drought in the playoffs.
This didn’t always feel like the most dominant regular season for the Blackhawks, but it’s still just the second time they’ve ever won 50 games.
They had come close many times before the current era. During the 1970-71 season, they won 49 games behind Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita. Twenty years later in 1990-91, they won 49 again, this time powered by Steve Larmer, Jeremy Roenick, and Chris Chelios.
But that delightful round number of 50 never happened until 2010, and it didn’t happen again until this year. However, it’s only fair to point out that the NHL hasn’t always played 82-game seasons under the current point system, and if you go by percentage of possible points earned, this season gets knocked down a few pegs.
Blackhawks best seasons by points percentage
So that lockout-shortened season was really something else, but beyond that, the 2016-17 season is right in that next echelon of greatest regular seasons in Blackhawks history. That’s pretty impressive for a team that’s been around since before the Great Depression.