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Hawks' magic number: 6 titles

By Scott Bolohan

For RedEye

2:43 PM CDT, October 1, 2013

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When I was growing up, I was obsessed with these terrible commercials for Chaser, a pill that was supposed to cure hangovers. But like all great things you see on TV at 3 a.m., it was discontinued. Which is particularly unfortunate for the Hawks.

The last time they won the Cup, there was a universally agreed-upon Stanley Cup Hangover, when the team played like it had been out drinking the night before, except it wasn't their natural element like it was for Patrick Kane.

And for the most part it was fine. Many fans couldn't remember the last time the Hawks won consecutive games, let alone a Stanley Cup.

But the biggest cause for the hangover of 2010 probably had more to do with the team losing its starting goalie and basically the entire third and fourth lines due to the salary cap. This season, nearly the entire team returns. There shouldn't be any grace period for the Hawks, not after winning a second Cup in four years.

Now that they're about to raise the banner and pass out the rings, they should be only looking forward. Admit it, anything less than another Cup this year would be a disappointment, and they're already the favorites. Nothing will ever be as fun as the first Cup, but that's the problem with being the best.

The Hawks should be thinking dynasty. They should be thinking of the all-time great teams. In Chicago it's easy to think of the Bulls of the '90s. While it's not the perfect comparison—there's the salary cap and basketball is affected by a single player more easily—the Hawks should still be thinking six titles. That's the magic number in sports right now. Kane and Jonathan Toews already have two. And they're 25 and 24, respectively. Maybe six isn't enough.

This is what makes people hate good team's fans. How they continue to win methodically and almost joylessly. It's greedy and insufferable. But that's where the Hawks are. This year there should be no excuses. Even with Chaser off the market.

Scott Bolohan is a RedEye special contributor. @scottbolohan

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