The Chicago Blackhawks will take the ice tonight for the chance to win their third Stanley Cup in six seasons. For NHL fans whose memories stretch back to the 1970s and 1980s, such a feat might not seem all that impressive. The NHL was once extremely friendly to dynasties: The Montreal Canadiens won four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1976 to 1979, the New York Islanders did so from 1980 to 1983 and then the Edmonton Oilers won five Stanley Cups in seven seasons from 1984 through 1990.But this isn’t the same league: No team has won back-to-back Stanley Cups since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. And cases like the Blackhawks’ — where teams win championships separated by a couple of seasons, as they did in 2010 and 2013, or as the Los Angeles Kings did in 2012 and 2014 — are fairly rare, too.In the series of charts below, I’ve tracked the share of NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB champions who were repeat winners, along with the share who had won at least one title in any of the three previous seasons.1For instance, the 2014 champion would qualify by having won the championship in 2011, 2012 or 2013. These trends can also ebb and flow over time. After the Boston Celtics won 11 championships in 13 seasons from 1957 through 1969, the NBA then went 19 seasons without a repeat champion until the Los Angeles Lakers did it in 1987 and 1988. Since this data can be a bit noisy, I’ve stretched it over a fairly long time frame, showing trailing 20-year windows for each sport.Over its past 20 seasons, the NHL has the lowest share of repeat winners among the major sports leagues — the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 were the only one — along with the lowest share of teams to repeat within a three-season window (four out of the past 20 Stanley Cup champions did so). By contrast, before about 1990, it was probably the easiest sport for repeat winners. From 1971 to 1990, for instance, 45 percent of Stanley Cup winners had also won the championship in the previous season, and 75 percent had won a Stanley Cup within the previous three years.The reasons for this are obvious enough: The NHL has expanded rapidly, from six teams in 1966-67 to 30 teams today. It implemented a hard and unforgiving salary cap in 2004-05. And it’s a fairly random sport: Compared with something like basketball, the best team won’t necessarily prevail, even over a seven-game series.Still, the differences are striking. Given the difficulties of keeping a team together in the modern NHL, winning three championships within six years, as the Blackhawks will do if they can finish off Tampa Bay, would perhaps be no less impressive a feat than what the Islanders did by winning four in a row, for example. And they’ll have done it with largely the same group of talent. Nine of the Blackhawks’ top 10 players by point shares this season, including Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, were also members of the franchise in 20102Although goalie Corey Crawford spent most of the 2009-10 season in the minor leagues and played just one regular-season game for the Blackhawks; the only exception is left wing Brandon Saad, who had not yet been drafted. UPDATE (June 16, 11:13 a.m.): The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup on Monday night, confirming their status as a modern dynasty.
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For all dog owners out there, your canine friends are paying attention to what you say and do and they’ll remember too. It will be a delightful discovery for dog lovers to know about the findings of this study.A new study has suggested that just like humans, dogs too have “episodic memory” – the ability to remember and recall events from the past. The study revealed that dogs can recall a person’s complex actions even when they don’t expect to have their memory tested. “The results of our study can be considered as a further step to break down artificially erected barriers between animals and humans,” said Claudia Fugazza from Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE) in Budapest, Hungary. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFor the study, the team first trained 17 dogs to imitate human actions with the “Do as I Do” training method, in which dogs watch a person perform an action and then do the action themselves. For example, if their owner jumps in the air and then gives the “Do it!” command, the dog would jump in the air too. Next, the dogs were trained to lie down after watching the human action, no matter what it was.After the dogs had learned to lie down reliably, the researchers surprised them by saying “Do It” and the dogs did. The dogs were then tested in that way after one minute and after one hour. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe results showed they were able to recall the demonstrated actions after both short and long time intervals. However, their memory faded somewhat over time, the researchers observed. The same approach can most likely be used and adapted in a wide range of animal species, to better understand how animals’ minds process their own actions and that of others around them, the researchers noted. The study published in the journal Current Biology.