Well, it's all downhill from here for the Blackhawks. Even if they repeat as Cup champions, which is certainly possible, they likely won't have quite as good of a regular season, or as good of a start, at least. Chicago pretty much were wire-to-wire kings of the NHL after the lockout ended, and they finished it off by winning their second Stanley Cup in recent history. Take that, 1961! A lot hasn't changed, which means it is entirely possible that they will be making it deep into the playoffs once again, and perhaps taking home yet another Cup.
They key pieces are all in place. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp on offense. Thanks to guys like Johnny Oduya, this team has a ton of depth on defense beyond Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook. They managed to keep Bryan Bickell. Young players like Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, and Marcus Kruger could contribute more. The only players who are gone are depth forwards like Viktor Stalberg.
Well, guys like that and Ray Emery. Emery was excellent when he played last season, but Corey Crawford was the starter, and he's the one who helped to lead the Blackhawks to the title. However, now that Nikolai Khabibulin is his backup, there will likely be a significant dropoff. That means if Crawford gets hurt, it could have a pretty big impact on Chicago. However, that goes for a ton of team. If not having a good backup goalie is your worst problem, you are good to go.
Plus, thanks to the NHL's realignment, the Blackhawks play in a 14-team conference, making returning to the playoffs even easier. Gone are the Red Wings, and instead teams like the Jets and Avalanche are now in the division. This could mean more traveling, but having to compete against one last team for a playoff spot evens that out.
Chicago is going to make the playoffs. They are also likely going to win the Central Division. You could argue this is the best team in the NHL. I'd probably make that argument, personally. I really like the Blackhawks this season. I won't predict a repeat, because that is unlikely and there are several teams that are contenders, but if I had to pick a team out West right now to make it to the Stanley Cup Final, it would be Chicago.