Strolling around portions of the NHL planet on the world wide web, peaking inside to get a quick listen to the talks, there are a number of whispers about what is likely to occur on the Chicago Blackhawks from the 2017-18 season.
“They are completed, guy. They did not even win a playoff game this past year.”
“They exchanged off Niklas Hjalmarsson and Artemi Panarin. It is over for them.”
“They are going to be this bad this season. I bet that they will not even make the playoffs.”
Do not believe me? Locate it here. Or at the SB Country NHL Preview here (Our fearless leader Satchel Price exempted, he understands better).
I am convinced it’d make a whole lot of people quite happy if the Blackhawks missed out to the 2017-18 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Nonetheless, it is a ridiculous situation to trust. Barring injury, the Blackhawks year will expand past the first week of April. Why? Let us get to this.
Half of this freaking league gets the playoffs!
It is not like that is a remarkably large bar. There are 31 teams from the NHL today with the addition of this Vegas Golden Knights, and 16 of them will be postseason-bound come April. That is 51.6 percent of this league, for those counting at home. Is it really that crazy to presume that a team welcomes players such as Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad, and Duncan Keith will be, in a really minimum, fair. That is not a crazy assertion.
They are still filled with top notch talent and the children are advancing
As I mentioned previously, they have loads of celebrities. Toews, Kane, Saad, and Keith are top-line men on nearly every NHL team. However, behind that group of celebrities, Chicago has steadily gathered a talented team of young players that are beginning to emerge as valid NHL-caliber athletes. Nick Schmaltz is coming from a solid showing in the second half of this season and seems to be the group’s newest second-line centre. Ryan Hartman scored 19 goals in his first full NHL season. Richard Panik had 22 goals this past year. John Hayden made a roster spot with a solid preseason showing. The defense has its own holes supporting Keith, but there is reason to think players such as Gustav Forsling and Michal Kempny will help fill a few of these. Again, it is going to be enough to get this group to, at least, the center of the bunch in the Western Convention.
Can any other Central Division teams pass up the Hawks?
Nashville is the clear exception here, coming from a Stanley Cup appearance last season. But out of the … who else will grab a Chicago team that’d 109 points last season? We have been advised that the Minnesota Wild will develop into a Western Conference power for approximately four decades now. Still waiting for it to occur. The St. Louis Blues exchanged off Kevin Shatternkirk in the deadline this past year, dropped Robby Fabbri for period with the accident, also will probably be without Alex Steen for the beginning of the year while he recovers from an accident. The Winnipeg Jets have some amazing talent, but might not have enough of it to really flourish. The Dallas Stars might have mended their goaltending problems by registering Ben Bishop but nevertheless do not have sufficient defensive thickness facing him. The Colorado Avalanche will redefine the term “terrible.”
Chicago gets got the best goalie in the Western Convention
I will overcome this drum til my arm drops off: Corey Crawford is the best goalie in the Western Convention and has been for many seasons now. It is correct that Corey Crawford’s total figures dipped slightly last year, together with his save percentage moving from .924 percent in 2015-16 to .918 percent this past year, along with his goals-against average moving from 2.37 to 2.55. However, with plummeting possession amounts by the players facing him, Crawford was analyzed more and more frequently than he had in previous seasons, and often bailing out his teammates when they left their defensive duties. He had been the largest reason behind the Hawks notching 50 wins last year, and he has shown no signs of slowing down.
What is going to occur when the Hawks get into the playoffs? Exceptional question. However, what’s not likely to be a matter is whether or not they get the chance. The goalie is too great. They have an excessive amount of top-end talent. And barriers in their way aren’t as large as they have been previously.