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Chicago Blackhawks: 3 Reasons They’d Miss The ’16 Playoffs

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Yes, it is technically possible, but let’s make no mistake: it is highly unlikely that the Chicago Blackhawks will miss out on the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, this article will focus on how that very unlikely event could possibly occur. Here are five reasons the Blackhawks could be held out of the next postseason:

3.  Injuries to the blueline

The defensive corps of the 2015-16 ’Hawks could be a sort of Kryptonite. Remember how bad it was when Johnny Oduya was struggling last year? Remember how great it was when Oduya rediscovered his groove?  Well, Oduya is now a member of the Dallas Starsand in his place we have a not-so-great-in-his-own-end Trevor Daley.

So, the “shutdown pairing” of Niklas Hjalmarsson and Oduya is no more. In it’s place, we have something else. In Daley’s defense, he is a remarkable offensive defenseman and will help in the other end. However, the true defensive depth of the ’Hawks took a big hit this offseason.

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What happens if Duncan Keith is injured for an extended period of time? Start looking forward to the 2016 baseball season.

What happens if Brent Seabrook is injured for an extended period of time?  A storm will occur that the ’Hawks will unlikely be able to ride out to the playoffs.

What happens if Hjalmarsson is injured for an extended period of time? Unless Keith and/or Seabrook are able to skate 35-40 minutes per night, expect the ’Hawks goals-against average to go interstellar.

Injuries to Trevor van Riemsdyk, the aforementioned Daley, David Rundblad or whoever is else mans the bottom pairing will definitely sting, but may not be totally playoff-life-threatening. But we shall (hopefully not) see.

The battle-tested depth is gone and now there isn’t much of a buffer to absorb an injury to any defenseman. If there’s a heart-breaker out there for the ’Hawks, it’ll be any significant injury to any of the “big three” defensemen.

Next: Reason No. 2

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