October is a long way from May and June, which are the two months where the Chicago Blackhawks usually earn their pay, and keep themselves among the NHL’s best.
It seems that no matter where they end up, the Blackhawks just have to make the playoffs to make an run at the Stanley Cup. However, that doesn’t mean that the regular season is important for the team. The Blackhawks often get off to a fast start, before slowing down, settling in, and chipping away at the Central Division standings.
This October may be no different, though after the multitude of changes this off-season, nothing is for certain. As the Blackhawks begin their title defense this week, here are five things that fans should keep in mind this month.
5. Defensive Depth Can’t Hold Up
The Blackhawks’ defense certainly took a hit with the loss of Johnny Oduya this off-season, though Trevor Daley is no chump, tasked with replacing him. What should concern Blackhawks’ fans is their third pairing: if the combination of Trevor Van Reimsdyk, Viktor Svedberg, and David Rundblad can’t deliver solid defense each night while Kyle Cumiskey and Michael Rozsival rehab their respective injuries, there is sure to be an added strain on both Corey Crawford, the Blackhawks’ starting goaltender, as well as the top-four of Niklas Hjlamarsson, Daley, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook.
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Though they were able to pull it off in the playoffs last spring, this is surely a recipe for disaster over the course of an 82-game season, and despite their offense, the ‘Hawks could slide down the standings very quickly if they aren’t able to ice a solid line of defense, pairing 1 through 3.
Next: What Is The #4 Concern
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