Dec 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Mashinter (53) celebrates scoring a goal during the third period against the Vancouver Canucks at the United Center. Chicago won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
2. Less Brandon Mashinter
A year like this can always be exciting. On top of a reasonable amount of success, there were plenty of lineup spots up for grabs this season which gives the players in Rockford a chance in the big show. Young talent led by some of the greatest talent in the NHL sounds great right? But in true Joel Quenneville fashion, the fun is all ruined. We have to watch Mashinter play while forwards Tanner Kero, Vincent Hinostroza and Ryan Hartman sit on the sideline. Coach Q loves size, but his team isn’t built that way, and it seems as though that fact is still lost on him after all these years.
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1. Team-Wide Contribution
Other than a Stanley Cup, the 2013 and 2014-15 seasons have one overwhelming similarity: team-wide contribution. Whether its getting back that shutdown fourth line, a revival of the first line or a partridge in a pear tree, this is something that has been proven to be key in the success of the Chicago Blackhawks over the past six years. While this topic has been better as of late, there is still vast room for improvement. Whether it be on offense or defense, powerplay or penalty kill, this team cannot continuously rely solely on its big players and expect success.
So, there we have it. While the ‘Hawks still have some work to do, there is no doubting the potential of this team. Hopefully they can all grant us one Christmas wish with the 2016 Stanley Cup.