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Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks’ Defensive Analysis After Early Postseason Exit

hockeyhousewife
Mar 19, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4), defenseman Duncan Keith (2) and teammates celebrate a goal during the third period of the game against the Colorado Avalanche at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 19, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4), defenseman Duncan Keith (2) and teammates celebrate a goal during the third period of the game against the Colorado Avalanche at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 18, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Kempny (6) and Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andrej Sekera (2) battle for the puck during the third period at the United Center. Edmonton won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 18, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Kempny (6) and Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andrej Sekera (2) battle for the puck during the third period at the United Center. Edmonton won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

A look at some newer guys

Michal Kempny.  This guy had some of the best possession numbers of all defensemen this season.  Yet he couldn’t seem to find his way into a regular spot in the lineup.  This needs to change.  For a team that has seen its possession numbers decline over the past few years, the Blackhawks need to look towards the future.  The future could very easily involve Kempny.

Michal RozsivalEnough already!  This guy has been re-signed with the Chicago Blackhawks for the last six years.  He barely played this season (22 games), and he’s dealt with multiple injuries over the last few years.  Enough already.  It’s time to go with the youth.

Gustav ForslingForsling played strongly enough out of training camp to make the opening night roster for the Chicago Blackhawks this past season.  He ended up playing in 38 games, with two goals and three assists.

But the general consensus was that he needed more seasoning with the Rockford IceHogs.  Can Forsling make that transition to the NHL as a regular player this coming season?  In my mind, the Blackhawks have to develop their youth.  We shall see.

Erik GustafssonGusty played in 41 games last season for the Chicago Blackhawks.  Yet he partook in none this year.  Well, depending on how things pan out, there may be an opportunity for him to get involved moving forward.  So much is up in the air, especially when it comes to the defense for the Chicago Blackhawks.  I’m sure Gustafsson is hoping for big changes that involve him.

While I’m fairly confident the forwards corps for the Chicago Blackhawks has a lot to work with next season, I can’t say I feel the same on the defensive end of things.  The ’Hawks are in quite the bind in this department.

While they have some great experience with their core, are these guys too old and overpaid?  In the meantime, there’s a question as to whether some of the relatively newer guys can bring it, and if the youth is ready to take that next step.   To make matters worse (or maybe better), there will be a new defensive coach to take charge next season.  It’s a crapshoot, my friends!

Next: Backup Goaltender Options

What do you think?  Or is it too soon to tell?  So many questions, very few answers.

LET’S GO ’HAWKS!!!

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