2. The bottom six has been bolstered
Jeffrey also argues that the bottom six hasn’t been pulling their weight the past two seasons, and that they need to contribute with more goals. This is true, and it takes rolling four solid lines to win in the playoffs. But I believe this will change this year. There’s a lot of new faces on the Chicago Blackhawks, and most of them are third and fourth line players.
The Hawks have added Tommy Wingels from the Ottawa Senators and Lance Bouma from the Calgary Flames. They also re-signed former Blackhawk Patrick Sharp, who most believe will slot in as a veteran presence on the third line.
Add this to the many players who will be competing for a spot from last year, such as John Hayden, Vinnie Hinostroza, Tomas Jurco, and perhaps even Jordin Tootoo. The Hawks are a little thin at center right now, so one can pretty much count on Tanner Kero playing either third or fourth line center. The above doesn’t even factor in some prospects who could make the team, such as Alex DeBrincat, Laurent Dauphin, or Alexandre Fortin.
And then we can’t forget Ryan Hartman and Nick Schmaltz, although I believe one of them will end up playing in the top six instead. That’s a lot of players competing for six spots. Let’s face it; Coach Q is going to have a ball with all these guys! He’ll be doing so much line-blending it will make us all dizzy! But in the end, I think he will come up with some combinations that will be better than last year’s bottom six. This could make an enormous difference for the Chicago Blackhawks.