On Sunday, we looked at the Chicago Blackhawks’ forwards offered them grades for the 2017-18 season’s midway point. Let’s now talk about the defense and goaltenders.
This year has been an interesting one for the defensive group of the Chicago Blackhawks. Half of last season’s crew is no longer a part of the team. Brian Campbell retired, and Niklas Hjalmarsson was traded to the Arizona Coyotes. Trevor van Riemsdyk was lost to the expansion draft and claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights.
With all of that done, enter Connor Murphy, Jan Rutta, Cody Franson and Jordan Oesterle. None are big-name acquisitions. So far this year, it would be argued that the Blackhawks are better than they were last year, but they definitely got younger and bigger.
It’s also been a year where Corey Crawford has gotten a year older, and Anton Forsberg is the new Scott Darling. How would the defensive corps work with this tandem of goaltenders to be a more tightly defensive team?
Let’s see how the grades look for midterms for defensemen and goaltenders.