Chicago Blackhawks’ 5 Reasons They Can Make The 2017-18 Playoffs

By Colin Likas
NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Corey Crawford
NEWARK, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Corey Crawford /
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The Chicago Blackhawks are not in an enviable spot right now with more than half the 2017-18 season gone, but the playoffs are not a total pipe dream

Can the Chicago Blackhawks keep alive their Stanley Cup Playoffs qualification streak this season? Very recently, it seemed like that door was all but shut. However, it may be slowly creaking open just a bit.

Yes, the Blackhawks need to play well more consistently for this to even be considered a reality. But just looking at a situation like that of the Colorado Avalanche, where they went from near-bottom of the league to the postseason hunt in a few weeks, you know there is still a shot for Chicago.

So let’s look at five reasons why the Blackhawks can surprise some folks and leap back into the postseason picture.

A first line that works

This has been among the most important developments for the Blackhawks of late. A major issue  throughout the season has been a lack of production from the top line. Just consider: The guy who started the season at the line’s right wing isn’t even with the team anymore.

But after general manager Stan Bowman acquired Anthony Duclair for Richard Panik, and after coach Joel Quenneville did some tinkering, a nice top line was found: Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews and Anthony Duclair.

You’ve got two speed demons and playmakers surrounding a strong faceoff guy who has no problem going to the net to finish. It’s really a great combination.

The best part is, the guys seem to really enjoy playing with each other. Of course, producing points and gaining wins will do that, but you can just sense a natural chemistry between DeBrincat and Duclair especially, with Toews being the veteran presence gluing it all together.

If the Blackhawks are going anywhere the rest of the regular season, this top line has to produce at a consistent clip. So far, so good.