The Chicago Blackhawks are mired in their worse losing streak since the 2011-12 season. After an eight games losing streak, I started to wonder if an Olympic break would have benefited the Blackhawks. Think about it? This would have been the first Olympics where the Blackhawks would not have ten players going to the Tournament. Per ESPN, the Hawks would have only three players playing. It would have been a three week break for most of the team save for Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, and Jonathan Toews.
Playing with the Best
The benefits for the Kane, Toews, and Keith would have been obvious. They would have played with the best players in the World. I can only speculate but I can assume that playing with the best would help with the best players raise their games to a whole new level. Perhaps Kane would not be mired in his longest scoreless streak since 2013-14. Toews did have a hat trick post Olympics in 2014 against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Solider Field. While Keith might have scored a goal sooner because of playing on the bigger ice in the Olympics giving him confidence once the NHL season returned.
Rest For the Goalies
Another benefit of the Olympic break would have been a rest for Anton Forsberg. Cat Silverman of the Athletic has pointed out that Forsberg looks out of gas this season. Remember Forsberg was supposed to be the back-up goalie this season. He might have appeared in 20 games if Crawford was healthy for the whole year. Instead he appeared in 22 games this season with 24 games to play. We can expect him to set career highs in games played. While playing well in stretches, Forsberg is back-up goalie and his production reflects that.
The break would have also prevented the Hawks from playing Jeff Glass as much. While Glass is a great story, he can’t play at the NHL level. Let me also say that I am very happy that he finally got his chance in the NHL after so many leagues and some many years.
The break might have also given J.F. Berube to get ready to contribute at the NHL level.
The Break Wouldn’t Have Helped
In all likelihood an Olympic break would have not helped the Blackhawks. It would not have improved the ghastly play of the defense or helped the team not fold late in games. This season is lost and now we must hope for the draft lottery.The Olympics mostly likely would have been another disappointment for Blackhawks fans, but you never know what the break could have meant to the Chicago Blackhawks especially with all the youth on their roster.
I am guessing I am just clutching at straws to try and make the losing streak end.