Option One: (Try to) Win Now
The message coming from within Chicago Blackhawks organization seems to be the same — they want to win now.
The “Core” are still saying it. Hell there are even fans, though they may be in small numbers, who believe this team is not done.
Crazier things have happened.
The Hawks are in last place in the NHL with 23 points, a whopping 17 points behind the best team in the Western Conference. That said, they sit only 10 points out of a wild card spot currently held by the Vegas Golden Knights. That sounds like a lofty goal, but turnarounds happen. Just ask, well, the Vegas Golden Knights.
Vegas started this season off to a 7-10-1 start. This year, they’ve already encountered a 10 game skid in which they won only 3 games. However, they managed to turn their woes around and win 5 straight on the way to their most recent 7-2 stretch.
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The advantage Vegas had, though, is that they were able to turn their problems around quickly, relatively speaking that is.
Unfortunately, this is where the challenge comes in for Chicago.
They’ve shown they have the potential to win games as they started off the season going 6-2-2. On the other hand, they’ve also shown they have the potential to be very, very bad (see their 3-14-3 run they are currently on).
That said, this team is very close to turning it around. We’ve seen a handful of their best efforts under coach Jeremy Colliton in two of their past three games.
Patrick Kane is known for saying that a season-altering win streak could begin at anytime and if one were to occur it certainly feels like it could be soon.
It’s possible, and these core players certainly sound like they want to play to win this season more than anything else.
Coach Q used to say no one loves winning more than him and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say no one hates winning more than 3-time Stanley Cup champions.
After all, if the Chicago Blackhawks only had to play the middle 20 minutes of every hockey game, they might be the best team in the NHL.
But, with 52 games to go and a big hole to climb out of, the clock is ticking. Furthermore, the chances of this team making the playoffs are extremely unlikely (they currently sit at 6.9%) and they’re more than a few mid-tier trades away from pushing themselves into true cup contention.
So, what else is there?