Fansided
Editorials

The BU Roundtable: Where do the Chicago Blackhawks go from here?

syatsushiro
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 11: Members of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate a win with Corey Crawford #50 (R) over the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center on March 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Coyotes 7-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 11: Members of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate a win with Corey Crawford #50 (R) over the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center on March 11, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Coyotes 7-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
3 of 5
CHICAGO, IL – MARCH 07: Brent Seabrook #7 of the Chicago Blackhawks grabs the puck ahead of Kyle Okposo #21 of the Buffalo Sabres in the second period at the United Center on March 7, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – MARCH 07: Brent Seabrook #7 of the Chicago Blackhawks grabs the puck ahead of Kyle Okposo #21 of the Buffalo Sabres in the second period at the United Center on March 7, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) /

John Aubert

If the Chicago Blackhawks are to make the playoffs, the teams’ defensive pairings will need to be addressed. To be fair, goaltender Corey Crawford has been put to the test lately, basically allowing the Blackhawks hot-scoring offense to give them the lead and keep it. If the ‘Hawks are to make the playoffs, he won’t be enough, especially against the Calgary Flames, who the Blackhawks would probably play first.

The current pairings go something like this:

Keith-Gustafsson

Forsling-Seabrook

Koekkoek-Murphy

I’m not going to lie, the pairings/overall contributions have improved a bit over time, but there’s still a lot of work needed before this team can play at a high caliber. Yes, they’re 6-3-1 in their last ten, but that’s to the blessings of Crawford and a powerful offensive top six, who’re putting up four-to-five goals a night.

To sum it up, Gustav Forsling and Brent Seabrook are a nightmare. Duncan Keith and Erik Gustafsson are actually producing now, but I’d still like to see Henri Jokiharju make his way back into the lineup and stay here. He needs the NHL experience.

It’s either that or trade bait, am I right?

(sarcasm)*

CHICAGO, IL – MARCH 07: Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (50) celebrates with teammates after game action during a NHL game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Buffalo Sabres on March 07, 2019, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – MARCH 07: Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford (50) celebrates with teammates after game action during a NHL game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Buffalo Sabres on March 07, 2019, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Shane Crosby

With Patrick Kane scoring 100 points this season and Corey Crawford spending some time in the blue paint, it’s difficult to really ask for much more at this point in another lost season.

The Blackhawks top player is performing and the players’ fans want to see on the ice are, well, on the ice. What more could fans really want?

A winning record, for one.

As it stands right now, the Chicago Blackhawks are 32-30-10. Heading into the final 10 games, a possible 20 points are still up for grabs. The Blackhawks have shown that they are still a presence in the NHL with their current roster. At this point, the most important aspect that the ‘Hawks need to focus on is finishing strong.

Fortunately, finishing strong is exactly what appears to be happening. Prior to the overtime loss to the Canucks, the Blackhawks had won their last five games and had outscored opponents 21-10. Additionally, three of those five wins came on the road.

A successful playoff run is a lot to ask of a team that has been shaky all year. Finishing positive, however, seems to be an achievable goal and one that will leave fans pleased as the season concludes.

In an already tough Central Division, the Blackhawks have held the bottom position for most of the year. However, they’ve turned it around and look to start a new winning streak against the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday night at the United Center. Patrick Kane reached the century mark for the second time in his career against the Vancouver Canucks and has been considered a Hart Trophy candidate.

There still is some excitement to anticipate with this Chicago Blackhawks team. As I stated in an earlier article, fans need to start celebrating the small victories. Right now is a perfect time to do just that.

facebooktwitterreddit