Editorials

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

By Stephen Yatsushiro
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) /
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MONTREAL, QC – MARCH 16: The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate a 2-0 victory against the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on March 16, 2019 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC – MARCH 16: The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate a 2-0 victory against the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on March 16, 2019 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Round table wrap up

There you have it, fans.  Our Blackhawk Up staff is pretty much in agreement that the ‘Hawks should continue to shape its identity for the rest of the season rather than tank for a chance at a high draft pick.  If the team wasn’t showing any improvement, we’d go with the tank.  But here we are in the final stretch with reasons for optimism for the future.

We’ve never seen as potent a power play as what we’re seeing now.  Imagine what this team could have accomplished over the past 3 years with this type of potency.  Coach Jeremy Colliton deserves credit for coaching up a highly talented core of players to finally reach its potential.  Also, imagine this power play next season along with an improved defensive roster and more depth in the third and fourth forward lines.

And to the point of the forward lines, the Chicago Blackhawks have some exciting young players who are coming into their own.  Coach Colliton is putting these young forwards in positions to learn and succeed.  Brendan Perlini just earned 2nd star of the week honors in what has been a stunning break out for this young forward. Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat are replicating their Erie Otters chemistry in a big way.  Dylan Sikura has been steadily improving with his chances on the top line.  Dominik Kahun has shown that he can play effectively on any line.  David Kampf could be the shutdown center to allow Jonathan Toews to continue playing as a playmaker. And Drake Caggiula can’t be overlooked while recuperating in concussion protocol.  His gritty play fit in well on every line he’s played on.  As Sam Boland says, let these kids have at it and see how far they can go.  This experience is invaluable.

John Aubert reminded us that Henri Jokiharju is chomping at the bit to return to the NHL. Coach Colliton expects more from this talented 19-year old defenseman and is patiently allowing him to develop at an appropriate pace.  He really could benefit from a call-up, but he’s probably going to stay in Rockford for their AHL Calder Cup playoff push.  The current mix of young defenders will need to show that they belong in the NHL.  Again, the theme is that the journey is more important than the destination right now.

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