Editorials

The Chicago Blackhawks’ Edge Is Back After Strong Offseason

By Tony Gianares
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 23: Andrew Shaw #65 of the Chicago Blackhawks reacts after scoring against the St. Louis Blues in the third period of Game Six of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 23, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 23: Andrew Shaw #65 of the Chicago Blackhawks reacts after scoring against the St. Louis Blues in the third period of Game Six of the Western Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 23, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The addition of some new and old faces have given the Chicago Blackhawks back their edge. They look and sound ready to return to relevancy once again.

After an eventful offseason, the Chicago Blackhawks are in a much better position than they were one year ago. Will they bring playoff hockey back to Chicago?

From the looks of things, it seems like they will. I’m sure the Blackhawks’ big dogs, such as Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, are hungry after coming within a handful of games of making a postseason appearance in 2018-19.

It has been two whole seasons without playoff hockey now. I hate it and it looks like Chicago Blackhawks’ management does as well. General manager, Stan Bowman, was arguably the busiest man of the NHL offseason.

He explored every possible route to improve this team, and on paper, it looks like he achieved that goal.

The Chicago Blackhawks’ roster looks different, but in a good way. Now, there’s plenty of roster depth and they can rotate four lines that are capable of playing in the NHL.

Also, the defense looks much improved. I have high hopes for the 2019-20 NHL season, but with that being said, this team still needs to go out there and prove themselves.

Bringing back a familiar face in Andrew Shaw has seemingly given the team a new identity and it is great to see. Shaw is well known for his chirping and pest-like antics on the ice and it seems like he has already rubbed off on the locker room.

By the sound of it, the Blackhawks are extremely confident right now and they should be after a great offseason.

Watching their rival, St. Louis Blues, win the Stanley Cup has motivated this team to bounce back this season. Here are a few soundbites from the 2019 Blackhawks Convention.

My Expectations for the 2019-20 Chicago Blackhawks

I believe this team takes the next step this season and gets back to playoff hockey. While I don’t believe they will win an absolutely stacked Central Division, I do see them getting in as a Wild Card team.

If the Blackhawks can build off of the impressive momentum they had at the end of the 2018-19 season, then I see them finishing with a record in the ballpark of 43-30-9 (95 points) in 2019-20.

This would be an increase of 7 wins and 11 points from last season which is fairly reasonable, considering all of the upgrades during the offseason.

95 points should get the job done in 2019-20. Last season, the Dallas Stars were the 1st Wild Card team, with 93 points, and the Colorado Avalanche were the 2nd Wild Card team, with 90 points.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m feeling pretty good about this season and I hope you are as well. Hopefully, these next few weeks of August go by quickly, because I’m ready to see some hockey in Chicago.

facebooktwitterreddit