Fansided
Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks: Why It’s Still Way Too Early to Panic

tgianares
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 08: Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton during a game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Chicago Blackhawks on November 8, 2018, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 08: Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton during a game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Chicago Blackhawks on November 8, 2018, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

I am here to help Chicago Blackhawks’ fans get through an 0-2 start to the season.

Yes, the Chicago Blackhawks have gotten off to an 0-2 start in 2019-20, but it’s still WAY too early to panic. Let me help you off of that ledge, my friend. Although it may not be the start you wanted for the Blackhawks, it was bound to happen and I will walk you through it.

The Blackhawks ended the 2018-19 season on a positive note while just missing the playoffs by 6 points. They were able to do this with a far less talented roster and way less roster depth across the board.

This offseason was a huge wake-up call for the Chicago Blackhawks. Stan Bowman was probably the busiest man of the offseason, as he is currently trying to cool off the hot seat he made for himself. He made various roster upgrades via trade, free agency, and the NHL draft and the team is in a much better position.

More from Blackhawk Up

With that being said, it is going to take some time for all of these new players to figure out their new roles with their new team. Plus, Jeremy Colliton‘s system is more complex and more difficult to execute than your standard run of the mill scheme.

Brent Seabrook and some of the other defensemen are often still out of position and they have been working in this system for about a year, so that should say a lot right there.

Positive Takeaways for the Chicago Blackhawks

Things are going to get better as time goes on. The Blackhawks just have to get through this initial learning curve. Also, this team is still not running at full strength. A few players are still out with injuries or just getting back to in-game action. Connor Murphy played in his first game of the season, after missing the season opener in Prague.

While the Chicago Blackhawks have lost their first two games of the 2019-20 season, there are plenty of positives to take away from this whole thing. Calvin de Haan and Kirby Dach are still not playing, but they should be back soon. These two players will provide a nice morale boost for this team, and hopefully, help the Blackhawks get back on track.

You also have to keep in mind that head coach Jeremy Colliton still hasn’t coached a full year in the NHL, so yes, there will be times he is outcoached. He has a lot on his plate and I think he is managing things quite well. I expect him to take this 0-2 start as a learning experience and get to it. There are 82 games in a season for a reason.

Other Positive Takeaways for the Chicago Blackhawks

Thursday’s game was the just first game of a long 7 game homestand for the Chicago Blackhawks. Colliton and the Blackhawks will grow from the loss to the Sharks. What better way to do that than in the comfort of your own home?

The Chicago Blackhawks’ 2nd line had a great game. The 2nd line of Andrew ShawDylan StromePatrick Kane produced 5 points and looked great:

Shaw: 2 goals, 7 hits,16:53 TOI, 2 ±
Strome: 1 goal, 1 assist, 57.1 FOW%, 16:41 TOI, 3 ±
Kane: 1 assist, 1 hit, 20:25 TOI, 0 ±

Dominik Kubalik also had a nice showing in Thursday’s game. He started off playing alongside Brandon Saad and David Kampf, where he finally found twine for the first time in an NHL game.

Later on, Kubalik would be moved to the first line and Alexander Nylander would eventually be replaced by the double shifting Kane. That Nylander situation will be closely monitored going forward.

Final Thoughts

The Chicago Blackhawks’ defensive struggles continue to inhibit their ability to win games. Look for Colliton to hammer down on defensive schemes going forward. It really comes down to one thing, how badly do you want to win games? At this point, no defenseman should be untouchable and no defenseman should be held out just because someone else makes more money or too much money.

The penalty kill also leaves a lot to be desired. Last season, the Blackhawks yielded a historically bad penalty kill, so what do they have to lose? You don’t necessarily have to be considered a defensive defenseman to be good on the penalty kill. The penalty kill unit is still not working how it should be, so it wouldn’t hurt to let other guys get a shot.

The Blackhawks currently own a 50% penalty kill rate (30th). It can’t get much worse, right? The return of de Haan should hopefully bump that embarrassing percentage up a bit.

Luckily, we won’t have to dwell on this loss for too long. The Chicago Blackhawks faceoff against the Winnipeg Jets in an important Central Division matchup on Saturday, October 12th at 6 pm. We may see the season debut of defenseman Calvin de Haan and goaltender Robin Lehner.

facebooktwitterreddit