The Chicago Blackhawks have found their own way to dig another hole to end 2019 on a down note. Luckily for them, they still have 20-points left to grab before the year ends.
The Chicago Blackhawks are currently sitting last in the Central Division with only 30-points. They’ve won only 12 games, losing 13 games in regulation and six in overtime/shootout. This doesn’t look good for Chicago.
If they don’t start filling this hole they’ve dug for themselves, playoffs might not be a thing for the city of Chicago. Earlier in the season, a slow start wasn’t anything to worry about but now in December, the next 10-15 games feel like must wins.
They’re only out seven points from the wildcard. That is going 3-0-1 in their next four games to tie it up. If the Blackhawks can win 10 of their next 15 games, they’ll be right back in the mix. Hopefully, they can start this comeback tonight against the Arizona Coyotes, the Coyotes beat the Blackhawks on home ice last Sunday in a shootout.
Tonight, the Blackhawks are in Phoenix for an 8 pm CST puck drop. Seven of their last 10 games in 2019 are against Western Conference teams and if that doesn’t spell must win in the Blackhawks locker room, nothing will.
Only four of these next 10 are on home ice. That brings another challenge for the Blackhawks. If they can win seven of these games to end 2019, it’ll be a successful finish. They’ll end 2019 over a .500 record and also put themselves right back in the playoff race.
Right now, CBS Sports have the Blackhawks at a 27.8% chance to make the playoffs. Those odds aren’t in their favor but odds are just odds. The Blackhawks won’t be looking at the odds, they’ll be looking at the standings, if they can’t spark a winning streak soon, they’ll be chasing the standings.
Their goal needs to be to play it game-by-game. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews need to step up in their leadership roles and show the younger players how to win. Alex DeBrincat needs to keep scoring goals, just how he has this month. DeBrincat went almost a month without a goal, something a player at his caliber should be doing.
Jeremy Colliton should be on the hot seat right about now, as Stan Bowman gave him all the pieces. The Blackhawks have many successful players, two top goalies, added to the defense, and they have top scorers in Kane and DeBrincat.
Colliton hasn’t found much success with this roster and losing Marc Crawford was a big crusher to the Blackhawks. They can’t have Crawford fill the role as head coach and I personally don’t think Sheldon Brookbank has what it takes to be the new coach. They’ll have to go outside the franchise or pull up Derek King from Rockford, not many ideal options are out there.
The hope is for Colliton to pull things together by the start of 2020 but if he can’t, Bowman’s New Year’s resolution should be firing Colliton and then stepping down. The front office is wasting the last few prime years of Kane and Toews and it’s turned into a joke.
If things don’t work out, Alexis Lafreniere would look good in red. That’s all I’m saying.