Winning is Not Everything for the 2020 Chicago Blackhawks

By Jimmy Lynch
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 05: Adam Boqvist #27 and goalie Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after defeating the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 at the United Center on January 5, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 05: Adam Boqvist #27 and goalie Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after defeating the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 at the United Center on January 5, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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I love watching the Chicago Blackhawks win games as much as the next Blackhawks fan, but right now winning should not be everything for this team and that’s okay.

When I look at the Chicago Blackhawks roster I see nothing but potential. Chicago has a lot of players under the age of 25 that are going to make up this roster a few years down the line. So, right now winning should not be everything for the Blackhawks, instead, it is all about improving the young players.

Sunday’s game against Detroit supported this theory. After giving up 2 goals to Detroit many people counted out the Blackhawks. Although Chicago would go on to win the game that was not what mattered to me. Rather I loved seeing who got the team back into it.

Dylan Strome is 22, Dylan Sikura and Dominik Kubalik are 24, and Adam Boqvist is 19. Those are the players that made a difference on the goal sheet last night, they are the players we should invest our time into moving forward. The days of the Blackhawks being Toews and Kane’s team are numbered, now we are looking at DeBrincat and Strome’s Blackhawks.

Just watch the excitement of the young Dylan Sikura after he scored his first NHL goal.

I will be honest Sikura is not going to become a top NHL threat. However, players like Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat, and Kirby Dach might. Those three players were on the ice when Dylan Strome scored his goal.

The goal was Strome’s, but it came after a great effort by DeBrincat to make a pass to him, and it came in part thanks to some net-front presence from Kirby Dach. Many people have been calling for the Blackhawks to rebuild. I would argue they are already doing that, just look at all the young players on this roster.

The future of this team is already here. Kirby Dach, Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat, Adam Boqvist, Dominik Kubalik, and Alex Nylander represent the future of this team. Instead of focusing on winning every game let’s focus on improving the play of these individual players.

Dach has not been great in the face-off dot so far this season. Maybe now is the time to throw him out there a little more and see if he can learn on the fly. Let’s put some players in different situations as well. Boqvist is already quarterbacking the power play, but let’s see what he can do maybe on the PK with Connor Murphy. I am not saying Boqvist is going to be a premier defensive defenseman in the NHL, rather I just believe having a little experience will benefit him.

The Blackhawks should take the rest of this season as a time to allow these young players to learn. Kane gets it, he has been out there trying to impart some knowledge on the younger players the last few seasons. First, it was Ryan Hartman and Vinnie Hinostroza, and now it’s Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome. Keeping these players engaged going forward on a struggling team is tough, but that is up to coach Jeremy Colliton.

I understand some fans believe this season should be about more than watching our young players develop. However the fact of the matter is we are in 7th place within the division, Chicago might be 7-3 in their last ten games, but we barely beat the Detroit Redwings at home. I would love to see the Blackhawks make the playoffs, but I would rather see them make it in a few seasons when they will have a legitimate chance to succeed.

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